Harp Rental Fee?

Posted In: Coffee Break

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    ashburnanna on #189470

    Hello all,

    Received a request from someone asking to rent my pedal harp. However, I have no idea what the going rate for renting someone else’s harp is! The rental would be for two days, this person is flying in for a weekend gig. Thoughts from you all on what I charge?

    Any help would be appreciated!

    carl-swanson on #189474

    Are you transporting the harp to and from the gig as part of the rental? If I were you, I would insist, for the sake of safety of the instrument, that the rental fee include your transporting the harp to and from the gig. Then you charge what you would charge if you were playing the gig, but this other person will be playing it instead.

    ashburnanna on #189475

    Good advice! Thank you so much!

    Gretchen Cover on #189476

    I asked around when I rented my harp. A couple harpists said they charge what the monthly rental fee would be for a pedal harp. Figure $250-350.00, depending on where you live, your harp, etc. Make sure you check with your harp insurer before you commit. The first time I rented my harp, mainly as a professional courtesy, I transported it and pretty much stayed with the harp for the several performances. I insist on transporting my harp because I know I will put the cover on and be more careful than anyone. Be sure to have a written contract or memo spelling out all the details.

    Biagio on #189477

    I too insist on transporting the instrument and if it is out of town I also charge for gas, ferry, tolls, etc. For a two day rental I’d ask $45. This the same as what I charge of my lever harps. If the gig were for a month and it were a pedal harp I would probably charge about the same which comes out to about what Gretchen suggests.


    Gretchen Cover on #189478

    Biago, the advice I was given was a per day or perhaps two-day rate. It is the same amount of inconvenience to deliver and pick up a harp for a one or two day gig as a monthly rental.

    Emily Granger on #189496

    All great advice here. I charge cartage for delivering and picking up the harp (union rate is $85 per move) plus the monthly rental fee.

    Andrea on #189660

    I also require that I move the instrument – drop off and pick up if it’s in the local area. I don’t charge the monthly rental rate but more of a “nuisance” rate, generally $125 – $150 for a short local gig like someone coming in to play a relative’s wedding. I think a monthly rate is a bit exorbitant since a rental fee includes the risk of exposure to damage and there’s a big difference between the risk of 30 days and the risk of 4 hours. Charging the same fee as what you would get for your own performance seems overly burdensome. I don’t look at it as lost income (if they didn’t have a harpist in the family, they probably wouldn’t be hiring a harpist) but rather as gravy income for minimal risk. My experience renting harps when I’ve been in a distant city has been very amicable and reasonably priced and I feel I should return the favor to other harpists.

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