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Contract Riders (folk musicians)

Maryrrf 11 Feb 09 - 10:01 AM
matt milton 11 Feb 09 - 10:05 AM
Banjiman 11 Feb 09 - 10:09 AM
Maryrrf 11 Feb 09 - 10:11 AM
Banjiman 11 Feb 09 - 10:16 AM
The Villan 11 Feb 09 - 10:19 AM
The Villan 11 Feb 09 - 10:23 AM
Folkiedave 11 Feb 09 - 10:25 AM
Banjiman 11 Feb 09 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 11 Feb 09 - 10:29 AM
The Villan 11 Feb 09 - 10:29 AM
Folkiedave 11 Feb 09 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 11 Feb 09 - 10:40 AM
Big Mick 11 Feb 09 - 10:44 AM
Banjiman 11 Feb 09 - 10:49 AM
Leadfingers 11 Feb 09 - 10:50 AM
evansakes 11 Feb 09 - 11:05 AM
bruceCMR 11 Feb 09 - 11:10 AM
The Villan 11 Feb 09 - 11:53 AM
Banjiman 11 Feb 09 - 11:57 AM
Leadfingers 11 Feb 09 - 12:05 PM
The Villan 11 Feb 09 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 11 Feb 09 - 12:12 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 11 Feb 09 - 12:33 PM
HuwG 11 Feb 09 - 12:51 PM
The Villan 11 Feb 09 - 01:10 PM
Folkiedave 11 Feb 09 - 02:02 PM
Banjiman 11 Feb 09 - 02:38 PM
The Villan 11 Feb 09 - 02:54 PM
stallion 11 Feb 09 - 02:55 PM
GUEST,Joe G 11 Feb 09 - 02:57 PM
Banjiman 11 Feb 09 - 03:06 PM
Folkiedave 11 Feb 09 - 03:26 PM
The Villan 11 Feb 09 - 03:39 PM
meself 11 Feb 09 - 03:42 PM
GUEST,Joe G 11 Feb 09 - 03:59 PM
GUEST,Cookieless CupOfTea 11 Feb 09 - 05:36 PM
Folkiedave 11 Feb 09 - 06:24 PM
Richard Bridge 11 Feb 09 - 06:28 PM
Richard Bridge 11 Feb 09 - 06:34 PM
Folkiedave 11 Feb 09 - 06:39 PM
Dave Earl 11 Feb 09 - 06:55 PM
Maryrrf 11 Feb 09 - 09:19 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 11 Feb 09 - 09:31 PM
The Villan 12 Feb 09 - 02:57 AM
The Villan 12 Feb 09 - 05:01 AM
Folknacious 12 Feb 09 - 06:15 AM
Folkiedave 12 Feb 09 - 09:51 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 12 Feb 09 - 09:56 AM
The Villan 12 Feb 09 - 10:27 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 12 Feb 09 - 11:06 AM
The Villan 12 Feb 09 - 11:11 AM
Jack Campin 12 Feb 09 - 12:50 PM
HipflaskAndy 12 Feb 09 - 01:50 PM
DebC 12 Feb 09 - 02:08 PM
jeffp 12 Feb 09 - 04:22 PM
Phil Cooper 12 Feb 09 - 05:00 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 12 Feb 09 - 05:05 PM
GUEST 12 Feb 09 - 05:54 PM
GUEST,Seamus Kennedy in Alaska 12 Feb 09 - 05:55 PM
Anne Lister 12 Feb 09 - 06:05 PM
Folkiedave 12 Feb 09 - 06:07 PM
GUEST,meself 12 Feb 09 - 06:29 PM
Mo' Handy 12 Feb 09 - 06:40 PM
The Villan 13 Feb 09 - 01:39 AM
Peace 13 Feb 09 - 01:43 AM
Anne Lister 13 Feb 09 - 02:49 AM
bruceCMR 13 Feb 09 - 05:29 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 13 Feb 09 - 10:07 AM
meself 13 Feb 09 - 10:54 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 13 Feb 09 - 10:58 AM
meself 13 Feb 09 - 11:58 AM
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Subject: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Maryrrf
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:01 AM

The other day I was browsing the internet looking for ideas on upcoming acts for our concert series. We are not big enough for really famous people, and it's all traditional, and I also like to have a variety of styles if I can - so I'm always keeping an eye out for interesting possibilities. I came across one group that I'd heard of and listened to their sound samples - they were fantastic.

They had their requirements posted as to sound system, lighting, etc. and also a contract rider. I found their requirements in the rider to be, if not exactly excessive, extraordinarily detailed. I won't be approaching them about booking them. (I don't think they will care - they seem to have plenty of bookings anyway). But what do you think of "clean, private dressing room heated or cooled to 72 degrees farenheit with a full length mirror, four comfortable chairs, and a table large enough to seat four"; "Backstage, large pitcher of hot water, lemon slices, chamomile tea, coffee, half and half, sugar, three plain solid color ceramic coffee cups, six room temperature 16 oz bottles of spring water, tortilla chips, potato chips, hot salsa, fruit (cherries, grapes and bananas) for three people. There was also a requirement for three hotel rooms in a hotel equivalent to Holiday Inn and each room had to have two double beds (no exceptions) even though there were only three in the group. Also no hot meal but a buyout of $30 each for food.

