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The Green Room

Unveiling the Top 5 Pre-Performance Requests from Performers

Posted: 04/09/24

Unveiling the Top 5 Pre-Performance Requests from Performers

Photo Credit: Amadou Kromah

By Amanda Stezenski

Stepping out onto the stage and delivering a captivating performance demands more than just talent. It requires thorough preparation by the artist that can go beyond rehearsals and makeup. Sometimes it’s the Green Room that rounds out each artist’s unique process. Backstage requests can offer a glimpse into this process. They can perhaps also allow us to relate to our season artists by looking at their most common requests. 

Lemon, Honey and Tea

For generations, lemon, honey and tea have been recognized as vocal cord superheroes, requested by artists all over the world to ensure their voices are primed for a flawless performance. Beyond mere tradition, these essentials offer numerous benefits. Lemon’s acidity helps break down mucus, clearing the throat for smoother vocalization. Honey’s all-natural soothing properties soothe and coat the vocal cords to decrease inflammation. Additionally, warm liquids like tea relax the muscles in the throat, supporting flexibility. Together, these essentials form the ultimate pre-performance elixir.


Ice isn’t just for chilling beverages; it’s a multi-purpose tool for performing artists. Singers rely on it to soothe their throats, while dancers often request bags of it to ease sore muscles. In fact, we often see requests for “unlimited access to ice.” 

Berries and Nuts

When it comes to pre-show fuel, many artists opt for berries and nuts. These wholesome snacks provide a quick energy boost without weighing down the active performers.


Many artists, especially classical musicians, request bananas which many people claim have an anti-anxiety effect. This can help with pre-performance jitters that frequently cause shaking knees and hands.


Wine often makes an appearance on an artist’s rider, the document that outlines the detailed requirements for an artist's performance. For many artists, a glass of wine serves as a post-show ritual, steeped in tradition.

Off-limit Items

A performance demands peak focus. It is very important for artists to let us know what to avoid. Requests to skip items like fragrant flowers, fast food, and sweets are common as they might disrupt the artist’s flow or performance-ready dietary regimen.


Touring life can be demanding, so miscellaneous supplies often find their way into artist riders to streamline their journey. We’ve been asked for:

  • Clean t-shirts
  • Black towels
  • Boxes of drumsticks / guitar strings
  • Laundry services
  • Lightbulbs
  • A masseuse
  • An on-call chiropractor
  • Specific furniture
  • Chipped ice, presented in a wine glass
  • Artisanal olives
  • & more!

By thoughtfully fulfilling these requests, the staff at The Wisconsin Union Theater helps to create a comforting Green Room atmosphere where artists can take time to carry out their routines and deliver captivating performances on stage. Witness these artists in action and stay tuned for updates on the 2024-2025 season by viewing our events calendar!

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