Feeling Unloved? Now You Can Rent a Crowd to Follow You Around

Arriving at the airport, holding political rallies or even shopping can be lonely endeavors if there's nobody around to join you. A solo walk from the plane to the cab, for instance, can feel like a march of solitude on days when all you want to see is a smiling face.

But one L.A.-based entrepreneur is looking to change that — Adam Swart launched Crowds on Demand in October, a company that lets you rent a crowd of people to greet you, to attend your event or just to stand around and make you look famous at any given moment. The "crowd" is really — wait for it! — a group of trained actors.

Swart chatted with us about the idea for the service and why he believes it's needed.

LAist: How did you get the idea for rent-a-crowd?
Adam Swart: The thought came to me on vacation in Europe last month. As walked down the stairs from the airplane in Estonia, I thought "Wouldn't it be great to be waiving to a cheering crowd right about now?" I had the same thought as I returned home to the states. Life can be very cold at times, and nothing makes people happier than having people cheer for them.

As I thought more about the business, I realized how many uses there were for large crowds of people. Start-up launch events, political rallies/protests, among other events chronically suffer from low attendance.

LAist: When did you launch in L.A., and do you have other locations?
AS: We launched in early October. We also have operations in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C and are opening a NYC operation in mid-November.

LAist: Can you describe some of your services?
AS: We try to customize all of our packages. We do a really nice airport greeting service. Our most popular request has been the Celebrity Airport Experience, where we will meet you at the airport with a small crowd and 'paparazzi', follow you (while cheering) through baggage claim and then escort you back to your destination in a luxury sedan.

LAist: Why do you think there's a need for it here in L.A.?
AS: As the world entertainment capital, there is no better place than LA to get 'seen' by the right people. Whenever I'm in Beverly Hills shopping and I see a couple photographers or fans, I always turn my head because you never know who it might be. Similarly, when I'm arriving at LAX, I often see paparazzi looking for this or that celebrity.

Unfortunately, that type of treatment is for the most part reserved for 'A-listers'. We offer everyone the opportunity to feel like an A-lister.

LAist: What's the most outrageous request you've had so far?
AS: We've had some pretty interesting requests from some of the political candidates in the Los Angeles spring election. We don't reveal our clients unless they ask us to but we've definitely been in contact with some of the 'big players' on the political scene. So, the most interesting 'request' was for a political protest against a candidate's opponent...we're working to make sure that the protest is appropriate as we are an honorable business and would never want to spread anything that is false about anyone!