I suppose none of that is really excessive but it was the specific details that kind of put me off - dressing room temp must be 72 degrees, fruit served must be cherries, grapes and bananas, coffee cups must be plain, solid color ceramic, etc. It just seemed very nitpicky.

I have never had this happen but a friend who books folk musicians had one rather well known performer insist on assorted, specific organic snacks which he did not eat, an organic meal which he did not eat, and a hotel room in a specific hotel which he didn't stay in.

For those who book folk musicians, what is reasonable and what is not? Obviously the group in question does find a lot of venues who agree to their conditions (there were other requirements, too, that I didn't list)so maybe this is more common than I thought.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: matt milton
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:05 AM

Never come across it myself, but a couple of promoter friends of mine have occasionally put on acts who've requested absurd riders. Said friends have basically just avoided mentioning it and given the acts exactly what they give everyone else and it's generally worked out fine.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Banjiman
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:09 AM

They should try asking for that sort of Rider in a British folk club..... I think they would get an interesting reaction!

Paul


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Maryrrf
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:11 AM

If we were to look at the equivalent in the UK, this group probably wouldn't play folk clubs. They'd be more likely to play village halls, arts centers, festivals, etc.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Banjiman
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:16 AM

Mary....we hold our folk club in the village hall. There isn't really a dressing room, the only room that could be used certainly couldn't be controlled to 72 degrees.

Having played a number of village halls, arts centres and festivals I can't think of a single one (that we've played) that would be able to fulfil these requirements. I've also booked acts who play all of these sort of venues and never seen a rider anything like as demanding or detailed. Are you sure they aren't having a laugh?


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: The Villan
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:19 AM

That would be a standard form and would be aimed at theatres and maybe Festivals. That doesn't mean that you have to or should comply if you are unable to do that.

If they agreed to perform at your venue, you just need to tell them what you can do. If you have a room available for them to change, that is great. If not, there isn't much you can do about it. I wouldn't worry about the perfume and makeup :-)

If you can offer them B&B at single rates, then that should suffice.
I do not agree with putting acts up wher they have to sleep on the floor or settee. Most acts have to travel a long distance and may have another gig the next night. It is important that they have a clean bed and breakfast.

It is nice if you can offer the acts some food, as they may have travelled a long distance, and eating fried food etc all the time is very bad for them. Even i fit is only sandwiches, you have done your best. tea & coffee is always appreciated.

Providing water should never be a problem.

As I say, tell them what you can offer, and clear those issues up when you are trying to book them, not afterwards. If they don't like your options, then you move on, in a nice way.

Its always down to negotiation. Always be ready to admit that they may be out of your league and accept that.

As an organiser booking acts, those are the considerations I look at apart from the fee.

Hope that helps.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: The Villan
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:23 AM

Oh and by the way. Yes I have had such contracts sent to me, and having checked it out, it was for big theatres and such situations.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:25 AM

Paul, I have booked bands with similar riders.

When I asked one agent about it he said how do you normally feed your artists and I replied voucher for the chippy. I also pointed out that there was no real need for the postcards of the area - they were coming 20 miles.

There is one story about a band who asked for a huge amount of beer - to be placed in a fridge on stage. When the promoter queried this the agent replied "We just wanted to make sure you read it".

In fact most riders are totally negotiable. Advice is to ring the agent and negotiate.

One well-known band having spent the day sound checking in the morning, performing afternoon and evening were not offered a meal or a drink at all during the day. It's that sort of thing that people are trying to avoid.

Basically the riders go up in their demands with record sales.

Take a look at Sir Paul's.....

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/backstagetour/mccartney/mccartney11.html


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Banjiman
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:25 AM

"three plain solid color ceramic coffee cups" and "private dressing room heated or cooled to 72 degrees farenheit"

Les, have you really had riders with that level of detailed requirement??


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:29 AM

These things are *always* negotiable. If someone really won't accept a booking unless the promoter heats the private dressing room to 72 degrees, then they probably don't need the gig.

During the short time I booked acts (mainly folk/ roots / world) for a venue, I occasionally saw some ridiculous rider demands, but only once had any issues over not being able to supply someone's exact catering requirements. More often than not, performers were perfectly happy to get a hot meal and a drink or two, and at least once the artists weren't even aware what their rider asked for.

Having worked on the other side, accommodation or catering is always worth asking for, simply because it cuts down on the cost of touring. If the response is a list of local hotels and a quote from a caterer, then it's Travelodge and Tescos...


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: The Villan
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:29 AM

Paul - Yes. But as I said, it was to cover the artist for very big events, not for village halls and such likes.
Don't ask me who, as I wouldn't say anyway.
Les


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:38 AM

Riders with that level of requirement are seen at some festivals with some headlining artists.

