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Roadie Technical support staff, technical support crew

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Roadies help stage music concerts, setting up before the show, looking after instruments and packing away afterwards.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: Variable average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements, but it may help if you have:

  • experience and qualifications in electronics, electrical work, sound production, music technology or lighting
  • a Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) licence or Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) licence
  • fork lift truck training and experience

It may also help if you speak a second language and have paid or unpaid work experience, like:

  • working for local bands
  • working backstage in college or amateur theatre productions
  • casual work at local concert venues, gigs or festivals
  • working for equipment hire and supply companies

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • good practical skills
  • calmness under pressure
  • the ability to follow instructions
  • reliability and discipline

3. What you'll do

Your duties may include:

  • lifting and carrying equipment and sets
  • driving, loading and unloading vans, trailers and tour buses
  • acting as security for equipment and band members
  • setting up and looking after sound equipment
  • setting up video equipment and screens
  • rigging up wiring and lighting
  • setting up pyrotechnics (fireworks) and laser displays
  • tuning instruments during the show
You may also be responsible for other tour management duties, like booking travel and caterers or issuing backstage passes.

4. Salary

You’ll often work on a freelance basis and rates will depend on the job and your experience.

With experience you could earn around £150 a day.

With technical skills and extensive experience you could earn £250 a day or more.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll often work late into the night and 7 days a week, for a few weeks or months at a time while on tour. 

There may be rest days between gigs and long breaks between tours.

Concerts can be anywhere from clubs and theatres to sports arenas and outdoor festivals.

You may travel around the whole of the UK and overseas and be away from home for long periods.

You’ll lift and carry heavy equipment, and may need to work at height on ladders and rigging. 

Venues are often noisy and work spaces may be cramped.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a road or tour manager, or move into band management or music promotion. 

With further technical skills, you could move into lighting or sound for theatre, film or television.

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Last updated: 13 September 2018