When artists reach a certain level of interstellar fame, they unlock certain privileges when they are due to perform at a venue. These are referred to as a Rider, and they are demands that an artist can make to the host of a venue they are appearing at. Some artists may ask for 500 bottles of Coca Cola, and others may ask for new doorknobs to be installed at every venue they perform at. Believe it or not, almost all artists have a Rider and some demands are a lot crazier than others.
Some Riders are relatively harmless, others are darn right insane, and others are there just for a joke. The purpose, ultimately, is to appease the artists and their crew. If the performer is feeling good before the show, chances are the performer is going to put on a really good show for all the fans that paid money to show up to the event.
To non-celebrities, a Rider might be seen as a reflection of an artist’s ego as there are not many other industries that have Riders, so from the outside it can appear odd.
However, taking a peek at an artist’s Rider can help you get into the mindset of an artist before they perform in front of a crowd of people. Maybe 500 chicken wings really will help Maria Carey sing better. Maybe the 10 litres of Diet Coke will give Ed Sheeran the energy boost he needs to perform well.
Here at WeJam, we have compiled a list of 7 Dressing Room Demands that make artists look like complete divas. Let’s begin!
If you’ve ever been stuck in traffic on your way to work or rushing back home to get ready to go out for someone’s birthday, then you know the struggle of being a non-celeb. Being late for one reason or another is just a common thing to happen to everyone, unless you are Christina Aguilera.
Christina Aguilera’s Rider for events is a genius demand; as part of her rider deal, the star must have police escort everywhere she goes to make sure she’s never late to venues. Her rider document literally states that “under no circumstances are the vehicles to be allowed to encounter any delays due to traffic”.
So if you’re ever stuck in traffic and want to get unstuck, all you need to do is enter into the music industry and sell millions of records until you reach the same fame as Christian Aguilera. At which point you can have your own diva requests.
Up next is RNB superstar Justin Timberlake, and his requests are something we think everyone can relate to right now. His demand is less that of a diva, and more so of someone who is concerned about their health, which is understandable. The singer requests that all the doorknobs be cleaned at any venue he performs in or hotel he is staying at. Every 2 hours.
This Rider demand scores fairly low on the diva chart but high on the health-conscious indicator. Especially in a COVID-19 world – I think society’s collective awareness of how germs reach different surfaces and how long they can live on those surfaces has increased massively. Where things begin to creep into Diva territory is that Timberlake always requests access to an entire hotel floor to himself and the elevator.
The Purple Rain singer himself could not be forgotten about on this list because Prince might just have the craziest Rider we have ever heard. Before we get into why it is so crazy, just think back to some of the other demands by other artists on this list and get ready to compare what we have already learned to Prince and his Rider for an event.
If his iconic “Blue Angel Cloud” guitar wasn’t big enough of a clue that Prince was a diva, then maybe the fact that a newly built house was part of his demands will be. Yes, you’re reading that right. For a performance in London for one of his Earth Tour stops, the singer asked for a 5-bedroom house to be built that he would then use as a home for all of his London visits. The crazy part is, the demand was met, and the stunning house was built next door to London’s 02 Arena.
For those of you reading that are considering renovating your bathroom with all the money you’ve saved during lockdown, hold onto your cash with a tight grip because this next entry is going to hurt. Internationally known superstar Madonna has an odd Rider demand when it comes to the comfort of the bathroom and the idea of how many people have previously used the toilet at any venue she is performing at.
Madonna demands that a new toilet must be installed at every venue she performs at. Which is great for plumbers because it keeps them in business, but it is a hefty request for venues that have to undergo this big renovation whenever Madonna is performing. Obviously, this is Madonna we’re talking about. If Madonna asks you to do something, consider it basically done because we imagine it will be hard to say no to the icon that she is.
If we take a trip back to 2016; Britain had just voted to leave the European Union, Donald Trump won the presidency, and Lindsay Lohan was still making headlines. Lindsay Lohan’s successful music and film career has given her a level of fame that reaches all over the world. In 2016, Lohan was due to appear on a Russian talk show called Pust Govoryat (Let Them Talk) and the channel reached out to Lohan’s team in order to request the star’s Rider, and the diva did not hold back.
Some of the items listed on the Rider allegedly included: a Russian visa for one-year, exclusive access to a private jet, a one on one meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladamir Putin and $800,000 (£650,000). What’s crazy is that most of the demands were met by the channel, however, we have yet to see a picture of Lohan and Putin together, so we don’t think this demand was met.
For fans of Jersey Shore on MTV, this next entry is for you. Paul D. DelVecchio Jr. or DJ Pauly as he is commonly referred, to has an incredible track record of being both a Diva and a DJ. Pauly doesn’t ask for much, but when he does, all he requires is a VIP table all for himself and 4 huge bottles of champagne to spray at the crowd. DJ Pauly doesn’t have an extensive list of requests, but it is very funny to think about this diva on a VIP table, all to himself and surrounded by bottles of champagne to hose down the crowd with.
Capping off our list we have Jay-Z with another crazy demand to add to our list of Diva demands. Multi-award-winning artist Jay-Z does not shy away from the lavish lifestyle his hard work has rewarded him with. Again, when you reach a certain level of celebrity, no rider request is impossible or silly, and Jay-Z pushes his requests to the absolute limits.
A released Rider list from 2009 when Jay was performing at the University of Arizona details how the artists needed 7 dressing rooms (all set to 22 degrees Celsius) and each packed with: a large couch, a love seat, two matching end tables, two lamps, two banquet tables with tablecloths and a marvellous spread to feed the Jay, Bey and his entire entourage.
So Who is the biggest Diva?
In the end, there can only be one Diva. It must come down to which artist had the craziest demands and managed to have them met. From that basis, it has to be Prince. The legend not only got to perform at The 02 in London in front of 20,000 people, but he also got a mansion built for him in central London. Prince is definitely the Purple Rain Diva!
If you think you’re a Diva and you have what it takes to rock out like the legends on this list, then take a look at our live jam sessions and book your place today! Our immersive music experiences are friendly, and accessible to everyone regardless of their musical ability, as well as being a great way to experience what it would be like to be in a band. You also get to request your own Rider for being an esteemed guest at WeJam! Obviously, you can’t ask for a $500,000 mansion to be built, but we will make sure you have all the props you need to make your experience with us as memorable as possible! You can check out the full list of the WeJam Riders as you progress through the checkout pages.