And for the larger bands you will see them loading the catering rider onto the tour bus. You may feel cheated - they are feeding their crew.

Clear it up in advance is all you need to do.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:40 AM

Further to Folkiedave's story about the fridge full of beer on stage, apparently the infamous "no brown M&Ms" requirement in Van Halen's rider served the same purpose- any promoter agreeing to such a ridiculous demand couldn't be trusted to have properly read and understood the technical requirements for the show.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Big Mick
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:44 AM

I notice McCartney demands non union labor. If that is the case, I won't be seeing him anytime soon.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Banjiman
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:49 AM

"Paul - Yes. But as I said, it was to cover the artist for very big events, not for village halls and such likes."

Well you live & learn! Any contracts/ riders I have seen from artists have been very sensible and in proportion to our venue, I'm very pleased to say.

I'm not for one moment suggesting that decent food and accomodation shouldn't be provided (we do)...... but with my foot in the artist boot, it's amazing how many places don't even provide you with a drink!


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:50 AM

I must have words with my mates about the (Mostly) Corporate gigs we do , when the "Dressing Room" is the Gents Toilet , and there is No Where to leave Instrument cases etc !!in


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: evansakes
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 11:05 AM

The best way to cut down on unreasonable riders is to actually write back offering to supply to the letter everything that they request and reminding them that the cost will be subtracted from the turnover before their fee is worked out.

We once had a pretty well known folk name booked through a totally inappropriate agency (though admittedly he didn't stay with them very long). In addition to various excessive amouts of alcohol and food requested were things like "a sharpie". I thought at first this must be some kind of knife but it turned out he was only looking for a permanent marker pen. Another stipulation was that the dressing room area had to have "professional 24 hour security" and that there needed to be adequate crash barriers placed between the performer and the audience. Our venue is the back room of a pub!

Anyway, I crossed it all out and returned it saying we'd buy him a pub meal (Sunday roast) and a couple of drinks. This did the trick (nothing more was said). The gig went fine and he was as happy as a sandboy....and totally embarassed when I showed him the agency rider.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: bruceCMR
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 11:10 AM

It's not unknown for the riders to be generated by the band's management, and for the performers to know nothing about them....

I remember hearing a story about a touring band arriving at a venue, being shown into their dressing room, where a buffet had been provided. As soon as they went into the room the rant started.... "Sushi!! What is it with this country? Everywhere we go, all they serve is sushi. We hate the stuff, but everyone serves it"

They were then shown the rider that specified sushi, which explained why they had been served nothing else for the previous 3 weeks touring....


(Disclaimer - it might not have been sushi, but you get the picture. It's been a long time since I heard the story...)

I also know of a touring sound engineer who specified some obscure piece of equipment on the rider, knowing that nobody could supply it, along with a comment saying that if this piece of kit was not provided, they should phone him to make alternative arrangements. The sole purpose of this clause was to ensure that the venue called him in advance to discuss technical details; 90% of the time he would be happy with whatever kit was available in the venue.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: The Villan
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 11:53 AM

he he Its all good fun :-)

Paul I do hope i got you and Wendy at least one drink. I don't always remember, in the rush of things.

In one contract for a 4 male band, it had the folloiwng requirements amongst otehrs.

I bottle of champagne each for on stage.
4 female escorts for after the gig to show them the lights of Lincolnshire.

We said that we would not provide the champagne.
We provided 4 female escorts. The average age of women in Faldingworth is about 80, but I managed to find 4, all single and experienced. Never got to know what happened afterwards.

Les


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Banjiman
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 11:57 AM

Les, several as I seem to remember (or not, and after we had played of course!).... believe me the no drink comment wasn't about Faldingworth Live!. We were very well looked after.

Should have asked for that escort though......


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 12:05 PM

On the Drink side , BE CAREFUL ! Consumption of Alcohol CAN Invalidate Public Liability Insurance ! Check the small print !


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: The Villan
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 12:09 PM

Is that right Leadfingers. Better change the contracts then.

"Alcohol will not be tolerated by a performer before or during their act" That will save a bit of money :-)


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 12:12 PM

Whatever happened to the good old days when my trio was happy to get a relatively clean room in a cheap motel, a place to tune up at the venue and a glass of water? We worked in one club in San Francisco that doubled as a burlesque house during the week. There were g-strings and pasties and 8X10 "glossies" of the performers in the cubicle where we tuned up backstage. We shared a small trailer with two other groups at one county fair. At another, we had nothing except a grassy area behind the outdoor stage and had to follow a chimp act and a guy playing a marimba sewn into the legs of his charro pants. We were just glad to be working.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 12:33 PM

Mary - there are a couple of things to separate. First, all of our friends in the UK have a whole different set of circumstances so the "riders" are not the same.

