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Rider, What Rider?

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by willbb123, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    I do lighting for a local production company. We just did a concert for a local college's homecoming. The headliner was a well known act. The college booked the act, then sent us a list of gear for us to provide; we never received a rider, just a lighting plot. For audio we provided "racks and stacks" (amp racks, and speakers); the band traveled with their own mics, and consoles. Lighting (as the plot stated) was a 120k show, plus ACLs, lekos, and moving lights. I send a couple emails back and fourth to the LD asking about truss placement and a gel substitution.
    Day of the event load in began at 6am, and the band's crew showed up just before their load in at 10am. I met the touring LD, asked how what I had setup so far looked. He said everything looked great, and out of curiosity I asked what console he was touring with. He responded "Oh, we don't travel with a console." :rolleyes: Since there was not a console on the bid, I did not pack a console.

    The venue assumed that the band was traveling with a lighting console because they were traveling with audio consoles. The venue wasn't paying for a console, so we didn't bring one (although I seriously considered bringing one for testing/backup.) Luckily the venue has a PAC attached, and was able to bring over an ETC Element.

    The LD admitted to never having seen the rider, and the venue PM admitted to just assuming they were touring with a console.
     
  2. chausman

    chausman Chase Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    See what happens when people assume.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  3. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Lately it seems more and more shows are advancing through "the office" and it is nearly impossible to get to the people actually on the road. On the same coin, many people on the road are playing TM/PM/FOH Engineer even for larger acts so it is nearly impossible to get them on the phone. I also pretty much assume that the rider is wrong and always look for a phone call advance. We had Warren Haynes in a few weeks ago... the initial conversation with the TM was all house production with road engineers/LD, the final advance with the PM was a 53' truck of road gear and we were just racks and stacks... Little different day.
     
  4. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    I've never understood why they don't budget a lighting desk into a tour. Not only is the LD guaranteed to have one that he/she is familiar with, you're guaranteed to HAVE ONE. Plus, there's less programming required (assuming the plot is nearly the same at every show).

    Even having a pc based control like Hog Pc, lightjockey, or any of the others, as a back-up.

    Are the tour budgets really that tight that they can't manage a few hundred a week for a desk?
     
  5. cbrandt

    cbrandt Well-Known Member

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    I've seen a stunning number of tours come through locally that don't carry a lighting desk. Sometimes they're an all flight tour, so they don't want to deal with it, or sometimes they're carrying audio but not lighting. I know if *I* was that LD, there's no way I wouldn't carry something to do control. An M2GO, or one of the pc wings, something I could carry on with me. There's no way I'd walk into a venue on a regular basis with no idea what they brought me... Happens on occasion, but to have to deal with that every night? I've watched guys program 200+ cues before doors open, either from memory or a cheat sheet. I would think it would be worth my own sanity to invest in a desk for myself, in that case...
     
  6. DuckJordan

    DuckJordan Well-Known Member

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    Doesnt matter
    Most of the tours that come through don't have either the truck space or the budget to bring their own equipment. Some large acts (Muso's) don't bring anything but instruments, Sara baraelis comes to mind, She had a soft good and her stage decorations and instruments that was it. (they may have had a mic package but otherwise we provided everything the 120k package, the FOH PA they traveled in a bus and a trailer.
     
  7. paulsbutiq

    paulsbutiq Member

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    Yea. Assuming anything when it comes to these types of things will bite you in the A every time. Especially with college productions you have to be careful. The person organizing on the college's end is most often a student learning how to run events, and it's usually never the same person year to year, so there's a bit of a learning curve there. Usually you need to ask multiple times to see the rider, and it takes multiple times of reaching out to the act to get a hold of an LD, but at the end of the day you can't go in blind so you just have to be persistent and let them know that if they want things to run as smooth as possible, they should do everything they can to get you as much as information as possible ahead of time.

    It's amazing how different the rider can end up being from what the finished product is on stage. There's a reason they call it "advancing a show." Running through what the artist needs with someone that's actually on the tour building it and tearing it down everyday is well worth it's while...
     
  8. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Most B tours are lucky to get an LD anymore, let alone gear. Mrs. Footer is lighting more shows now then she ever did in the past. Hell, our A2 is mixing shows that before always had a monitor engineer. Every act is trying to get their day expenses down as much as possible which is putting more pressure on our house gear. The days of a 53' truck are gone for the smaller gigs. If it don't fit into one bus/one trailer it ain't going on the road... and usually the LD does not fit into either.
     
  9. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    We got a rider this year with some items needing the theater to provide:

    - Mac Book Pro with the latest Q-Lab software, to allow the company to load their show file.
    - LCD projector with DMX dowser (it's a heavy projection show), plus 200+ ft of VGA cable
    - Expression console, so as to allow Midi control to the projector
    - 2 - 16-20 lbs boxes of granulated cork, 14/30 size, per performance
    - Some very specific Clearcom CC26 headsets. They listed a number of allowed equivalents, though they need to be pre-approved.
    - In the original design, 8 x 44ft vertically mounted, 1-1/2" pipes, lagged to floor and secured to grid, as screen stretchers.

