Swedish Fish, Bath Towels and Fine China: Levitt Pavilion Handles Unusual Band Requests

The Levitt Pavilion Arlington staff works non-stop raising money, scouting out great artists and negotiating contracts to put together more than 50 free concerts a year for the community.

But their efforts don’t end there. The Levitt staff also has to ensure artists have a great experience while performing in The American Dream City. Most of the entertainers include fairly basic requests, such as hot food, cold drinks and sunscreen, as riders in their contracts. Others have been slightly more demanding, such as requesting only organic foods to nibble on before and after their shows, Levitt Communications Director Cathy O’Neal said.

During the Levitt’s first concert season in 2008, one band insisted they would only eat off fine China with real silver cutlery. That request was nixed, O’Neal said.

Here are a handful of some of the more unusual contract riders the Levitt has reviewed over the years (performers identities have been withheld at the Levitt’s request).

Keep it clean: A band with a germophobic member requested 72 white bath towels, which the Levitt staff found had been draped over every surface of the dressing room, including the floor.

Something fishy: One act requested a goldfish bowl filled not with water but with Swedish Fish candies. Two gummy bears – and only two – had to be hidden amongst the red fish-shaped treats.

No wrinkles: A singer requested the Levitt hire someone for the night to steam wrinkles out of eight different outfits. In the end, the singer changed only once during the concert.

Boys over here, girls over there: One band requested that not only the small dressing room be partitioned off to keep male and female performers separate, but that food and drinks be kept separate for both groups as well.

Tea, anyone? Levitt staff had to add a specific electric tea kettle to the dressing room kitchen at one band’s request.

Booze and smokes: More than one band has asked the Levitt staff to purchase cartons of their favorite cigarettes and several bottles of hard liquor.

“We don’t do that. You have to support your own bad habits,” O’Neal said.

The Levitt’s annual summer concert series at Founders Plaza in Downtown Arlington kicks off next Friday, May 19 with Grammy award-winning artists Rebirth Brass Band. Visitors will be able to attend a free concert under the stars three nights a week, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, through July 23.

Click here to view complete summer concert calendar.

For more information, visit the Levitt website or the free mobile app, Levitt Arlington. The Levitt also has a 24-hour information line at 817-543-4301.