Concert riders: What a girl wants, what a girl needs


Summer is almost upon us, and you know what that means. Well, if you’re me, it means a jacked electric bill because of my incessant need for air conditioning.

But summer also means summer concerts. In the coming months, you can catch Queen Latifah, Nelly Furtado, Norah Jones, Cyndi Lauper‘s True Colors tour, Bjork, India.Arie, and, of course, the Indigo Girls.

Every time a performer hits the road, a contract is written between the artist and the venue. The best parts of these contracts are the riders: the list of performers’ demands to make the road seem less hellish. Whether it be fresh flowers, obscure beer or clean socks, you’d better believe they get what they want.

Courtesy of the Smoking Gun, here are a few highlights from some female artists’ tour riders. (For clearer images and full riders, click the artist’s name or the rider excerpt to go to the Smoking Gun site.)

Queen Latifah — Even before she was a Covergirl spokesmodel, the Queen lived like one. She doesn’t request a lot of food because she travels with her own personal chef. If local caterers are used, they’re given the pork warning. Meanwhile, for sound check, she has to have a dozen condoms.

Beyoncé — Divalicious Beyoncé has many, many needs. And she just might be a germophobe.

Cher — If you’ve ever seen Cher live, you know she changes her costume more than she sings songs. In her rider, she requires a room just for her wigs. Cher also refuses to wear a backstage pass. I’ll give her that one: if you don’t know Cher on sight, you have no business working at an arena.

Reba McEntire — Her beverage demands include Diet Coke, caffeine-free Sprite, Coke Classic, Evian water (NO ICE!), and clear plastic Solo cups. The cups have to be absolutely clear, not opaque. What’s that about?

Dixie Chicks — Even when they were merely the opening act, the Chicks were opinionated, bossy girls. Here they suggest the venue convert some of the men’s bathrooms into women’s facilities, to accommodate their female fans. Love that.

Lucinda Williams — Hardly a diva, Lucinda’s contract requests take-out menus, beer, soda and some soy milk. Also, any “extra nice touches” are greatly appreciated. A class act.

Amy Winehouse — She doesn’t want any Styrofoam cups, because they’re bad for the planet. She does, however, demand Marlboro Lights.

Sheryl Crow — This one is my favorite. Not only does she have a booze for every day of the week, she asks for black socks, some postcards and one bar of soap.

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