Make a visual Kit List, stage rider for your gigs.

The Horrorist - Kit List

Imagine showing up to perform at a nightclub and there is no table for you to set your equipment up on. Imagine there are no monitor speakers. Imagine the stage is accessible to anyone in the club so you have to stand there all night watching your stuff. Sounds bad huh? In fact, there is a list of items I need to be happy and if any single one is missing I will be miserable.

There are three strong reasons to make your Kit List / rider with images instead of just text. First, if you perform in a another country and they don’t speak your language and you send only text well your screwed. Even if the promoter spoke English to you in emails that doesn’t mean his tech guy will understand you. Next, be aware that some items are called different things depending what country you are in. For example in the USA we say LCD Projector. Everywhere I have been in Europe calls them “Beemers”. In the USA we call patch cables 1/4″. In German they are called Klinke. Don’t learn this the hard way. Lastly, believe it or not a lot of nightclubs are permanently dark. Give the sound guy an easy to see visual guide and he will reward you with bass!

Kit List - The HorroristYou can use a number of programs to make your visual guide. Over the years as I updated my own Kit List I went from Quark Express to Adobe InDesign to now Apple Pages. Whatever you use to create it export it as a PDF so anyone can open it. Name the file something like “The Horrorist Kit List.pdf” this way who ever you send it to will easily find it on their computer.

I create two sheets. The first is titled “What we bring with us.”. This is everything we use in the live show. This give the tech guys a good idea of what your doing. The next page is called “What you are required to provide.”. Yes this is the important page and yes here you list all the things you need or the show won’t happen.

Another thing to mention is it’s a good idea to bring a copy of your kit list with you. If something gets stolen you have a visual guide to show the local police. Finally, if your returning from your gig and you get stopped at customs your Kit List is proof you brought these items with you. Especially important if your laptop looks new.

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on December 7, 2007 at 5:16 am, filed under live performance and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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8 Responses to “Make a visual Kit List, stage rider for your gigs.”

  1. lagowski says:

    I’ve played in many clubs around the world and you’ll be lucky to get a table and soundcheck longer than 15 minutes at most European clubs! Japan has been the best….and in Germany, LCD Projectors are called ‘beamers’ as in video beamers….

    :-)

    Good advice you’ve given though! My 2 cents – don’t rely on anyone but yourself and always have a good escape route!

  2. Yeah it’s true… sound check is usually 20 minutes. I don’t need much of one myself. I just make sure I can hear nicely on the monitor and adjust the eq on my voice for the room a bit.

  3. “don’t rely on anyone but yourself and always have a good escape route!”

    Lagowski, all joking aside but I couldnt agree more, I made a shady exit once many years ago in Queens. A few months earlier before the shady exit, I was at a rave in Manhattan, my girlfriend got harrased than fondled by one of the Dusthead thugs. I threw the guy into a wall, he was too dusted to fight back.. almost got knifed by his crew after the party though. Same crew waiting for me outside a Dj booth a few months later, I left through some crazy back janitor exit, I had the owner buggin out, I told him what was going on, he was insisting to have a sit down and have a few drinks with them and squash it. I told him no, he got insulted told me never come back. And that was when everyone just transitioned from pagers to cell phones, I had just got one and had a cab waiting for me right outside that door, had to leave some lights behind. Does Shit like that happen in Europe alot??

  4. lagowski says:

    I haven’t been in that bad a situation, but my friend and I did a gig in Berlin at Supamollie (two big houses full of squatters, turned into a venue). They had alarms fitted in case of skinhead attacks and the alarm went off during the soundcheck! We were told “Stay here and nothing will happen to you”. After a few scary minutes, the organiser told us that it was a panic-false alarm as someone thought the skinheads were coming after seeing police cars with flashing lights! I did hear that Estonia can be bad too – an acquaintance was robbed and beaten up after doing a gig there…

  5. Skinhead alarm! I never heard of that! What kind of music do you make and what year was this? I’m living in Berlin and seems fairly tame to me. Check out a few photos from my recent live show at club Maria at Ostbahnhof:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/thingstocomerecords/sets/72157602765611345/

    image

  6. I read Jordana(aka 187, Liquid Sky) got beat really bad once after a gig in Chicago. Say it might have been gay-bash related after 187 went post-op and became Jordana

  7. Mr Chesler, just peeping your list and not to be nosy but how old is your 410? Mine just took a poop 2 weeks ago, started making the music unlistenable and also added an unpleasant distorted flanging noise, as well as the hardware being unrecognized by my comp, mines a about 3 years old, happened to my buddy last week at the last minute also, took him off the roster at “Load” in UK and gave the Dj b4 him some time to get in some extra records. I called M-audio tech support, got a really helpful tech who asked me to try a few things and call back, unluckily the other techs i got after him were total retards.

  8. I got my M-Audio Firewire 410 the first week they released them to the public. It’s always worked well. I emailed M-Audio once because one of the screws on the front went missing. They sent me new screws, a hat and T-shirt all free! I would definitely hit up support and see if they can do anything for you. I’m happily surprised that it already works in Leopard too. Next weekend I will use it for the 1st time under Leopard live in London.

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