Spike Allibone - Showcaller

I should point out that this shot was taken at Party in the Park in 2001..... so I'm older and more "distinguished" now!

I should point out that this shot was taken at Party in the Park in 2001..... so I'm older and more "distinguished" now!


I'm a showcaller - normally for the larger or more specialist events. I have many years of worldwide experience with a particular interest in doing the harder and more frightening / challenging events. For people who've never hired me before, I have a document which I sometimes refer to as a checklist or a way to orientate people in the understanding of the kind of things us showcallers like to have when we arrive on site.

Some might even call it a rider.... but that sounds a bit too contractual to me!

If you don't have time to read it - here's a quick summary. This text is aimed at reasonably small events.

I typically require:

  • Clear line of sight of stage - sometimes I like a lock off or TX monitor too

  • Proper duplex / open talkback system - IE not Motorola radios…. unless they’ve been partially duplex rigged. I am very used to Beyerdynamic DT109 twin ear with either a matrix switch or a 2 channel belt pack for smaller shows. Obviously noise cancelling Peltors for on stage rock shows etc.
  • No camera operators / followspots on same channel at all! - My showcall channel must be for operators only. 
  • Followspots should be on a separate channel to either the LD or a spot caller. I don’t call followspots on complex shows.
  • Camera operators need to take direction from the camera director / vision mixer. I don’t call cameras on complex shows.
  • Show trained technicians that know how to take and execute cues - people who wait for the ‘GO’ command! 
  • Wireless comms for stage managers
  • Audio programme feed. This is important. The best way to achieve this is - is to give me a separate audio monitor with a mic mix from the desk and a volume button. I can perhaps accept a programme feed through the cans - but it’s not always the best option.
  • A desk with 13amp power and a dimmable or gelled lamp
  • WiFi
  • For tight shows I like to have a (calm) script assistant - this can be a junior position for someone who just keeps an eye on the script page / paragraph we are on during hairy moments. This person sits next to me - and would require an extra set of comms.
  • A Show Director to do all the herding and running around on stage - this is someone with clout who knows what the show looks like and is prepared to boss everyone around. This person needs to be wirelessly connected for comms. If I end up doing this, then I can’t concentrate on notating and plotting the show during rehearsals.
  • No pre-roll on VTs if possible please
  • For VOG I need a switchable SM58 or similar with pop shield. This should be desk live - but without any crackle from the switch. I have my own if this is a problem to provide
  • I’m happy to use IEM systems to presenters where relevant

I am totally familiar with pyro cues, autocue (prompting) multi-screen graphics, backstage calls, FOH announcements, celebrities, last minute craziness, televised events, no sleep, click tracks, bar counting etc etc.