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How Do I Become a Roadie?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 28 March 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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There are likely plenty of people who have a desire to be part of the music industry, but their talent lies elsewhere. Fortunately, touring the world with a band does not always require musical talent. Becoming a roadie is one way to be as close as possible to rock stars without performing onstage. If you have a skill that bands could use, typically relating to backstage work, it is possible to get a job as roadie. Nurturing a marketable skill, getting educated, and contacting with local bands can all lead to success in this role.

Most roadies help in some capacity backstage, but there is usually a wide range of jobs that bands need done before performing gigs. If you have little technical knowledge, but can move heavy equipment, you could assist with stage setup before and after gigs. Band equipment is often heavy, and most band members are too busy rehearsing or getting ready for the show to struggle with it themselves. Bands that are particularly busy with several shows in a row will likely appreciate the help of having a roadie.

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If heavy lifting does not interest you, work on honing technical skills that most bands need. These could include lighting, sound, stage design, and pyrotechnics. Some band members attempt these tasks on their own, but most would probably pay to have a professional who specializes in one or more of these tasks. Even if you taught yourself these skills, you will likely find it easier to obtain a position as a roadie after you have technical training. This may include some classes as the local community college, or it could be a full-blown degree in a subject like sound engineering, lighting, or music.

Like most other jobs, you will likely have to start small and work up to a well paying position. One of the best ways to find out if being a roadie is for you is to contact local bands. Most will probably not be able to pay much, if at all, but at least you can get experience to put on a resume, as well as see if you the lifestyle fits you. The chances are good that someone you know has a band, but if this is not the case, you can visit nearby venues that feature local bands to ask if they need any help backstage.

Once you have worked with one or more local bands for a few months, you will probably have a good idea of whether you want to continue this kind of work. If so, consider sending your resume out to bigger bands in your area. Eventually, either a band you have been working with might become quite popular, or you can start submitting your resume to well-known bands since you have experience.

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