I have been booking the Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club in Fair Lawn, NJ for the past three seasons. (www.hurdygurdyfolk.org)   We book nationally, and in some in cases internationally known TOURING performers.   The key word is "touring", and I will get to that in a second.

As Jonny pointed out, ALL points are negotiable. Also, the rider that you shared does not sound frivolous or the product of a diva. There are reasons why these points are added - and again, everything is negotiable.

Most of the artists that we book often work for a modest guarantee versus a percentage AFTER our expenses. If an artist requires a hotel room, I will add that to the expenses and their percentage deal becomes less attractive to them. They will usually accept our offer of staying with a board member or find their own accomodations.

As for the food requirements, I strongly believe that a traveling artist deserves a decent meal before going onstage. We expect the artist to give full effort to their performance and providing them with a decent meal that they will enjoy is a sign that we take our partnership in the concert seriously.   If an artist stipulates that they have certain food aversions, they should state it upfront. I've had performer who require gluten-free diets, have allergies, or simply do not like certain foods.   Why not request something up front?

A $30 buyout for dinner is about normal, but it if it too high for your area - simply tell them what you can afford.

Plain color ceramic mugs does sound a bit odd, but if you think about it - it is much easier to tell if a cup is clean when it is just one color. I would bet the artist had a previous experience that they do not want to repeat.

If I were an artist, I would not like to be faced with fast-food takeout every night why I am traveling. Surprisingly, there are a number of clubs that think it is sufficent.

Room temperature? Sounds like they are simply looking for comfort. We did have an issue with our venue about heat. It is a modest size theater that would not be heated until the day of the performance. An artist, who depends on their voice, does not want to be exposed to extreme temperatures that will effect them physically.

I have found that EVERY artist has been willing to accept what we can give them - as long as we are upfront at the time of signing the contract.   Several artists have requested beer or wine, which is not allowed in our building.   No one has complained when I told them so.

One thing that I strongly suggest. Add up the costs to providing the items in your rider and include that when you budget for your show. Don't worry if the artist doesn't touch the food or use the hotel room. What you spend is part of your show cost. I always add up these costs, along with other expenses for putting on a show (guarantee, rental, sound, lights, publicity, etc.)and figure out how many tickets I need to sell to simply break even.   If the deal doesn't work and I feel I won't draw enough people, I won't book the artist.   When you present it in dollars and cents, the artist will work with you.

One artist rider requested a bottle of wine for after the show. Since they would not be drinking it in our venue, I picked up a nice bottle for about $20. When I presented it at the end of the show, the artist was surprised, and thankful. I happen to know the guy previously, so when he said "you didn't have to do that", I reminded him that it was in his contract. He was shocked. He did not realize that his agent included it in the rider, and he said no one had ever delivered on it before.

Even though it is a legal document,it can be negotiated. It can also be a sign of a good relationship between the artist and venue so that they feel more than just "hired help" for the evening.   My feeling is that we want to make an artist feel welcome and appreciated.   I do not want an artist to leave our venue thinking that we were cheap, unprofesssional, or worse - I do not want them to feel like their work was not appreciated. An artist will remember a good experience as well as a bad experience, and it is to the benefit of the venue to have a good reputation.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: HuwG
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 12:51 PM

My favourite: "No cats". A group was put up in a local farmhouse by one of the organisers. Alas, she had a cat, to which one of the performers was violently allergic. I found him kipping on a bench seat in the venue when I went round with the vacuum cleaner the next morning. They inserted the rider for the next gig they did.

One band with unreasonable riders; the Roumanian gypsy band, "Fanfare Ciocarlia". Actually, it wasn't the terms themselves; it was that they were written in German. I turned up at the venue to help unload sound gear and found the organisers frantically searching on-line dictionaries for a translation for "Kein Huhnefrikase". Luckily, I could point out that it probably translated as a greasy, gristly chicken fry-up.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: The Villan
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 01:10 PM

Good points Ron


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:02 PM

We said that we would not provide the champagne.
We provided 4 female escorts.


That must say something about your place Les!!!! :-)

Should have asked for that escort though......

For you, Wendy or both? :-)


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Banjiman
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:38 PM

"For you, Wendy or both? :-) "


.......oh, one each Dave, come on, fairs fair!


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: The Villan
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:54 PM

LOL


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: stallion
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:55 PM

Ok Paulo, on the question of riders..................!


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:57 PM

I hope no one playing Raggalds Acoustic or Queensbury Music Festival gets ideas from this thread!

Seriously, so far the few riders I have encountered have been perfectly reasonable, sensible and discussed in advance. A long time ago at a different venue I remember being asked to provide a pot of tea and round of freshly cut sandwiches - that's as rock 'n roll as it will get as far as I'm concerned!


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Banjiman
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 03:06 PM

Actually Joe, Mr B has just drawn this thread to my attention and I do need to stipulate that in the event of the organiser not being able to provide clear directions to find the venue, I would expect them to arrange for a flock of low-flying pigs to be hovering overhead. I also require a bowl of freshly selected Polo mints holes on arrival. Finally, to remind me of home please paint the room with a tin of tartan paint.

