Cliche Magazine June/July 2018 - Page 125

What constitutes a good space, or venue according to Sofar? We pride ourselves on showcasing amazing talent in nontraditional venues. When we first started out, Sofars were all held in people's homes. Now we’ve hosted in everything from speakeasies to boats to cheese shops — even at the top of a ski jump in Norway! We’re looking for unique spaces where you wouldn’t normally see a show, and a welcoming host who’s excited to meet new people. What were some of the challenges in executing the idea and how have they been overcome? Sofar shows take place in over 400 cities around the world. We want to allow for local individuality across all our Sofar chapters, while ensuring the same Sofar vibes, quality and spirit are the same whether you’re seeing a show in New York City or Kampala. It’s amazing to walk into a show in another country, not speak the language, but still know how the show will go! We’re always working to keep all our city leaders up to date and in the know about what’s going on with Sofar around the world. accepted to attend a show in NYC, but now we’re hosting 50+ shows a month across the city.” Although the Sofar community has expanded to include thousands of people, it still retains a certain intimacy. Run by a small staff of people—most of who started out as volunteers—the hobby-turned- business is an experiment in keeping a movement authentic and sustainable at the same time. So far, it has withstood the test of time. And the outlook is hopeful, as long as it continues to “[break] down the barrier between artist and attendee, so you can have a real conversation with them, even grabbing drinks with them after a show or hosting them on your couch next time they’re in town.” BY LILLY MILMAN What makes a Sofar show different from, say, a DIY house show? We didn’t invent the DIY house show. We see Sofar as a different concept and community. We started very organically, when our founder and CEO Rafe Offer found himself frustrated by all the dis- tractions of live events. We’ve all been at a concert where the crowd is talking too loud, the person next to you is filming the entire show on their phone, or someone is spilling beer all over the place. He and his friends decided to host small groups and artists they knew in their living rooms in London. After a few shows, their friends-of-friends started doing the same, and then someone asked if they could bring the idea to Paris. It then spread to Cheyenne Cohen for Sofar Sounds more cities around the world, from Rio de Janeiro to Los Angeles to Mumbai. It’s a global community where guests and performers can truly connect and feel they’re included. Can you explain the growth of Sofar over the last few years, and how you anticipating it growing next? We’ve hosted thousands of artists over the past 9 years, and we want to continue offering them these unique opportunities to perform! We also want to make Sofar more accessible to the guests who want to attend. Three years ago, I used to wait five months to be accepted to attend a show in NYC, but now we’re hosting 50+ shows a month across the city. This allows more chances for connection and discovery within our community. Over the past few years, Sofar has grown from a hobby into a business in order to keep this movement sustainable. Where eve- ryone was volunteerin Z\[YH]BY[[H]H L [ ][YB[\YY\[[\H][[YHو\Y\]Y\[ٙ\\ Bܝ[\\\\X[H]Y\[\\\[Hܛ [[[ق\H[\YY\\Yٙ[Y\[][H٘\[][]K[[H\ܚXH[\]ܚ]H^KBY[H]Hܙ[^][ۏ’x&[HۙHوH[H[Hوۘ\][^\]H\\\¸'\'H[Y[ۙH]8&\[X\XKݙ\^HYX\]٘\x&]HۛXY][Yو\\][^x&\H\ZH[H[YH [YH[ܙH]\X[H[[Y K٘\XZۈH\Y\]Y[\\[][YK[H[]HHX[۝\][ۈ][K][ܘX[™[][HY\H܈[[Hۈ[\X^[YH^x&\H[ۋ