    Our PM got testy about a lot of this, especially the Expression, the screen stretchers, the MacBook plus Q-Lab, the LCD/dowser, etc... and wrote a somewhat pointed e-mail asking why they were not travelling with equipment such as this that if they don't get it, is somewhat a show stopper.

    And needless to say and as by contract, we are not (I'm told) providing any of this.

    EDIT: No, actually they re-designed the need for the 44ft pipes and we are getting them the cork.
     
  10. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I hate modern dance. They simply don't live in the real world. This is why every single rider we recieve gets the red pen treatment before it is sent back to the agent. Basically goes like this... [-]custom plot/channeling[/-]=work within rep, [-]line array PA[/-]=house meyer PA, [-]huge projection system[/-]=road co provides projection, etc. Before any contract gets signed we run numbers on the show to ensure that anything we need to provide outside of house inventory we can provide or they will agree to use house inventory. The is especially important we we get into house backline.
     
  11. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    This is actually a children's show. So presumably they don't play gymnatoriums.

    And our PM has that same big red pen.
     
  12. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    It is a very nice pen! And... a Children's show??? Because those things make so much money that they can demand whatever they want. :rolleyes:

    Ever had Mermaid Theatre/Very Hungry Caterpillar in? Now those guys know how to tour a kids show!
     
  13. techieman33

    techieman33 Well-Known Member

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    We're in the same boat. Whats really fun is when they bring in some lighting of their own and won't let you tie it in with your lighting rig so you have to try and match what whoever they have running their stuff. That or they just leave it static for long periods of time and you pulling your hair out because you could have actually been doing something with it.
     
  14. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    I'm only familiar with riders from the other end, but I'm just as jaded. They're often written/compiled by someone who runs numbers and doesn't know the ins and outs of what the show needs. Even worse is if you get a few weeks into tour and something changes (either because the show changes or you figure out a better way) the rider has (according to what we're told) already been sent to all the venues and shouldn't be changed because the contact has already been signed. This applies even if the changes don't require additional money. Even better is when there's an abrupt change in staff and you have a PM/TD/CM answering questions they don't have a real answer to but are, more often than not, too bull headed to ask their departments about. That always turns out well...
    My advice is to be flexible, and even if it would cost a little money have an idea of how we can overcome the specific challenges of your venue. It may have been my boss that got us into this mess, but I'm still a much more agreeable person if you're nice about it.
     
  15. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Great company those Nova Scotians !.

    I hear the opening music, "The.........Very..........Hungry...........Cata......... and it's like a hypnotist puts me under.

    SB
     
  16. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    I'm guessing it's more a financial issue than a space one. The salary of the LD, plus a desk, etc. Let's face it, a Hog or an Avo desk isn't that big. it could go into a bus bay. PC based are even smaller, not that too many shows are going to go that way.
     
  17. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I don't think I have ever had anyone come in with just a desk. Most have some sort of ground package and distribution. When a trailer has to fit backline, audio consoles, work boxes, and merch a trailer fills fast. Hell, a lot of groups don't even carry mic stands just to save on space.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
     
  18. Call911

    Call911 Active Member

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    My favorite are the riders that are clueless. I once had a rider request "6 x Sure Essem Fifty Eight Microphone"

    I assumed they mean Shure SM58.
     
  19. KGDJ

    KGDJ Member

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    On the "LD not traveling with desk" thing. Recently had a festival, and one of the very A-list acts (read, multiple top 10 hits) sends me a rider asking for a pretty generic 75k show with a half dozen movers. Which is great, since it's right in line with the other three headliners. They've no LD, so I'm going to run their show via cues from the FOH engineer.

    I stay up late after the act the night before, re-set the stage, spend hours getting a nice show programmed (it was my only one the whole weekend without a visiting LD). Act turns up the next morning with an LD, but no console. Dude is also the drum/bass tech. Tells me to scrap my show, reprogram with basic washes and a couple ballys. So between acts all day, during set breaks, I'm madly programming in the bright sun. Show comes (he never came to see the console or anything until about 20 minutes before the set) and he manages through it but we get some comments about how it was a little lacklustre. I catch the heat because of this.

    Must say, it soured my taste for that particular band's guys. All the rest of the acts that weekend had some top notch touring guys and I had a great time with them!

    I guess my point is...I always have my desk with me. But if you're not familiar with my desk (Chamsys, I can make it act like an Avo or Hog pretty easy), then you may have some issues, especially if you're asking me to program it in your absence.
     
  20. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    At least he did not ask for the console to be backstage... had that happen to us before. Its one thing for touring/called shows... but something totally different for R&R.
    rin
     

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