Sounds perfectly reasonable to me?!

Mrs Banjiman


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 03:26 PM

Les can't do Tartan paint - but apparently he can do tart in room.....

I'll get mi coat.....
Coming doctor.......


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: The Villan
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 03:39 PM

We also have lots of scarecrows in Faldingworth, if anybody fancies those as well.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: meself
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 03:42 PM

"Contract Riders (folk musicians)"

I thought this thread was going to be about a new band The Contract Riders, taking their name from some quaint bunch of horse-ridin' hired guns ...


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 03:59 PM

Wendy - just keep going uphill when you reach Bradford - stop when you get to the top and there be The Raggalds!!

I think they've just painted over the tartan I'm afraid.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: GUEST,Cookieless CupOfTea
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 05:36 PM

Years ago, when I was doing bookings for a couple local groups using various venues and sound crews, we learned the hard way to look carefully at tech sheet riders.
We'd booked the mostly pipe band "Rare Air" ( formerly known as Na Cabarfeidh) and found to our dismay that they'd gone VERY electric in the transition. The list of all the electronics they needed was far beyond what any of our sound people could provide, and more significantly, required more power than our venue (lovely chapel with superb acoustics) could provide.

They wouldn't do with less tech gear, we couldn't provide the power for it - so no concert. Both the group and the agent were... shall we say... UNhappy about how it all fell out. I like the idea of seeing riders/requirements as early as possible - lets you know what's possible and what isn't. Mostly you can negotiate for what IS possible. I've seen a few other "rock and roll" level riders that were negotiated to what a small venue can actually provide.

Joanne in Cleveland


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 06:24 PM

A festival which shall remain nameless - forgot to obtain a vital piece of equipment through not reading the technical spec. (at least I assume that was the reason - maybe they just forgot!)


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 06:28 PM

I've seen riders that specify "no cheese" in the meal requirement - but that is actually quite reasonable as cheese is not good for voice production.

Any band that wants its beer in a fridge can F off. Lager, that's one thing, but beer, in a fridge??? Firkin ridiculous.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 06:34 PM

I've also seen some the other way round. There is what Maidstone Borough Council is pleased to cell the "Sparks in the Park" clause - broadly speaking it specifies that if anyone who purports to be an employee or agent of the council purports to find anything in the act objectionable indecent offensive (yadda yadda) the act will turn off and vanish immediately in a puff of smoke. No proof of identity, no exclusion of council people who find the word "and" offensive, etc etc.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 06:39 PM

Richard - since we in Mudcat can start a fight in an empty room - lager IS beer over most of the world. I have just drunk a couple of bottles of Duvel - great 8.5% Belgian lager.

BUT - I agree that a pint of real ale is fabulous at its very best.

And in Sheffield it really is at its very best at a number of pubs. There are some great boozers in Sheffield and I am one.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Dave Earl
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 06:55 PM

Can I just observe that if Ms DE (formerly Countess R) gets to see this she will (sure as eggs is eggs) give you her two pennyworth


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Maryrrf
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 09:19 PM

Some good points made on this thread, especially by Ron. I do understand things from the musicians point of view, and some of the specific demands in the rider might have been as a direct result of dire experiences. I've had a few myself, and I can well understand that if a performer has reached a certain level of success they have a right to insist upon a reasonable level of comfort and ease. We do try our best to make sure the performer has a good experience at our concerts, and for the most part I think we succeed.

This particular group is probably a little too 'big time' for our series. I doubt they'd trash the place and throw a hissy fit because the coffee cups weren't "plain solid cover ceramic" or the dressing room temperature was 70 rather than 72. It really was the cup request that struck me as odd, but maybe as Ron said it's so they can tell if they are clean or not, or perhaps they've been given cups with an offensive message on them.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 09:31 PM

There have been a lot of comments posted, and our friends in the UK seem to represent a kind of "amateur" folkie - those who look at it like a weekend hobby and have full time employement during the week.   

We have many people like that as well, and that is a very good thing. These are usually not the kind of people that Mary and I are talking about.   A stringband from Brooklyn will happily perform without a contract and enjoy whatever we put in front of them.

Mary, I suspect that the folks you and I are receiving riders from are the professionals who do this full time and are looking for some degree of comfort.   I spent many years working for a cable TV network and I've seen prima donnas of all sorts - believe me, the contract riders we see from "folkies" are a pleasure to deal with!

I also thought of another reason why the performer wanted a plain cup. I assume they were using it onstage for their water or tea? They would not want to have a cup that has a product name on it - it could look like they are promoting Campbells soup or some other product.

As you also pointed out, the group you have looked at just might be too big for your series. I've certainly encountered groups like that!!   No harm, no foul for trying.   Again, you might want to go back to the agent and cross out the items that you can't supply - and you might find that the artist is more than willing to work with you.

