Concert crowd with their hands up

One of the perks of becoming a headlining musician is the artist rider. Via their riders, artists can request any items they want to have backstage in their green room — although the request is not guaranteed to be filled.

Of course, there are items that appear on riders time and time again: coconut water, a bottle of the artist’s favorite liquor, chips with guac, or an ironing board. There are even some unexpected items that may be more common than you think: a fresh 12-pack of socks, a personal chef, or a ping pong table.

Infamous Rider Requests

Once in a blue moon, an artist asks for something truly out there. Due to rider leaks and rumor mills, these wacky requests usually make it to the public. For example, rockers are famous for their crazy demands:

  • Slayer infamously asked for 50,000 live bees and 100 white goats to slaughter (yikes!)
  • Van Halen was known to test the venue’s hospitality by asking for M&Ms but with all of the brown ones hand-picked and removed.

Riders for EDM Artists

Outside of the famous rockers, EDM DJs also get up to some hijinks in their riders. Here are a handful of the wildest alleged examples from the electronic music world:

  1. Deadmau5: a life-sized inflatable animal (five feet tall or higher)
  2. Steve Aoki: an inflatable boat for crowd-surfing and, to no one’s surprise, two soft cakes to throw at his audience
  3. Dirt Monkey: a mandatory Lego set of any size backstage at each show
  4. Duffrey: live kittens and puppies to play with in the green room
  5. Afrojack: for the driver to take him around in a Bugatti Veyron or a Spyder
  6. SAKA: the nostalgic Gamecube game Super Smash Bros. Melee, to play before the show
  7. Of The Trees: therapy dogs in the green room (a joke inspired by hanging out with Griz’s dog before a show)
  8. Peekaboo: a cardboard cutout of Betty White to take onstage with him

These requests may make our favorite DJs seem like divas. But in most cases, the artists are after what they need for a successful performance. In other cases, the rider is a fun place to joke and see what can happen once you make it big in the music industry!

SAKA shows off a win from his artist rider
Experimental producer, EPROM, jokes about his rider

The Best Rider Requests

Beyond these silly items, artists can use rider requests to do some real good for the world.

A great example is Austrian DJ Salute’s “inclusion clause.” In his rider, he asks that at least one act on the lineup is “a woman, black, a person of color, or LGBTQ+.” Canadian producer OAKK has a similar note in his artist rider. Many other DJs are following suit, going out with the extravagant and in with the ethical!

Beyond inclusion, artists can also use their rider to ask that single-use plastics are not provided in their green room. Dubstep producer Minnesota has said he includes this request. Some even go as far as asking that single-use plastics are nowhere in the venue!

While riders can get crazy, they can also be down to earth. In the EDM world, it really can go either way. Whether the artists are looking to have fun, live in luxury, or change the world with their riders, we’re happy we get to hear about these wild requests!

SOURCES: Complex | Junkee

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