Live Nation to debut online reality competition series

Los Angeles Times - September 23, 2013
By Gerrick D. KennedySeptember 23, 2013, 6:00 a.m.

Eminem asks for a jar of Gundelsheim pickles at every gig, Katy Perry loves flowers, but “absolutely no carnations” and The Foo Fighters prefer vegetarian soup choices since “meaty soups make roadies fart.”

Tour riders – an inventory of incredibly specific, non-negotiable requirements artists provide venues before an appearance — have long provided fodder for music writers looking to gape at the sometimes bizarre demands or rock stars (the Smoking Gun has a treasure trove of them, including Van Halen’s holy grail list of needs).

Now Live Nation has turned that behind-the-scenes challenge of filling artist needs typically reserved for some underpaid and underappreciated venue staffers into a reality competition.

The entertainment powerhouse teamed with Ford to produce “The Rider Challenge.”

In the online competition — it debuts Sept. 30 — six teams of two will race to fulfill an artist’s rider before showtime.

Fitz & The Tantrums, Kid Cudi, Fall Out Boy, the Lumineers and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros have all been tapped to appear on the series, which was filmed in Las Vegas, Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles.

What’s in it for contestants?

Hanging with rock stars, once they’ve met those pesky dressing room requests, of course. But the real prize is the Ford Fiesta (we think), and more importantly, the all-access pass to Live Nation concerts for a year that the final team standing scores.

A little grunt work of separating M&Ms and whatever else rock stars dream of to get unlimited access to Live Nation’s roster of shows? Yeah, count us in.

Live Nation’s site for “The Rider Challenge” went live on Friday and features a preview of the upcoming series.