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Renting out your gear to other bands

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by MrMcHaggis, May 8, 2011.

  1. Hi guys, I'm looking for advice on people who have loaned out/rented their equipment (particularly their amps) to others before.

    Here's the situation: Each year my band takes part in a community festival called "Miami Lakes Rocks!" it's a free show we put on together that we have a blast playing and gain a great amount of exposure with the younger crowd from (think high school kids)

    This year, being our third year participating, my band mates and I were asked to be judges for the other bands that would be trying out for the event (since we get a really good response from local bands but only have so many slots).

    We did what we could for judging offering the fairest reviews and the best advice we could. The city didn't offer a PA for vocals for the tryouts so my guitarist and our took an old Fender tube combo we had, wired it to a Carvin 2x12 and fabbed a little usable P.A. from it.

    Now a lot of these bands also didn't have suitable amps, maybe are younger/just getting started and are trying to make it happen with their combo amps. One poor little bassist didn't even have a proper bass amp, he had to use a guitar amp.

    So we just offered them to use our set up and things went pretty smoothly. We essentially worked sound for them, they were very respectful and thankful that we had allowed them to use our equipment (guitarist's 5150 set up, lead guitarist's marshall head/ibanez cab, and my LH1000 with HyDrive 410).

    It went so well I offered the lady in charge of the entire event the idea to rent out our equipment for a small fee (of course I would also let them use my SWR Workingman's 1x15 to supplement the 410 since it's an outdoor festival) so these younger bands could have more suitable equipment to play through and to save time between bands for the set-up/tear down.

    Here's my concern: I don't know how much to ask. I know I could do it for free but I'm sort of pressed for cash myself and my band mates and I are trying to pool together to buy ourselves a van. She asked me to name my price but I don't know what's going rate to rent a stack these days.

    I know I'll be at the day of the show all day to help these guys work the equipment, so I'm not too worried about them damaging it.

    Thanks for any insight and advice guys, it's much appreciated!
  2. I was opening for a well known headliner. Their equipment truck broke down so I loaned the bass player my SVT 410HLF and my SVT210. He was running an SVT 4 Pro which somehow managed to get to the gig even though the rest of the bands gear didn't. I specifically told him to not run the head in bridge mode. He did so anyway and blew the speakers in both cabs. Of course, I didn't realize this until I tried to play through at the next gig. He offered to pay but the check never arrived. Luckily, I had a deal with Ampeg and got them to take care of it, but I have not loaned gear since. I will not rent it either.
  3. brothernewt

    brothernewt Some people call me the stormtrooper of love...

    Apr 13, 2004
    Happyrock, OR
    Look at what local rental companies are charging for similar gear, and charge similarly.
  4. Yeah I took that into consideration, they will be predominately be using my head. The next most powerful head I saw in power rating to mine was an LH500 so I'm not too concerned since my cabs handle 1000watts (410) and 200w (115).
  5. This is actually a pretty good idea, but I don't know of any renting places in my area. Nothing a little searching shouldn't be able to solve though.
  6. I used to rent out some of my bass gear, but since my situation was different than yours, the rents would not likely apply. I would rent out a few of my basses or amps to musicians traveling to my city, but the contact with me had to come through the local musicians' union office, and they had to be a pro player coming in town for a gig. I didn't rent to local bands wanting access to better gear for a big gig. Examples of my rents were: '87 Stingray bass $65/day, '70s B-15N $75/day, and Ampeg SVT Head and SWR 6x10 cabinet $125/day. I would drop off and pick the gear. I did some business but not enough to keep it going for more than 6 months.
  7. Well this would be for a one-day thing, 10 bands distributed through about 5-7 hours. I'd drop-off/pick-up and supervise/help manage the sound on stage and use of my equipment. My band is one of the bands playing. Do you think in such a case 100$ would be reasonable? Perhaps if I can get my guitarists to rent out with me as well we can issue a package deal for 200/250$ to earn collectively as a band?

    Thanks again for your input!
  8. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    You are very generous and it's great that you want to help these younger bands.

    Keep in mind most people don't have respect or treat other people's gear the way we would personally treat our equipment
  9. oldno7


    Dec 29, 2009
    I would rent out a P.A. system but never my personel Bass gear! sorry its just too dear to my heart
  10. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    I make sure I charge more, just to influence people to go with those that rental is their business - mine isn't. I also require a cash deposit against potential damage.

    If somebody doesn't like that, my feelings won't be hurt. Some might say it's a d****baggardly move, to take advantage of somebody who's in a fix & needs to borrow/rent equipment. I say it's more so to show up at a gig with nothing, expecting to borrow somebody else's tools, & then trashing them.
  11. I see your point, but to be honest, it's a bad habit to get into. You do it once and nothing bad happens so you do it again and again. Eventually, you get burned. If a band cannot provide their own gear, they shouldn't be playing unless the venue, promoter, etc. is providing it.
  12. http://dreamhire.com check this site out.

    I always think people who rent/loan gear out to be nuts. (it's probably me who is nuts for being so paranoid) but good luck either way!
  13. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales
    I've done these local show things, and its always an interesting conundrum.

    Since you are actually playing the show, you obviously will have your gear there. So, if you can make a few bucks renting it to the venue, go for it. I would go to a local place that rents and ask what it would cost for the whole set up, then I would charge a smaller fee but that you believe is worthy of your risk. You may not have guys touching your stuff, but running the same rigs all day can make amps and cabs hot.

