Fun Facts From the Leaked EDM DJ Riders


As mentioned in yesterday’s post, EDM Snob got a hold of a bunch of the contracts for big-name DJs and posted them on his site. While he didn’t take much time in pouring over the details, I did. Here’s my second post in comparing the special requests of superstar DJs. Yesterday I compared the unique requests in their contracts, while today we get into the fun stuff: small details in their riders that reveal the luxuries and special requests that happen backstage at a huge EDM show.

The list of contracts that EDM Snob posted includes Afrojack, Calvin Harris, Chuckie, David Guetta, Deadmau5, Dirty South, DJ Pauly D, Groove Armada, Kaskade, Nero, Paul Van Dyk, Pendulum, Roger Sanchez, Sidney Samson, Steve Lawler, The Crystal Method and Soulwax. Steve Aoki has also posted a blog post defending the luxuries in his rider.


Here’s a list of small details in these riders that tell you a little about who these superstar DJs really are, behind the scenes.

  • – Apparently Soulwax is more concerned with sleeping then partying. Their rider says, “Please ensure that all rooms are located in a QUIET part of the hotel, away from any noisy equipment such as ice machines or elevators. Mattresses should be the firmest available no Tempur Pedic mattresses please.”
  • – Pendulum, Soulwax and Groove Armada requires an ironing board and, while all of the DJs request a clean room, Deadmau5 makes special mention that his dressing room be meticulously clean.
  • – Dirty South asks for Sharpie pens (anyone else like to imagine they’re tagging venue bathroom walls?)
  • – Both Soulwax and Deadmau5 smoke Marlboros. Groove Armada asks the promoter to provide a space for them to roll their Golden Virginia and Drum tobacco on blue Rizla papers.
  • – Pendulum likes to play X-Box.
  • – Most of the special requests in Afrojack’s rider are due to his height (2.07meters/6.79 feet)
  • – Crystal Method’s catering requirements are strictly organic, including the beer and wine. They don’t use artificial sweeteners. They ask for a recycle bin and prefer recycled napkins and plates.


Occasionally the contract or rider would ask for something that seemed like it should be accompanied by a wink or smiley. Other special requests were simply, asSteve Aoki puts it, “definitely a ballin’ move. Do I need it? No, but if I can get it…sweet!”

  • – Soulwax’s promoter contact and all drivers are required to speak English and they also require their stagehands to be sober. Their lighting tech must be “GOOD, ENGLISH speaking, SOBER, WILLING & SEXY.”
  • – Most of Pendulum’s rider suggests there are twenty people in their party, but they require at least fifty full-sized towels.
  • – Many of the artists asked for candles to be included in their dressing room area, for no reason other than to set the mood.
  • – Groove Armada asks for “2 identical fridge magnets of local interest and a novelty beer bottle opener.”
  • – Soulwax’s catering requests include “One (1) jar of real manuka Honey” “Dom Perignon – MUST be vintage”
  • – Pendulum requires meal tickets for breakfast, lunch and dinner in addition the lavish spread required in the Green room. That would all be reasonable considering, as they put it, “the band and crew would have most probably done an overnight to get to the festival,” but then in addition to that they also require eight large pizzas at the end of the show. Pendulum must be getting very fat, or feeding many groupies, or throwing away a lot of food…probably all three.
  • – Most curious is why Deadmau5’s rider calls for their dressing room to include “1 large inflatable animal, inflated and at least 5’ tall.”

While many of the demands may seem excessive, keep in mind that these guys are living out of suitcases. They don’t have full access to the amenities of home and often the food in the green room is their next meal. Also note that some of these demands may be standard parts of the managing company’s contract, and not specifically requested by the Djs themselves. Finally, Steve Aoki reminds his fans that some of the things requested are not for him, but for his crew. For example, most of the DJs have at least one vegetarian on board, and request vegetarian options. That’s not being a diva, that’s looking out for your crew.

If you were a superstar DJ, what what luxuries would you demand in your contract? Or better yet, when you become a superstar DJ, what luxuries will you demand in your contract?

2 Responses to “Fun Facts From the Leaked EDM DJ Riders”

  1. rick July 14, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    i would ask for a bluray player and a copy of Step Brothers. Johnnie Walker Black.