Behind the Glamour of Showbiz Are the Roadies; in Association with Publicjobswales.Co.UK If You Love Music and Have a Practical or Technical Nature, a Career as a Roadie May Appeal. Michelle Rushton Climbed Up a Gantry to Find out More

Article excerpt

Byline: By MICHELLE RUSHTON

WHAT does a career as a roadie involve?

Roadies, sometimes called musical instrument technicians or crew, are employed by pop and rock bands to help set up and stage music concerts and other events.

This involves everything from setting up equipment before a gig and looking after the instruments, to packing them all away after the show.

Some groups employ one roadie to do a range of duties, while others will need a crew of hundreds for specialist work with complex technical equipment.

Roadies are also employed by agencies or venues, or may tour with a band or equipment rental company.

They are employed to lift and carry equipment and sets, drive, load and unload vans, trailers and buses and set up video equipment, computers etc.

They are also involved in lighting and stage design, rigging electrical wires and designing and managing pyrotechnics (fireworks) and laser displays, as well as tuning and checking instruments.

Some roadies may also do other tour management duties like booking travel, dealing with catering and arranging backstage passes. They may even be required to act as security for band members.

What personal skills do you need?

You need to be physically fit, as there will be lots of lifting and carrying heavy equipment, and must not be scared of heights as you may need to work high up on ladders and rigging.

You must be willing to work long hours including nights and weekends, and be prepared to be away from home for long periods when bands are on tour.

It helps if you are practical, hard working, interested in music and able to work as a team under pressure. …