These musicians have the weirdest tour riders ever


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When you think about musicians’ tour riders, the first group that probably comes to mind is Van Halen. The ‘80s classic rock band’s backstage rider is famous for its ban of brown M&Ms. Singer David Lee Roth has said that they didn’t actually expect promoters to remove those M&Ms; they just wanted to make sure people were paying attention.

But beyond the (faux) ban on brown M&M’s, riders have gotten a lot wilder over the years. Here, we take a look at some of the most off-the-wall musician requests that we could find.

Guns N' Roses
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Guns ‘n’ Roses

The bad-boy band Guns’n’ Roses kept their rider simple and on brand: Adult mags and 4 cartons of cigarettes. (Yes, cartons.)

Iggy Pop
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Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop and the Stooges have a tour rider for the ages. Written by roadie Jos Grain, next to each technical request, there’s some charming commentary. Example: “We need: one (1) monitor man who speaks good English and is not afraid of death. {Only joking…. or am I?}.” Catering requirements start with this rather sweet pre-amble: ‘First of all, can I say what a pleasure it will be to work with you all. Probably. Secondly, and rather more importantly, I will be working for the Stooges on the day of the show. I personally do not drink alcohol, I don’t like soft drinks, I am rather too fat to be allowed near chocolate and cakes, and I get paid enough to buy my own drugs and dinner. So I would like you to donate, say, 50 U. S. Dollars to a local homeless charity in lieu of the stuff I could possibly have consumed. It’s not much I know, but it’s better than nothing… Oh, and I’ll need a receipt.”

According to the roadie, for food, the band is partial to thick vegetarian soups and pizza, in case you were wondering what they will eat.

This rider might be the longest and the most demanding, but we can’t wait to hang out with them.



The late, great Prince had a highly curated tour rider. The Purple One’s needs included a full coffee and tea set up (lemon, honey, sugar cream, etc.), light snacks (trail mix, fruit, hummus and pita), as well as the very Princely need for two scented candles (jasmine, lavender).

Motley Crue

Mötley Crüe

This rider’s reputation precedes it, but we can’t find any firm evidence that it exists. Supposedly, they requested: Grey Poupon, Alcoholics Anonymous meeting locations, a boa constrictor, and creamy peanut butter…

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Harry Styles
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Harry Styles

Now that he’s all grown up, Harry Styles seems pretty chill, but back during his One Direction teen band days, there were more demands for the five-member group (which, curiously, only needed four “Star” dressing rooms). First, they needed lots of non-alcoholic beverages, waters, and sodas. They wanted any ugly sterile rooms to be covered with soft drapes to induce a mood, and they wanted something to play—table tennis or pinball.

Mariah Carey
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Mariah Carey

The diva of all divas, Mariah Carey’s tour rider is as extra as she is. She needs a large room, big enough to fit 10 people, wants drapes on the walls (just like One Direction) to set the mood, and insists on a full lounge seating set up, likely bigger and better than our own living room. Her booze beverage of choice is a bottle Opus One Cabernet Sauvignon, which goes for over $300 a bottle, and don’t forget to decorate with white roses.


Kanye West

It would be disappointing if Kanye West didn’t have an amazing tour rider, and he doesn’t let us down. On his Saint Pablo Tour tour, he required a slushie machine that made two adult beverages—you could choose from frozen Hennessy and coke or frozen Grey Goose and lemonade.

Cardi B

Cardi B

You might expect Cardi B to be a diva about her rider, but her requirements at Coachella a few years ago weren’t too high-maintenance and covered all the basics: booze (Hennessy, 1942 tequila), food (veggies and fried chicken), personal items (deodorant and razors), caffeine (coffee and Red Bull), as well as six dozen white roses.

Marilyn Manson
P. Diddy/Sean Combs
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Beyonce is also meticulous: a rider showed that she requested hand-carved ice balls for her throat, new toilet seats in the bathroom, and um… red (???) toilet paper. Water temp must be a cool 21 degrees (Celsius, or about 70 in Fahrenheit), and she wants nothing but the best for her crew—who must wear 100 percent cotton shirts.

Madonna on stage


No one will be surprised to learn that Madonna’s tour rider is basically a small book: A few years ago InTouch magazine got a leaked copy which included more than 20 requirements for her hotel and backstage area, including—a new extra firm mattress (NO QUILT TOP!!), black-out curtains or a blacked out window (including all LED lighting must be covered); simple pale roses (NO FILLER!!), two warm-mist humidifiers (filled ONLY with Volvic mineral water—which is her water of choice). She also needs a height-adjustable massage table, a portable halogen heater, and four power extension strips, ‘cause she’s apparently got a lot of devices to charge all the time.

Grace Jones

Grace Jones

Legendary singer Grace Jones needs more than just perfectly chilled water and light snacks; she needs good champagne (six bottles of Louis Roederer Cristal, which costs $300-plus), French vintage red and white wine, sushi and sashimi, fresh lemons, fruit platter, oysters, oyster knife (she does her own shucking), all cups must be real glass, none of that plastic stuff, and bunches of lilies and orchids.

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