Yup. Likely it's the smart move and here's why - first, from the hungry band perspective and then from the savvy smooth event perspective.
We've heard some of the over the top band rider stories. The Foo Fighter rider is hilarious and goes down in Rider History (betcha didn't know there was such a thing). Check out this choice excerpt:
"ALSO - Let's try and think outside the box as we consider Chicken Breasts. A bunch of lightly cooked chicken breasts with goo on them are not fun, not exciting and definitely not GOING TO GET YOU A HUG FROM OUR BASS PLAYER NATE. (He's a real people person, not like the guy from Nirvana)."
It's an entertaining read but not what we're talking about when we include "providing the band with a hot meal" in a performance rider. A Hip Entertainment "feed the band" is a practical inclusion that contributes to an excellent event. Well also, the musicians are so grateful to get delicious food it's a feel good moment in the middle of event busyness. Happy!
The reality is that your entertainer's day starts way before the event with load up and travel and extends well beyond with load out and travel home. A twelve hour day is the norm and we've found over the years that nothing refuels better than a hot meal and a lot of water. Possibly some caffeine too. Aside from the logistics and timeline - performing well is all about expending a lot of energy and your artists need to have some to expend some.
"Feeding the band" usually becomes a question when there is a pricey per head catering count. Event centers and planners know that vendor meals are the way to go. Does a band need a good hot meal? Yes. Does it need to be the Risotto with Truffles (yum!) your Aunt Grace loves? Nope. It can be a tasty but much less expensive lasagna and salad. Your experienced caterer or venue management can give you options or we're happy to help at our office too.
Another option in some situations is the food buyout. Offering band management a food buyout option means the band gets a set amount of money to buy their own meals. This works if there are walkable restaurant options around the area and if the event timeline allows for travel. It doesn't work if there are:
- Valet parked vehicles
- Restricted entrance and exit (for security or logistics)
- A lot of traffic in the area
- Inclemate weather
- Tight timeline
Veteran event and wedding planners often prefer providing band meals over the buyout option because it reduces variables and increases pre-event serenity. A big plus on the big day.
Every year around wedding time feeding the band is a hot topic on the wedding event boards. The Wedding Wire had a rousing discussion about it awhile back and The Knot is having an interesting and ongoing back and forth about all wedding vendors. Generally, we land in the camp with the people who have the most experience and recommend a good vendor meal on site. Proactive planning though, can make almost any situation work and that is exactly what we are happy to do. Party on!
Hip Entertainment loves to craft custom riders for your event. Or help you book the Foo Fighters. Lost in the maze of details? Call Melissa or Annie at 916.354.9924 and they'll untangle your knots.