So a few months ago our church leadership decided to hold a concert in which a rather popular Christian artist would be brought in. Tickets were to be sold for, what I consider, a high amount in the hopes of turning a profit to be used for an upgrade to our sanctuary equipment. So an artist was contacted, terms were agreed to, and contracts were signed. I was not involved in this process.
After the contract was signed a list of "requirements" was sent to our worship leader by the artist's agent/manager and this list was promptly handed over to me to figure out how to meet these terms. This did not look like previous riders I have seen, it was much less formal, but did state these terms were already agreed to by both parties in the signed contract. Understand, I am a volunteer who tries to help as much as possible in the worship department, but I have no authority at the church, and the worship leader makes it very clear he knows more than I do about everything. I am fortunate to be allowed in his presence.
Anyways, in addition to the assortment of Vox AC-30s, Ampegs, and percussion stuff the band "required", was the request for a "High Quality Audio System capable of equally filling the venue while producing at least 110 db at the back of the venue". The usual assortment of line array options were "highly suggested". In addition they needed a sound board with at least 32 channels (however they will only be using 16), and four individual in-ear monitor systems. Our sanctuary holds 1300, leadership expects to sell 1200 tickets, and our installed sound system is barely able to hit 95 decibels in the first 15 rows on a normal Sunday. It was initially spec'd and installed to handle a sanctuary with 400 attendees, as the church has grown, the sanctuary has been extended, and the sound system has been ignored and remains in its original setup for 400 attendees.
No problem, in the past we have hired in sound companies to handle large concerts, the cost has always been reasonable and the reduced stress was always welcome. So when I approached the worship leader to get permission to contact the usual companies we get quotes from, he agreed the current system will not cut it. But then he shocked me by informing me he has already taken care of the sound provider. Another church attendee will be "providing sound" for the concert. He will be bringing two Mackie 18 inch powered subs, two JBL Eon subs, and four Mackie SRM450's, and a new Behringer digital soundboard for FOH duties. And the best part! He won't charge us at all! It is Free!!!!!!!
Any concerns I brought up about the amount of equipment needed to provide 110 decibels to 1200 individuals was met with a very surly attitude. Apparently I just do not understand how great these Mackies are.
The conversation got better too, I had sourced the required amps and percussion items on the list, I just needed a PO to send over to the rental company. I guess I misunderstood something when I was handed the list because the Worship Leader asked why we were being charged. I guess he thought AC-30s and refrigerator sized Ampeg cabinets were just handed out on street corners. I was informed the there will be no PO and I need to find "free" amps somewhere (like from my guitar playing buddies), after all, why would we pay for backline equipment when the PA was free.
Already long story made shorter: I couldn't find the needed amps for "free", anyone I know that owns one laughed when I asked if we could borrow them without compensation, so the worship leader located "better" amps, a Hartke kickback 112 bass amp and a Fender Deluxe Reverb. I didn't ask if he mentioned these substitutions to the band.
This has been going on for the past month, I fully expect the band to show up Saturday and refuse to play. Should they go on, I fully expect complaints from anyone sitting in the back half of the sanctuary. Sorry to bore you guys, I needed to vent and I hope this serves to prevent future atrocities for others.