Sofar Sounds is a touring music community that brings live music to intimate settings in more than 200 cities worldwide. A new branch of Sofar Sounds has just been established in Champaign, and the first (sold out) show is tonight.
Sofar Sounds’ mission is to make concerts truly about the music. They do this through the use of hand-selected audiences, small venues, and phone-free spectating, as well as other specifications and requirements. Something unique about Sofar shows is the fact that attendees sign up blind – the lineup, usually consisting of three up-and-coming local bands, is not announced until the beginning of the show. The aim here is to draw attendance from those who are interested in enjoying new music just for the sake of it.
Here’s the short of how it works:
– People seeking to attend a Sofar show must become a member on the site and apply for a ticket.
– Representatives at Sofar select from the list of applicants and create a small audience for the show. (Those who aren’t selected can always apply for the next show.)
– The musical lineup for the shows are not announced until shortly prior to the show, although performing artists are allowed to promote their appearances.
– If an applicant is chosen to attend, they will be notified at least 48 hours before the event. Prices vary, but are a standard of $10 or less per person.
– Each show is located at a small venue, usually someone’s living room. The location is not announced until the day of the show.
– All audience members must be present from the start of the first band to the end of the last one.
– Every show prohibits excessive talking and phone usage, and most shows are BYOB to prevent bartending noise and distractions.
Sofar is community-run and reliant, and welcomes volunteers to help make the shows happen. You can apply to play, host, or simply help out at a gig.
C-U’s first Sofar Sounds show has been completely sold out and features Rebecca Rego & The Trainmen (as announced by the artist). Check out the Sofar website for complete information, and keep an eye on it as more events are announced.