I don’t work in the hospitality department at the music center, but I’m just a few cubicles over from the people who do, plus we share a refrigerator.
Sometimes I open said refrigerator and see impressive-looking foodstuffs labeled with an emphatic “DO NOT EAT.” Right now there is a fruit pie bearing these very words. This means that the food is intended for a visiting performer.
I hear some interesting stories about the requirements built into artists’ contracts, not just in the area of food but also the layout of the green room and the behavior of the audience. I’m going to be super-lame here and not name any names in the interest of not getting in trouble with The Man, but here are some anecdotes:
- One pop star stipulated that the green room must be stocked with multiple specific types of alcohol, including some very expensive bottles of wine. She mostly didn’t drink it.
- A combination actor-singer consented to a meet-and-greet before his concert, but he refused to take photos with individuals — groups only — and made one girl change her homemade fan shirt as it was dubbed a bit too amorous (okay, fair enough).
- I’ve heard about quite a few performers who absolutely refused to allow anyone to enter the hall once the concert had started; anyone who was late would have to wait until intermission to take their seats.
- Other requested items: black and white pillows, halogen desk lamps, a “comfortable” space (er, yes, but in what regard? No further details provided)
I may sound a little snarky, but it’s mostly just salt — no one ever asks me what kind of baked good I want when I arrive in a new town; of course, the only thing standing between me and acres of bread pudding is a dearth of talent and charisma. But it also makes me giggle, because somewhere out there is a musician who receives a fruit pie everywhere he goes.
All right, professional musicians and performers of all stripes, I know you’re out there in my sea of readership. Give me the list of your demands! And how about those who cater to the whims of others — what are the most ridiculous requests you’ve fielded?