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What's a Rider and a Draw? - Answers to know before you book shows

Updated on March 28, 2013

When you first start out gigging there will be a ton of new things to learn. The faster you know them, the quicker it will be for you to book better gigs. Here are some things you need to know:

1. Draw
This is probably a question you will get asked the most and consistently throughout your career. Venues and promoters want to know how many people you can get to your performance. It's important for them to know because they don't want anyone playing to an empty room since it makes them look bad. They end up losing money, bartenders don't get tips, security gets paid for essentially nothing -- they don't make any money!

Venues will sometimes have their own built in crowds but they like to know that the musicians they bring in can present something of value to them. You need to be more than a pretty sound.

2. Stage Plot
Stage Plots are exactly what they sound like. You plot where you want everything on the stage. Do you need 4 mics, a stool, a drum kit, keyboard? All of that should be listed and placed on your stage plot. This will help tremendously when you have your own shows.

3. Rider
A rider is not something that will likely come up in when you're first starting out but its good to know about and if things go well you may have one sooner rather than later.

Some other things you'll need to figure out before the gig are:
How are you promoting?
Who will be in charge of sound?
What merchandise you'll be bringing and who will watch it while you perform?
What is your set list?
How is everyone getting paid?!
How is everyone getting to the venue?


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