Don't forget, these riders are also used in all sorts of scenarios - concert halls, commercial venues(where the owner is making a few dollars off the performer), festivals and small places yours and mine. Often the agent will tell me to disregard whatever I can't supply.

Another case in point - we had an artist that required an ironing board.   I brought one, but the performer apologized and said that she only uses that for concert halls (where she performs with orchestras)and is required to wear an evening gown. When she plays small coffeehouses like ours, she wouldn't wear a gown and did not need the ironing board. She apologized that we went through all that trouble!

Folkidave - our friends in the UK have a very limited idea of beer. To them, "ale" is the only drink - and many of them do not realize that ale is a type of beer, just like lager. They have been trained by commercial brewers in that country to believe that "ale" is a drink all by itself.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: The Villan
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 02:57 AM

Excuse me Ron.

I don't work, but I book professional acts in concerts, with contracts and riders. Just becuase i don't work, doesn't mean that i do not have the skills to run concerts, read contracts with riders, go back and query and negotiate fees etc. Ours is a village hall that will take 100 people.

You say that you run have a small place. How many does that hold so that we can understand the size and enormaty of what you do?

>>Folkidave - our friends in the UK have a very limited idea of beer. To them, "ale" is the only drink - and many of them do not realize that ale is a type of beer, just like lager. They have been trained by commercial brewers in that country to believe that "ale" is a drink all by itself. <<

LOL Folkiedave lives in the UK.
Again, how dare you assume that people in the UK know nothing about beer. Another yankee who thinks they are the only ones who know anything.

Lager is a type of beer.
Lagers are brewed using a yeast that floats. Ales are brewed using a yeast that doesn't float.
Lager is just one of hundreds of different types of beer, such as Lager, ale, bitter, mild, heavy, pilsner, stout.

nuff said


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: The Villan
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 05:01 AM

Duvel is in actual fact a Belgian Pale Ale. Pale light golden color with a slight haze and rich head.
The base malt is not kilned but steamed to make it as pale as possible.

One of my favourites Dave, but bloody expensive in the UK. Used to drink a lot of it when I lived in Holland.
It's meant to be drunk slowly, almost like drinking a glass of wine. If you drink it too quickly, you will be burping all night, as it is very gassy.
I always called it my sit down and relax beer. I just love the duvel glass and used to have 4 of them, but they have got broken. Must get some more.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Folknacious
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 06:15 AM

"There is one story about a band who asked for a huge amount of beer - to be placed in a fridge on stage. When the promoter queried this the agent replied "We just wanted to make sure you read it"."

True story, especially the last bit. To be exact it was "a fully stocked fridge". The same rider also specified that they had a country & western band play for them in their dressing room. Imagine their surprise and delight when one promoter, enjoying the joke, actually provided said ensemble. (The fridge reference should give a clue to who this band with a sense of humour were).


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Folkiedave
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 09:51 AM

1.67 a bottle in Morrisons - about £5.50 a litre I seem to think.

But I only need two for a night cap - £3.50 approx. (then there is the whisky, cheese and onion sandwich (fortunately I make my own bread). etc etc.....


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 09:56 AM

You are excused Villain.   First of all, you seem to be blowing things out of proportion and/or misinterpreting my remarks. When did I ever question YOUR ability to interpret contracts and riders??? The point I was makign is that YOU yourself noted that riders are often for larger events,not "village halls" and there was another quote about feeding the performers by giving them a "voucher for the chippy."   

From what I've gathered about "folk clubs" in the UK, they are more casual than what we see here in the U.S. That doesn't mean there aren't professionals - obviously there are and many are posting right here on Mudcat.

Surely you must acknowledge that there is another level of performer - very serious and committed people, but folks who have full time employment in other fields and do a few gigs on the weekend.   Our folk scene has been kept alive by people like that, and I suspect yours has as well. In most cases, THOSE performers are not making contract riders or even issuing contracts.

My venue is a 170 seat theater. We have presented concerts in larger rooms in the past, but we are now focusing our efforts in a room this size.   It costs us nearly $500 just to open the doors(rental, sound & lights, insurance) and that is before we even deal with artist contracts.   Based on our ticket price ($20)I need to book artists that will draw at least 70 people in order to simply break even.   

Also, concerning "beer". Take a look at other threads on Mudcat that deal with the subject. If you read them and think that my statement about "beer" is wrong, then I will apologize. There is a pereception that have been given by you folks in the UK that "ale" is NOT beer.   It is.   Lager is a beer type as well.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: The Villan
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 10:27 AM

>>Surely you must acknowledge that there is another level of performer - very serious and committed people, but folks who have full time employment in other fields and do a few gigs on the weekend.   Our folk scene has been kept alive by people like that, and I suspect yours has as well. In most cases, THOSE performers are not making contract riders or even issuing contracts.
<<
Agreed
>>Also, concerning "beer". Take a look at other threads on Mudcat that deal with the subject. If you read them and think that my statement about "beer" is wrong, then I will apologize. There is a pereception that have been given by you folks in the UK that "ale" is NOT beer.   It is.   Lager is a beer type as well. <<

Agreed, but we do know our beers normally :-)

Ron, I am acting very similar to you. Booking performers 95
% of the time who are 100% professional, and have to get at least 55 to break even, sometimes as much as 70/80 depending on the fee.

