Please do me one favour, please say out loud ‘What is a tech rider and why do I need one?’ Thank you!
Wow, I’m glad you asked because that is exactly what I am going to answer for you today. In short, a tech rider is the technical specification of your band for live events. Why do you need one? Sound engineers, event managers, venues all rely on this document to organise what they need to do to make an event possible and to make it run as smooth and as efficiently as possible.
What goes into the tech rider? Here is a simple checklist to go by:
Simply a list of every instrument in the band including every tom and cymbal. Personally, I wouldn’t bother putting things into a precise channel by channel list, chances are the sound engineer will do this himself as he will have his own preferences on how to do things (I know I do). On a separate list, you should also include what equipment you need, this is for transport purposes and equipment hire (if needed) as an events managers will need to hire the right transport for the job unless you have your own transport.
Who is on IEMs? Who is on wedges? Your sound engineer needs to know for patching purposes as well as the events manager in case extra equipment needs to be hired in.
Where is everything going? A very simple block diagram can ensure that crew can put all your equipment, wedges, and mics in the right place. In my experience, this is the most important piece of information as it enables an engineer to direct his crew and basically set up a show before you are even at the venue which is a serious time saver.
Oh dear, why!? This is not an excuse to ask for a golden chandelier that rains mini chocolate ponies, sorry but it isn’t going to happen. Now something along the lines of “evening gigs will require a meal well before the event for 6 band members, 2 of which are vegetarian. And plenty of water on stage during the performance” as a random example is much more acceptable. BUT! You will not always be catered to. Some venues won’t even think about you (as rude as it sounds I’m afraid it’s true), so stop by a shop and prepare yourself, worst-case scenario you receive a lovely cooked meal and those sandwiches will nobly serve you another day.
Yes, the most important yet shortest section of your tech rider. Simply a reliable phone number and email is all it is but don’t forget! Any questions regarding the event need to be answered as soon as possible, it helps everything when contact details are clear and there
Now I know what you may be thinking “why cant I just post what I want on the facebook group?”. This has happened to me before, several times and the answer is, no. E-mail a PDF directly to the people that need it. Facebook is great for banter and sending hilarious memes. When you send your tech rider at 10am and I come back home from a previous show at 3am the following day, your tech rider is hidden amongst an ocean of lol-cats and banter. Do everyone including yourself a favour, send it to the relevant people directly and in plenty of time.
If you need any help or to see an example feel free to email us or have a google, there are plenty of examples out there.