LIFESTYLE

Sofar Sounds Puts the Magic Back in Live Music

There is no line to get into this concert. There are no flickering cameras nor paparazzi. The attendees don’t even know who’s performing.

And that’s the point.

This concert is courtesy of Sofar Sounds, a global music community that puts on hundreds of secret shows in more than 400 cities across the globe. Sofar (an acronym for “songs from a room”) transforms everyday spaces into captivating venues for live shows that bring guests and artists closer together.


You’d think this passionate music community would want to broadcast its movement everywhere — but there’s a reason why it’s intentionally kept under the radar.

In 2009, Rafe Offer and Dave Alexander decided they’d had enough subpar live music experiences, so they rounded up eight friends in a London flat for a low-key, intimate gig. The group attentively enjoyed five songs without any selfie-takers or beer bottle-clangers. It didn’t take long for Offer and Alexander to realize they had created the spark that was missing from modern live music.

Within months, the idea of uniting artists and audiences in unique, welcoming venues spread by word of mouth to Paris, New York City, and all the way to St. Louis, Missouri. Today, each Sofar chapter prides itself on making the experience of live music more magical, even if that means sacrificing mainstream notoriety.

At any given time of day, there is a Sofar show happening somewhere in the world. Sofar St. Louis happens to be one of the most active chapters in America with multiple shows each month. The shows are small, averaging 70 attendees each, and feature three diverse acts with no opener or headliner. The show’s venue is not disclosed until the day of the event and the artist lineup is a mystery until the show begins. You could enjoy contemporary folk music around a backyard bonfire or vibe to beatboxing on the rooftop of a moonlit loft.

The beauty lies in the mystery.

All the individual elements of Sofar — the secrecy, the respect, the intimacy — converge into a music experience that simply can’t be explained using words alone.


For more information about upcoming Sofar events in St. Louis, head over to the Sofar St. Louis website.