What’s In A Rider?

Image result for spice dancehallStories abound regarding the requests made by performers, both local and international, of promoters who contract them for events.

These requirements which are stated in their riders range from the basic and run-of-the-mill, to the downright ridiculous at times. Artistes have been known to request a specific type and colour of freshly cut flowers, specific furniture and particular brands of bed linen for hotel rooms. The colour, type, and brand of the motor vehicle transporting them during their stay has also been known to be included in these riders. On the ridiculous side, some years ago one artiste was said to have requested a case of a particular brand of condoms for his 48-hour stay in Jamaica.

This year, Reggae Sumfest has released the requests made by three of the artistes set to perform on the festival slated for July 19 and 20 at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre in Montego Bay. The festival’s organisers took to social media and posted a list of the items requested in the rider of dancehall kingpin Beenie Man; the top-rated female deejay Spice and conscious reggae chanter Jah9.

Beenie Man will be performing on Friday, July 19 alongside his one-time arch-rival Bounty Killer in what is being billed as one of the must-see moment of Reggae Sumfest this year. The two deejays performed a similar ‘tune-fi-tune’ set nearly a decade ago at the inaugural Arthur Guinness Day celebrations inside the National Stadium.

Image result for beenie man dancehallIn his rider Beenie Man has requested an air conditioned, secure, well-lit backstage area complete with six fresh hand-size white towels; one quart of the popular alcoholic liqueur Campari; 24 cans of the energy drink Red Bull; three bottles of 19 Crimes red wine; one bottle of the French sparkling wine Belaire Rosé; a cheese and crackers tray, as well as chicken wings. The artiste known for dancehall anthems such as Girls Dem Sugar, King of the Dancehall and World Dance has also requested that he and his team be given at least one sound check before the performance.

Spice is arguably the hardest working female artiste coming out of Jamaica at this time. She recently extended her brand to include television, with a second season on the American reality show Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, which recently won for best in its category at the MTV Movie and TV Awards.

Spice’s rider for Reggae Sumfest, as posted on the festival’s Instagram page, sees her requesting champagne from the French brand Moët & Chandon; three cans of cashews; 3 cans of almonds; assorted fruit; an ice chest (igloo) with ice; 12 face/hand towels and two full-length mirrors.

Jah9’s requests highlight the diet of this dreadlocked singer. She has asked for a high-speed blender; roasted seaweed snacks; fresh hummus — a dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas or other beans; pita bread, dairy-free dark chocolate; organic ginger; cayenne pepper; and two bottles of Kombucha — a fermented, slightly alcoholic, lightly effervescent, sweetened black or green tea. She has also called for a large mirror to be placed in her dressing room.

According to local event promoter Kingsley Cooper, he had had his fair share of the riders from local and international acts. Some of these acts, he noted, make these requests for their dressing rooms and never see what said dressing room looks like, as they arrive at the venue just in time for their performance and move directly from vehicle to the stage and once they are through it is back to the hotel.

One request stands out for Cooper.

“In 1981 we brought The Commodores to Jamaica. Two days before the event they called me to say Lionel Richie would not make it as he was sick. As it turns out Lionel had quit the group the day before. The group was in its heyday and it was the technical rider that hit us. Their production requirements were so extreme that we had to charter an aircraft, not a little twin-engine jet, but an aircraft to bring in all the equipment that they required, as it was not available anywhere in Jamaica or the Caribbean for that matter,” Cooper shared.

Source: What’s in a rider?

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