I understand where you are coming from now.

So apologies for misinterpreting your post.

So :-) hugs and kisses :-)

les


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 11:06 AM

No problem Les!   I apologize for not being clear in my "offending" post. Re-reading it, it did sound confrontational, but that was not my intent.

I also agree with you - the artists I book are also 100% professional at all times - even if their work as a performer is a second job. They treat the music with great respect and that is the only way I would book them!

I hope we can have a beer together sometime - ale or lager, I'm not fussy! :)


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: The Villan
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 11:11 AM

A duvel :-)


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 12:50 PM

Anybody here booked The Rascal Flatts?

The Rub On Rascal Flatts

(Link off the page about Sir Paul's riders).

Thorough research there, comparing the rate they were offering with the charges at the "Squeeze Cream Spa".


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: HipflaskAndy
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 01:50 PM

Even being the part-timers that we are (The Duncan McFarlane Band)
...we have been asked to provide our 'rider' for a major Folk Fest!
It being a summer fset, we merely asked that there would be some bottled water available!!!

..but I do seem to remember, one time, being offered, and subsequently well fed by, a slap-up meal at Faldingworth! - Thanks Villan!

Funny, though....
Having close contact with one particular Fest-Organiser, I have actually knowledge of an extravagant rider
presented on behalf of one VERY well-known pro band for our wee local fest!
Extraordinary demands! - particular stipulations for large amounts of wine and spirits, for one thing!
Thing was - he and I both know a member of that band, and asked him about the 'rider'.
It seems their 'agent/management makes the demands - the band knew nothing of its extent!
Funny, that!


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: DebC
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 02:08 PM

The only "rider" that I have is that if I am being housed in a home after the show, that no parties or singarounds happen in the place where I am staying. I started adding that after one evening house concert where there was a singaround until 3 AM and I had to be on the road at 7:30 AM to be in another town the next day 6 hours away.

As Ron explained above, many things that we might ask for are so that we can give the audience the best performance possible.

Deb Cowan


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: jeffp
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 04:22 PM

Les:

Lager yeast does not float. Ale yeast floats. Ale is fermented at room temperature, while lager is fermented at lower temperatures.

Jeff
Homebrewer


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 05:00 PM

The best I heard of from a Canadian friend for housing was: a recognizable bed and a room with a door that closes.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 05:05 PM

Phil - I see variations on that often!   I am sure that there have been instances of offering a couch without any privacy.   A performer on the road deserves a private room with a decent bed to rest on.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 05:54 PM

Mary, simply go through the rider with a Black Sharpie and draw a line through the requirements you are unable to meet, or consider excessive, and mail it back. Usually they'll sign it and take the gig.
Those things are put in just to see how far they can go.

My agent used to book major acts for large venues, and she noticed after a while that the the performers never touched the stuff in the dressing-room (bottles of Jack Daniels, cases of beer, sandwiches, etc.), but the roadies grabbed it all when the gig was over.


Seamus


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: GUEST,Seamus Kennedy in Alaska
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 05:55 PM

Oops, that was me up above.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Anne Lister
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 06:05 PM

I think there are the makings of quite a large book on the subject of "inappropriate lodgings for performers", just as there's an equally large one on "fantastic hospitality for performers".   

I went through a time in my life when I was severely allergic to cats (and, to a lesser extent, dogs) and the only rider to the contract I was then using said "Accommodation in a cat-free home, please" after a US tour which had me in a couple of emergency rooms on respiration equipment.   My favourite response to this rider was someone who wrote "We do have a cat but he's very retiring". Took a while to explain to the person concerned that the shyness or bravado of the cat wasn't the issue at stake!

While touring as half of Anonyma we did request an ironing board, but this wasn't to cope with our concert clothing - it was the best acceptable alternative to a keyboard stand. This was a tour when we had no tour vehicle but we did have two synths and simply couldn't carry keyboard stands and amps around with us. We realised early on that even if a venue could find one keyboard stand it was unlikely to be able to provide the two we needed. It was fun seeing what people provided in terms of an amp for the keyboards and even better seeing what they rigged up as a keyboard stand - some of the organisers clearly thought we'd only asked for an ironing board as some kind of feminist statement!

Anne


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Folkiedave
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 06:07 PM

Something on one message reminded me of a great rider from one (well-known artist) and I guarantee many organisers will know this one....

"Two pints of weak bitter"

Same artist's sound check - who's doing the sound? Strikes two chords, sings one line. "That's great......"


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 06:29 PM

"some of the organisers clearly thought we'd only asked for an ironing board as some kind of feminist statement!"

Seems an odd sort of statement for a feminist - wouldn't asking for a table-saw or a workbench be more appropriate?