    More to follow, my lovely bride wants the 'puter....
  14. thombo


    Aug 25, 2006
    Denver, CO
    something to consider.... I work for a fairly large backline company. though there is a house stable of equipment, a fair amount of the gear we rent out is from the personal collections of the employees (of course we are reimbursed). There is a general feeling that if you aren't accepting of the idea that your gear will take some bumps and bruises, don't rent it out. is your band accepting of this?
  15. Well as mentioned I'd be in the background, setting up their volume, helping their EQ.

    One young fellow I allowed to use my amp, I turned it up for him and he played softly fearing the strength of the volume. I had to tell him not to be afraid the amp isn't set up anywhere near to capacity to cause harm to the cab or our ears!

    The amps will also be reinforced by the P.A. system that we'll have for the day of the actual event, featuring monitors so again, I'm really not too concerned. But it wouldn't be a bad idea to draw up a small contract for the Town of Miami Lakes to protect my gear in case if anything were to happen to it.

    I really like the idea of everyone coming with just their bass (or their bass and their head if they want to dial their own tone) just to keep things flowing quickly and smoothly. They already settled on renting drums and each drummer is only responsible for "extras" (symbols, pedals, etc).

    It's not something I want to get into the habit of, but it is a local event I'm very fond of and I had a great experience with this particular set of kids and would really like to do what I can to help out while making an honest buck.

    I have my heart just about set on doing it, but what else do you guys recommend as safety precautions?

    Thanks a million for all of your input! I knew I could count on TB'ers for their wisdom.
  16. Well right now I'm on the deciding side for my own gear. However I'd like to pitch the idea to my band mates to see if they'd like to rent out their amps as well. It'd be a nice way to help out the event while making an extra buck for the van we're trying to buy.
  17. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    It only takes a few seconds for someone---in an inspired artistic moment---to crank a knob and blow your speakers. By the time you get to the stage the damage will be done.

    Speaker damage is even more likely when someone is using his own head with your cabinet. While trying to get his favorite tone, he cranks it up, and your cab suffers. If you provide backline amplifiers, you should provide both the head and the cabinet.

    For this reason, your rental fee should include a large enough deposit to cover repair and/or replacement of damaged equipment. This avoids the hassle of trying to collect after the fact. You must also schedule time to set up and check all equipment thoroughly both before and after the event. Document all problems, however minor, so you needn't remember "Was this noise there before?" You can't return the deposit until you're sure everything works as well as it did when it left.

    If your band doesn't reap a lot of extra gig bookings from the event, then you should deal with the promoters as a rental company would. Sooner or later, someone will ask to rent equipment when you won't be there to haul or operate it. Now you have set a precedent for how you run the rental business. They ask, you produce a rental contract, they take it or leave it. If you value your equipment, there's really no other way.
  18. It only takes one ignorant kid to blow stuff up in seconds. So long as you can take that on the chin if it does happen I don't see that the risk should stop you from doing the good thing and enjoying the day.

    I don't know how you get on with charging rental fees and deposits, sounds like a real minefield. Who's going to eat their deposit if you discover a 10" is goneburger mid gig and the lsat guy playing it wasn't all that loud?

    Big +1 on not allowing allcomers amps through your cabs, ideal way to blow them.
  19. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Again, you are a very unique and generous individual.

    I get the feeling that if something happens to your gear, it would not be a big deal and you would be able to have it fixed or replaced with no problem.
  20. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales
    Okay, back.

    If you do it, simple rule. ONLY YOU, THE SOUND GUY, IS ALLOWED TO TOUCH ANYTHING ON THE AMPS! Make it clear to the kiddies that they are getting the chance to play thru good equipment so only you touch the knobs. If they can't follow the rule they don't play. Simple.

    I have lent my backline to several national headliners in the past couple of years, and I'd say half were buttwipes. The only rule I had was that you don't put the master past 8 and the pre past 8. You can put all the effects you want in the effects loop, and set your bass to max and whack the livin' hell out of it. Just nothing past 8. That way nothing can really be blown with my rig.

    Had a guy from one band, which shall remain nameless but comes from LA, not only did he not put the effects in the loop but put them in straight into the passive input, but he turned everything all the way up. At the end of his last song the amp went kaput. Turns out he really did some serious damage. His band manager tried to just run away but I managed to get the club owner to withold the door cash until the band manager and I worked out something.

    I also had another national act that actually called me because their bassist and I use the same rig and his was in for repair. When I got to the club to see their performance I almost crapped. HE HAD SPRAY PAINTED THE BAND LOGO ON MY CAB! While nice guys, their road manager told me that they would be taking the cabinet with them to their NYC gig and when the other one was out of the shop they would send it to me.

    I went ballistic. My cab was new, his was clearly "roadworn". My rig now was painted and you can't just get grills from the manufacturers easily. And they needed my cab for a big show they were going to just trade me with their broken, worn piece o' crud?

    This one was not so simple. Wound up taking the band and their label to small claims. In the end, I got only enough cash to have a new grill made, but not from the original manufacturer.

    I also have had some other great experiences. The guys from Dash Rip Rock used my rig and treated her like a baby. Also, Evan Dando's bassist used it for a gig and actually gave me some kudos.

    Its a crap shoot, but you seem so enthusiastic that you probably should do it. Just really try and emphasize that no one touches the knobbies except you.

    Have fun.