People in the audience of Brownton Abbey.
Browton Abbey- Image credit: Viktor Frankowski

Creating your own Access Rider

Earlier this month, we held an access rider workshop with Leah Clements and Alice Hattrick for some of our Unlimited alumni. Our trainee, MJ, has put together a resource inspired by the workshop to help you create your own access document.  

Most people are familiar with celebrity riders: documents that state the requirements of an artist for a show or event. You might have even read about some of their outlandish requests; blue M&Ms, fresh flowers in every room, red toilet paper etc. But have you ever considered creating your own rider? A way to communicate all your access needs in one place!  

During a residency at Wysing Arts Centre, artists Lizzy Rose, Leah Clements, and Alice Hattrick researched and explored the idea of an access document. The idea stemmed from the practice of musicians and artists having a ‘rider,’ a list of demands that need to be met for the artist to have the best working environment. Johanna Hedva, who worked with the trio during the residency, explains it on their website: “access documents are used by rock stars and divas all the time—they’re simply called riders and no one bats an eye. This is because they are helpful for everyone involved: the person can say what they need in order to do their thing, and the venue/institution knows exactly how to provide support for them to do their thing.” 

Access can be a tricky subject, and sometimes it’s awkward trying to let people know your needs in a working relationship. With an access rider it’s an easy way  to communicate your needs with fellow artists, organisations, or employers. From this event, we’ve created a new resource. It’s designed to answer some of the questions you may have about what an access rider is and how to make one. In the document, you will find some prompts and an example of one type of access doc, to get you thinking about how to structure your own. 

Download your guide to creating your own access document here. (Microsoft Word format)

Listen to an audio version of the guide by Milton Lopes below: