You and the rest of your band are off touring in a strange city, and disaster strikes — one of your amps has just blown up. What are you to do? You could go out and buy one from a local music shop with the intention of returning it the next day, or you could frantically try and get in touch with local bands trying to borrow one from them. But no luck, because rental companies for music gear are virtually non existent. Sparkplug, on the other hand, is trying to solve this problem while letting musicians earn a bit of extra cash along the way.
It works in a similar way to AirBnB, essentially someone with a bunch of music equipment, or recording space lists their equipment with the service and other people can search through a catalogue of equipment to find what they need. If they need something, they send a request and the owner has 24 hours to accept it.
But what about damage that occurs? Well the renter pays 30% of the equipment’s face value alongside the rental fee as a deposit, if there is any damage then money is deducted from the deposit before it’s returned. Should the worst happen and the item needs replacing Sparkplug will cover the full cost up to $5,000 (£3,064).
For the time being Sparkplug is just for equipment and recording space but it would be a great way for freelance musicians, techies, and any other specialists to advertise their services. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking, though.