Hello and welcome back!
The organisation of last night’s date night fell to the hands of my fantastic other half, Ed – although the evening was admittedly cut short due to him swallowing too much bacteria infested river water at the weekend (did I mention we did a triathlon?) leading him to be suffering from….a dodgy tummy *ahem* the shits *ahem*.
However, the date itself is an absolutely perfect night for anyone who enjoys live music and the element of surprise when it comes to dates.
Allow me to introduce you to Sofar Sounds, a now global community, coordinating a plethora of intimate gigs in secret locations across cities worldwide…
What: Sofar Sounds
Where: London, UK and beyond!
When: Dates dependent on location/area (check here for upcoming dates in London)
How Much? £10 (ballot entry)
Sofar Sounds started in 2009 by two guys who were sick of going to gigs where people spoke over the performers and didn’t appreciate the music, so they decided to host their own from their sitting room. The premise is simple – it’s not about the space, it’s about the music and being respectful of the artist.
It’s for this reason that the Sofar Sounds team keep the specific venue and line-ups a secret and allocate tickets to guests who have entered a ballot. Some gigs are also held in people’s homes, so in order to protect their privacy, the address is only disclosed to confirmed guests the day before the event via email.
For our particular date, Sofar Sounds confirmed we had made the guest list for a venue in Hackney which turned out to be a yoga studio in Cambridge Heath.
Arrival time for the event was between 7.30 and 8pm, which left us time for dinner at the pub next door and pop to Tesco for a couple of G&Ts to drink during the evening (most Sofar Sounds are BYOB). It also meant that we got there early enough to shotgun some good floor space with our BYOCs (bring your own cushions – advised).
An MC from Sofar Sounds compares the evening, giving you an introduction to Sofar Sounds and setting the scene for the rest of the night.
They reiterate the importance of appreciating the acts by requesting the audience doesn’t talk during performances, that the night is not watched through the screens of your mobile phones and that photos are kept to a minimum. If you miss the names of the acts or want to hear more of their music after the event, you will be sent an email the following day with everything you need!
Our musicians were made up of the beautiful singer-songwriter Chisara Agor, the wonderfully country-western Wandering Hearts giving us the folksy feels and finally the smooth and soulful group, Pronto Mama. Can you tell I know nothing about music?
But that’s kind of the point. It doesn’t matter if you don’t recognise half the names in the Glastonbury line up or know who’s topping the charts. Sofar Sounds is about enjoying live music from news artists that is stripped back and authentic. Just how it should be.
So if you’re looking to impress your date with a really cool concept and some amazing live music within budget – definitely check out Sofar Sounds.
You could even go one step further and apply to host your own… VERY impressive.