Going on tour is well known for its countless benefits, including the ability to network and grow as a musician and/or group. However, in addition to the artists themselves, roadies also play a key role in the touring process, as they’re responsible for some of the most integral behind-the-scenes details, such as setting up equipment. If you’re considering becoming a roadie or simply looking into a unique career change that’s as close to the stage as possible, here are just three skills that are necessary to do the job.
Communication skills are a must
Amongst the most important skills that anyone looking to become a roadie should have are good communication skills, as well as the ability to work well as a team — both of which go hand in hand. Since the job includes various tasks such as setting up and taking down equipment in a timely manner, communicating with other roadies and band members can prove to be imperative when it comes to keeping in the know about schedule changes, time changes, and other important need-to-know information. By effectively communicating with others, you can increase productivity while on the job. Indeed, getting your message across clearly and correctly is integral to effective workplace communication.
The importance of time management
Those looking into becoming a roadie must also possess strong time management skills, as setting up, taking down and packing equipment will all need to be done on time, otherwise the band’s reputation could be at risk. Depending on your exact role, you may be faced with having to carefully plan and manage logistical details in order to ensure that everything is ready when need be. While this can seem like a lot of responsibility, it’s an integral part of the job in which learning how to prioritize and going by a set schedule can help. Such aspects of being a roadie — like developing strategies and maximizing efficiency — cross over into other careers as well, like that of a supply chain manager. For example, while a roadie must figure out how to set up, take down, and pack equipment in the most efficient way possible, a supply chain manager must optimize the efficiency of supply chains. Look at the transferrable skills you have from previous jobs — they could serve you well on the road, and if you’ve worked in the logistics sector, in particular, you’re likely to have many of the skills you need.
A bit of knowledge goes a long way
While there aren’t necessarily any specific requirements for becoming a roadie (though in some cases there may be, depending on the group), a little bit of knowledge or experience beforehand can go a long way. For example, knowing how lighting and sound equipment work can help you to more easily jump into your new role as a roadie. This will be a great help when it comes to major aspects of the job, like setting up microphones, programming stage lighting, and ensuring that the equipment is set up and working properly before the band is ready to perform. Not only can some prior knowledge make your job easier in general, but it can allow you to focus more on other things — like adapting to life on the road and ensuring that any logistics are taken care of.
Considering going on tour with a band as a roadie can be an exciting career change, but while there are no requirements for the role, having a few skills can certainly work to your advantage. From simply communicating effectively to learning how to manage your time and even having a bit of prior knowledge, you’re sure to fit right in.