What exactly is Sofar Sounds?
Sofar Sounds (or Songs from a Room) is a program where members sign up to be invited to a private concert. The events started in London in March 2009 by Rafe Offer, Rocky Start and Dave Alexander. The lineup for the concert is not disclosed until the event starts, while the location is only announced the day before. The ethos behind this is that highlighting headlining acts encourages people to turn up late and not respect the other performers. All genres are welcome to apply to perform. Local city leaders and their review teams curate the evenings. There are now more than 100 Sofar Sounds gigs each month, many of which are hosted in members’ living rooms. Sofar has communities in more than 200 cities worldwide.
Musicians, bands and artists can sign up to play at these events, choosing to be paid from voluntary attendee contributions via a hat being passed around the audience (or in some cities, digital donations), or having their gig filmed, edited into a high quality video and uploaded to the Sofar Sounds YouTube channel which is also shared on the website http://www.sofarsounds.com. Some gigs are live-streamed. Typically, three artists perform at each gig. Emphasis is placed on the crowd being respectful – switching off their phones and listening. Many cities have wait lists for attendance. There are around 2,000 requests for each London gig, but invitations to the purposely-small gig will only be extended to 50-60 of those applicants.
On Sunday 31st January, Sofar Sounds Chesater launched their first gig at Becnick’s Wonder Emporium on Brook St. Squeezing into the vintage shop the audience gathered to watch Anna Houghton, Alx Green, Peaness and Campfire Social.
With Twin Moon on photography and Tom Martin on sound, the first event went off without a hitch and it garnered favourable reviews from both our brother/sister site, Schott’s List, and @ShitChester.
The next Sofar session is on Saturday 26th March and they’re more determined than ever to make each gig as interesting and immersive as possible!
The intimate, semi-secret concerts will be held every month in a variety of non-traditional locations.
Art Gallery? Narrowboat? Your frontroom?
Get ready to get to know your city and neighbours!
They’ll have some of our favourite local acts performing, alongside some seriously great touring talent from the world over.
Dan Weir, the man behind bringing Sofar Sounds to Chester told us: “We’ve got a 7-piece Ska-punk act, an up-and-coming Chester Psych-rock band, a one-man-blues-band and a fantastic Alt-folk duo from Leicester. But we’ve probably already said too much!”
Normally the exact details of the acts and location of the show are kept a secret until the day before the gig.
Sofar Sounds Chester – Saturday 26th March 2016
Pay what you like/can afford.