Want Mac Miller to Perform on Campus? Buy Condoms, Bake Cookies (@AlleghenyCampus @MacMiller)

Condoms.  Blue Solo cups (not red, blue).  Homemade cookies.  Pop-Tarts.  Socks.  And soup.  These items are among performer Mac Miller’s formal requests included in a contract for an upcoming concert at Allegheny College.

As a recent Allegheny Campus report by Katie McHugh explains, the requests are part of Miller’s contractual “rider, a list of items he asked the school to give him while he’s in town. . . . [A]rtists have always submitted riders before a concert, which often contain items that the school refuses to provide.”

The piece subsequently outlines the Miller request reactions of Allegheny officials (seemingly a heavy ‘this is how it works, we’re OK with everything but providing alcohol’ sigh) and students (interestingly, most consider the rider perfectly reasonable).  Overall, the contractual exploration is an excellent reminder about the value of looking behind the scenes of your school’s most popular shows.

Questions for a Related Report

Who and what is involved in the decision-making process involving outside performers staging shows on campus?  How much money for these performances is allocated and spent each semester or academic year?  Where does the money come from?  How much input do students have in the funding and performer selection decisions?  Once performers are selected, how are the related contracts handled, negotiated, and who is involved?  What is most often added in or taken out of the contracts?  What have been the most common items or services listed in the riders of performers?  In a related sense, what have been the oddest requested items or those previously turned down by the school?  To that end, what are your school’s general ‘rider’ rules re: providing or denying the requested items?  What other preparations and off-stage accommodations go into performers’ visits?  Similarly, what do performers do before and after the shows on or near campus?

Multimedia Options

1) Similar to the fantastic Campus infographic, a slideshow of the items included in the riders is a must, along with listed prices and the places the schools purchase them.  2) A video report showing everything BUT a performer’s show– the arrival, any campus glad-handing, backstage pre-show antics, and post-show socializing.

Offbeat Option

1) Collect and present a list of the items students would include in their riders if they were touring performers.  2) Or in a related sense, gather student recommendations on what performers should request when putting on shows at your school specifically.  For example, for those performing at the University of Tampa, I’d recommend the talent request Lightning hockey tickets or spring training baseball tickets for the Yankees and Phillies (depending on time of year) and locally-made cigars from the spots that churn them out in the nearby Cuban district.

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