Ridiculous Rider Requests: DJ's Reveal Their Guilty Pleasures

It’s no secret that no two people are the same, especially when it comes to the artists in the EDM community. The varying personalities of all of the “big names” shine through for the world to see during their sets, whether it’s the way they dance to the beat of their own drums (literally) or the phrases they choose to belt out over the mic. That being said, if you want to learn the true identity (and guilty pleasures) of your favorite DJs, all you have to do is look at their riders.

A rider is a document given to the venue and promoters outlining everything the artist wants and needs the day of show.  They have been around forever and are essential to the success of any and all events.  While some of the ridiculous requests you will see below were probably cause for some negotiation, the artist tends to get what they want because there’s a greater benefit. For example, Tiesto can make a venue $500-a million dollars a night, so if he wants to have 100 bottles of Dom, it’s worth it to the venue to invest that.

Riders consist of a Technical Rider and a Hospitality Rider. The Tech rider can be pages and pages long listing mandatory equipment and set-up requirements. These can range from having ample space for external equipment, to specific booth preparations/microphones/amount of CO2/confetti/LED screens/booth monitors, etc. and are put in place so every single time an artist steps out on stage to play, it’s the exact same set-up as the night before.

The Hospitality Rider is where the fun stuff comes in. Classic requests include various types of food, drinks, alcoholic beverages, towels and the like.  They also include the props that make DJ sets unique…Steve Aoki doesn’t travel around with inflatable rafts and cakes, he puts them on his rider. However, each one of the big name DJ's whose riders I found had one or two “WTF” requests. *There is a possibility that some of these are fake, because it’s the Internet and who the hell knows? Irregardless, you’ll get a good laugh.

Calvin Harris:

  • 1 small tub of multivitamins (gotta stay healthy I guess)

  • Bunch of bananas (no apples allowed here)

Afrojack: (gives you no opportunity to forget how tall he is…)

  • Specify all hotel accommodations are for someone 6.79 feet in height (king bed)

  • Business class seat on the flight, because of artist’s length

  • Car for transportation must accommodate someone 6.79 feet in height

Steve Aoki

  • 3 large V necks-American Apparel and H&M acceptable

  • 6 Pairs of men’s underwear-briefs style (okay I get the “just in case” extra pair of underwear, but 6? Too much cake?)

  • 1 1/8 oz. of local grass (don’t want to make assumptions on what type of local grass he’s looking for, but if it’s not of the drug genre, what the hell is he doing with lawn grass!?)

Diplo: his “ridiculous requests” were under the “non-required but greatly appreciated” section, but must be noted

  • 2 air horns (okay fair)

  • 2 inflatable animals (yeah those were fun at #BADdayclub)

  • 1 paddle swimming pool (who has time for that?)

  • 1 framed picture of Diplo (conceited much?)

  • 1 gorilla (but not the inflatable kind…)

  • 10 magnum condoms (wishful thinking)

  • 1 Malawian orphan (yeah it keeps getting weirder)

  • 1 arranged marriage (didn’t think he was the marrying type...)

  • 1 original nintendo in the box- with receipt from kiddy city (I’ll give him this one)

  • 1 violin player-to play while we eat our cheese plate (I mean what else would you listen to while eating cheese…?)

  • 1 bonfire pit (this can’t be real)

  • 2 logs to sit on (because who uses chairs anymore)

  • 3rd season of Lost on VHS tapes (how else would he get pumped for a show)

  • 1 parrot that’s trained to say your name (confirmed: he’s nuts)

Dillon Francis: (you had to have known his was going to be the most ridiculous)

  • 1 framed photo of any action star from the years of 1985-2005 (why?)

  • 1 blow up doll with lube (we know why)

  • 1 piñata filled with candy (everyone loves candy)

  • 1 replica of the whip in Indiana Jones (if any venue pulled this off – props)

  • 1 box of condoms (for use with the blow up doll of course)

  • Black tar heroin (not cool)

  • 1 gun (crazy mother fucker)

  • 1 Amish made electric fireplace (because the Amish make them best)

  • 3 different VHS porn tapes (rented from Blockbuster?)

  • 1 signed photo of Avicii (haha, touché)

  • The promoter’s girlfriend’s phone number (actually LOLed at this one, I tip my hat to you Mr. Francis)

So now that we know what some of our favorite people in the industry request in return for their life changing beats and memorable event experiences…I know you want to know what us BAD KIDS would have on our rider…

  • Fireball: 1-2 bottles for every 2 crew members in attendance

  • Jack Daniels: 1 bottle for every 5 crew members in attendance

  • Doritos (for Andi)

  • Sour Watermelons and excessive amounts of Bad Kids bracelets to hand out in the DJ booths (for Taryn)

  • Pop tarts and apple juice (for Lex)

  • Go Pro Stick (for Ian “Make sure my stick is there!” Burka)

  • Cheese (for Steph from Wisconsin)

  • An instructor to do a bootcamp workout sesh in the green room (for Steph K)
  • Edible underwear (for Timmy to distribute to girls of his choice)

  • Brand new Glam tools (for Michael)

  • 3 King Tut Hats (for Harrison)

  • 4-6 E-cigs (for Kayla)

  • 1-2 Leather jackets (for Rodrigo)

  • 3 pairs of hoop earrings of various sizes (for Erika)

  • Chips and Guac (for Chelsea)

  • Speakers

  • Cell phone chargers (to ensure endless live tweeting)


Well, I’m sure if we asked Timmy for his opinion, there would be more exotic things on our rider list……

Let me know what you would have on your list!  @Taryn1126


Taryn Klein
Taryn Klein


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.