Saturday, October 16, 2010

$$$ How much do "roadies" get paid $$$

Whilst helping my husband set up his drum set, PA, speakers, mics, stands, etc. etc., I wondered if I could make a living doing this. You see before/after concert footage with the time-lapse video of the stage, equipment, lights, etc. going up and taken down, however, one has to acknowledge how much physical work/effort really does go into a stage show. This begs the question, how much do these folks make.

The obvious place to start was a rough Google search for the question "how much do roadies make". I wasn't expecting for find exact salaries for specific bands/tours, etc. as this is personal wage information and does not have to be disclosed, but cripes, about 321,000 results were returned. A lot of these results were from other bloggers postulating, however there were a few "good" answers, but I focused on the one name that I recognized.....Shure, makers of fine mics and audio equipment! My husband has drummed (no pun intended) that name into my head, as the best mic out there.

Shure Notes/Roadie Rules -
This online article broke down the various roadie positions, complete with job description. Never knew there were so many different names! As well, it provided a helpful list on "How to Get Started" and a list of resources for additional reading, as well as links to job postings....

Being the inquisitive person that I am (or just really, really nosy), I felt compelled to click the link to JACKPOT. This site has it all: news, music headlines, roadie chat (want to create an account so bad, just to read what they discuss!), photos, links, polls, downloads, top 10 lists, and my personal favorite......Roadie Lingo!!! However, it was still lacking the $$ info that spurred my initial inquiry, so back to the drawing board.

I remembered the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles a document called the Occupational Outlook Handbook, containing job descriptions as well as projections of the profession and wages, but does "roadie" fall anywhere in this?? I did Google the OOH online and went to the site, but retrieved zilch for "roadie" when searched, so I tried "musician" this is the link to the handbook entry for Musicians, Singers, and related workers... This still does not answer my question. I think the BLS doesn't classify "roadie" as a job, but rather the work that the individual is doing, I manual labor, electrician, instrument tuner, etc, so you would have to search for each one of these based upon the task the roadie is doing. Onward again.

After much more additional searching, I will conclude with the answer that the wage is "flexible" and depends upon the individual (are they excellent at what they do, have they been with the group for a long time, do they have a very specific in-demand skill set) and the size of the group or organization they are touring with, anything from a local folk band, to the Ringling Bros. Circus, to U2....

I still think it would be worth it to be able to go on tour with a band. Anyone know if Crowded House needs a traveling librarian? Just sayin', they may need to have some questions researched...


  1. So basically you get paid for the amount of work and the quality of work you do? Hmm sounds like it would be a interesting job just dunno if I could make a living off of it. Also I'll keeo my eyes peeled for ya.

  2. I am the super roadie. For the past ten years I have been traveling with the punk band Another Damn Disappointment. We have traveled with Warped Tour twice and done several other West Coast tours with bands like Pennywise, Guttermouth, Strung Out, and Authority Zero; just to name a few. I have never came home with any money but the band also makes very little $500-1,000 a show with 5 people and that whole amount is spent on the after parties. We kinda have a rule... The more money we make; the more fucked up we get!!! njk lol.

    Anyway, the biggest reason that I wanted to post on this blog was to tell you that I like your writing style. I wrote for my college newspaper, Sac State Hornet, and closely judge syntax and context. Keep Writing!!!

    1. BTW I am hammered right now and just realized that there were mad errors in my post but...