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Mo' Handy
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 06:40 PM

The rider that dismayed me was the one that required "no Peavey equipment" in the sound kit. The Peavey power amps were permanently installed in the venue, and it was unlikely that they would be changed out for the one show. After a phone call the performers in the end approved the Peavey amps. I suspect that their issue was based on their experience with Peavey mics and speakers: as proper Celtic ladies, they had no desire to sound like rock 'n' rollers.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: The Villan
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 01:39 AM

Hipflaskandy, I am sorry but we can't offer the rider for 3 barrels of Bishops Tipple on stage, but we can offer tap water :-)

Tabster, just as well you mentioned that for when you visit us. Forunately there are no cats or dogs where you are staying. :-)


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Peace
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 01:43 AM

Sounds like these folks are a bit fulla themselves.

I have received great hospitality at almost every club I ever worked. And I have never been treated so well as at Beer's festival.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: Anne Lister
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 02:49 AM

Les, I'm not as allergic now as I was then - we have a cat, who sleeps on top of me and puts her tail up my nose fairly regularly. I couldn't have dealt with that a few years back.

And as for
>wouldn't asking for a table-saw or a workbench be more appropriate?

Yes, of course, but we were on the receiving end of the comments so I can't tell you why anyone thought we'd want to be ironing on stage!

Anne


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: bruceCMR
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 05:29 AM

> "no Peavey equipment"

"No Behringer" is just as common. It's usually the band's way of saying they want a quality rig, not something that has been borrowed from "Disco Dave". Again, it's often just a way to make the venue contact the artist in advance.

> Same artist's sound check - who's doing the sound? Strikes two
> chords, sings one line. "That's great......"

I reently heard Phil Cunningham tell a similar story, talking about someone else.... this person (can't remember who it was) walked up to the mic, looked at the sound engineer, and said "This will be the shortest sound check you've ever done.... wasn't it?"


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 10:07 AM

" It's usually the band's way of saying they want a quality rig "

Well said. After reading this thread, I went back and browsed through the contract riders for the last couple of seasons at the Hurdy Gurdy. I could not find a single item that I would consider frivolous or egotiscal. These are not musicians who are full of themselves or who act as divas. They care about their performance and how they will be presented to the audience, and they want to do their best. Concerning food - I've seen much worse treatment from customers in restaurants who make pithy demands on the waitress. What is so wrong with requesting certain foods or drink?

I'm more concerned about presenters who treat artists like slaves. You don't just throw on a light switch and tell the performer to put on a show. I was in a venue where the owner was bragging about the beautiful stage they put together - it turned out to be a garage with furniture that looks like was picked up at a curbside and worklights that were clipped onto a board. Don't even ask about the sound equipment that was hobbled together. I was expecting to see an 8-track tape player for intermission music!!

Audiences pick up on these inadequacies.   Before we moved the Hurdy Gurdy to a small but state-of-the art theater in a brand new Community Center in Fair Lawn, NJ, we were presenting concert at a Unitarian Church.    Unitarian Churches are popular venue sites in this country - they appear to offer low or free rental and they have decent facilities. Our Unitarian Church was an exception. They kept raising our rent to the point where we could not afford to produce shows. We were presenting shows in a 100 seat classroom with no stage, the lights were overhead fixtures meant for a classroom (we simply turned out 3/4 of the lights for effect), and we had to hump our sound equipment in each show. The audience sat in folding chairs.   They were not comfortable, and our attendance suffered. Performers got dressed in a smaller classroom, not very private or comfortable.

I can see a HUGE difference in our new venue - attendance has increased signficantly, we have private dressing rooms and a kitchen for meals, and I can see the quality of performance improving.   Sure, folk music is an informal genre at its soul, but audiences are more demanding these days.   If they are going to pay good money for a show, they want to feel comfortable and be able to hear and see a quality performance.   It is a mutual collaboration between audience, venue and performer.

So, please be careful when posting here.   Sure, the major rock bands can request bowls of green M&M's, telephones and fax machines, cases of Jack Daniels and a bevy of hookers, but that is not the world we are talking about here. Sure there are a few people who think they are more popular than they really are, but I would say that 99% are willing to work things out. I think we are very lucky to have performers who spend their lives living out of the trunk of their car and travel across the country to share their music.

As presenters, the least we can do is examine the rider and try to understand why the request is made - and then do our best to accomodate or not feel afraid to explain why we cannot - before hand.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: meself
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 10:54 AM

"audiences are more demanding these days"

Sure - they're getting older!


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 10:58 AM

Not necessarily older!   I've been seeing younger faces at our shows recently. People are catching on - slowly but surely. Of course, the younger audiences have different tastes and expectations so it is a challenge.


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Subject: RE: Contract Riders (folk musicians)
From: meself
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 11:58 AM

I was just thinking about how I used to have no problem sitting for hours on those metal folding chairs ... They must be using harder metal or something nowadays. I've come to appreciate the "soft-seat" aspect of the soft-seat venue ...


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