Sofar Sounds want music fans to host and attend gigs in unusual places like living rooms, offices and roof tops
In the early 2000s’ Pete Doherty and Carl Barât of The Libertines played gigs in their living room. These were raucous affairs and were often shut down by the police. For decades the punk scene has been thriving in residential basements, with fans hosting shows for aspiring bands. But never have these shows been organised safely, until 2010 when Sofar Sounds was founded.
The organisers were frustrated at people talking during a Friendly Fires show. Co-founder Rafe Offer explains: “Half the room was talking and people were on their phones not focusing.”
Adding: “We just kind of said, ‘This is not OK.'”
That night the idea for Songs From A Room was seeded. The aim is to host unplugged gigs in people’s front rooms. The gigs started in Offer’s house but soon grew to more than 60 shows a month across 70 cities worldwide.
Last year there were 3,400 shows in 300 cities. The expansion started when the organisers convinced friends in New York to put on shows. Through word of mouth shows started happening in Los Angeles, Melbourne and Mumbai.
Hozier, James Bay and Bastille started their careers at Sofar Sounds events.
Tickets are limited due to venue size. By accessing the project’s website, gig-goers can locate a performance near to where they live. Then it is a matter of chance, as tickets are allocated at random. Hosting an event works in a similar way. You apply, you get selected and you host a show.
For more information about how to attend, host, or perform at a Sofar Sounds event visit their official website.