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!
You 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.