Sofar Sounds tunes up pop-up concerts

Sofar Sounds turns up the volume on secret shows

Together with

The Future. Sofar Sounds wants to turn up the volume on the secret pop-up concert concept. The goal, according to CEO Jim Lucchese, is to create a “global grassroots community” around live music. With the post-COVID live music scene mostly working in favor of superstar acts, and streaming platforms surfacing artists you already know, Sofar may have the setlist to become the de facto IRL discovery platform.

Seating room only
Although it’s been around since 2009, Sofar Sounds is ramping up for a busy 2023. 

  • The company, which stands for “Sounds from a Room,” intends to put together 10,000 concerts this year — a big jump from the 6,000 it hosted in 2022.
  • The pay is minimal — Sofar Sounds pays artists $100 to $150 for a 25-minute set, and artists collect 70% of the ticket profits (tickets are capped at $30). 
  • But the secretive nature (locations are announced one day in advance, and the audience doesn’t know who’s playing until they walk onstage) allows small acts to gain exposure to a paying audience that may have never heard of them.

Sofar Sounds has already put on events — mostly in living rooms or small commercial spaces — in 78 countries, focusing on the US, UK, and Australia. 

Tiny names like Billie Eilish and Ed Sheeran even graced Sofar stages years ago… so you never know which secret act may become a bonafide breakthrough.


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