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READER REPORT:

Life as a roadie not so rosie

SAM STUART
Last updated 15:00 23/07/2013
roadie
Working as a roadie involves long hours.

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Stuff Nation readers reveal what they do for a job and what it's really like day to day. 

Everyone assumes professional roadies live a party lifestyle while on the road.

The opposite is actually true for all the crews setting up the lights, sound systems, video and scenic departments. All these guys work 18-hour days everyday while on the road.

Here is a typical day:

8am: Roll out of your bunk on the tour bus, stumble outside to see what city you might be in. Try to find your way inside the theatre or stadium and try to find catering and some breakfast.

9am: Loading starts. Doesn't matter if it's one trailer of gear or 30 trailers, everything must be setup in four hours. Imagine an empty floor in an arena compared to what you see when you walk in for the show. All of that equipment was setup in four hours or less.

1pm: Everything is setup and tested, and the sound check for the headline act starts.

3pm: Opening acts set up and do a sound check.

6pm: Dinner before the show

7pm: Opening acts hit the stage.

9pm: Headline acts hits the stage.

11pm - midnight: Venue curfew and the loadout begins.

Midnight: Everything must get packed up and back into its trailer so we can get to the next city.

2am: Go have a shower and find your way back to the bus.

2.30am: Maybe a quick beer and piece of pizza then off to bed. I've got to be up at 8am and do it all over again tomorrow.

We normally do five or six of these days back-to-back, while travelling overnight city to city while sleeping in our bunks on the bus.

So it's not really a party out here, it's really an 18-hour working day everyday. With a rolling moving hotel room you share with 12 others.

Don't get me wrong, I love my job; I love that I work really hard for a few months, and then go home and take a month off on holiday. I love seeing the looks on the crowds amazed faces as they watch the show.

But it's not an easy job either. As they say, "the show must go on", and we have a monstrous amount of equipment that has to be setup, and working perfectly, and packed away again. And an deadline we can't miss.

So next time you see a roadie, just give him a Red Bull.


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