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How to become a Roadie

by Ben in Bites, Music with 0 comments 10/02/2012

So you want to be a Roadie? Here’s some information on how you can work your way up to becoming a roadie for bands and artists, and one day make a living out of the music industry!

There’s a lot to consider regarding becoming a roadie. Firstly, if you manage to make it your job, you’ll end up spending a lot of time away from home. Long trips, long tours and long hours. If that’s not a sacrifice you’re willing to make, perhaps the job isn’t quite for you. Also, you’ll need to specialise. “Roadie” is a surprisingly vague term – you need to specialise. Think about what areas you can help the band with, or what skills you can learn, roadie roles include lighting, stage design, instrument tech and more.

Steps you can take:
Learn. The powers that be wont always look at formal qualifications (hey, it’s the music industry) but it might be a good idea for you to gain some skills and qualifications. Even if it doesn’t necessarily get you jobs, knowledge is power, if somebody hires you for a gig and you can impress them with your skills, there’s no reason you wont get more jobs off the back of it.

Start at the bottom. When it’s time to start out, I’m afraid the only place is at the bottom, volunteer your services for some local bands, build a relationship with local venues and offer your services for any gigs they may organise. The more you get out there, the more experience you will gain and the more people you will meet, leading me to the next point…

Network. It’s all about who you know. Talk to everyone in the industry you possibly can, any of them could hear about a job and think of you, plus it never hurts to know people. One of them might give you an opportunity.

Search for jobs. Some bands may even advertise on their own site, but there are a few sites out there where you can create a profile and showcase your skills, is an example of one. Jobs are advertised there, be there to snap them up.

Be proactive. Even with a big web presence, jobs wont always come to you. But you can approach people, call the management of bands, or their promoters and the people organising their tour. Offer your services, send them your CV or resume. The worst you can expect is a firm “no”. Don’t be afraid to call.

Persevere. As advice goes, this is pretty common, but it’s common for a reason, things will get in the way, and as with any career, things wont fall into place easily. If you want it bad enough, stick at it, you’ll get your break sooner or later.

Once you’ve got a job
Make your contacts while working, use it as an opportunity to take a step up on the ladder. If you are self employed, you might not want to stop doing all of the steps listed above just because you have a job, it’ll help to still be getting your name out, the aim is to be in demand and have a steady flow of jobs! It doesn’t hurt to keep learning too, as I said before, knowledge is power!

Guru Bites Founder.

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