Roadies Rule the New Music Industry

Roadie. Just the mention of the word can conjure an incredible reaction in all music fans. If you’ve been in a band, you’ve dreamt of being successful enough to have your own roadies for live shows. If you’re not in a band, but a serious music fan, you’ve likely wanted to BE a roadie yourself – rubbing arms with the famous and crazy, not to mention their rabid and generally inebriated fans. If you’re in the business, you know roadies make the world go round.

There’s an old slogan that hits the essence of a roadies high value in the music world:  “Bands make it Rock. Roadies make it Roll”.

Author Neil Shah at The Wall Street Journal, of all places, has penned a really insightful article on the modern day roadie and their increasingly high value in the music food chain. This piece, titled “Roadies: Unlikely Survivors in the Music Business” is a great perspective worth a read to all music lovers, so follow that link and get yourself enlightened!

Everyone is aware that songwriters and performers have been in a death spiral in their ability to earn a living from their art and skills, as CD sales are disappearing and digital downloads following them down. The lower royalty rates from streaming services, and increasing competition with other artists, have pushed down the amount of money these folks can make, as the music industry has been in a constant pressure cooker over the last decade.

But one critical role in the business has actually gained importance and the monetary rewards that can go with it. The legendary roadie has seen a change of fate as the job title is now reflective of their modern technical and scheduling prowess. “Event Technicians” are increasingly important now that most artists are making their real money from live performances and large scale tours.

We love ya, roadies, keep on rollin!


Full article on The Wall Street Journal

(Image courtesy of ponsuwan at

Category: Featured, Music
About The Author
- Jeff Askew is part of the Freshtone founders team and brings decades of creative technology experience and his golden ear to the organization.