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How it works

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Every year we bring more than 10,000 artists together with attentive audiences, and a lot goes on behind the scenes to make that happen. Here are a few things to know about how we operate around the world.

There are different types of Sofar cities:


These cities host most Sofar shows (and have a more frequent event schedule). Tickets are sold in advance and artists are paid a flat guarantee. Each city has a small local team of full-time and part-time employees who book, organize and run the events.


The majority of Sofar cities operate independently and host fewer shows. In most of them, events are free and organizers pass-the-hat to collect money for show expenses and artists. A smaller number of them sell tickets online and pay artists the same flat guarantee as in Sofar-operated cities.

Artist payments

Compensation varies depending on the type of city. For ones where tickets are sold online in advance, each act is guaranteed $100 in the US, £75 in the UK, $100 CAD in Canada, $150 AUD in Australia, $120 NZD in New Zealand, and 100€ in Spain.

For ticketed shows in the US, UK and Canada, payment levels are based on the number of tickets sold:

In cities where shows are free to attend, artist payments work differently. Organizers ‘pass the hat’ to collect money for event expenses and artists, and Sofar doesn’t take a cut. In some cases, there may be an option for artists to choose a high-quality video of the performance as an alternative.

How money works at a Sofar show:

In Sofar-operated cities, where most of the shows happen, having small local teams on the ground means being able to provide more consistent and regular performance opportunities for artists. Here’s an example of what goes into putting on a show and filling the room with fans.

Sofar’s share of the show revenue helps cover centralized company costs like the team that runs the website, ticketing and event booking systems, small marketing and finance teams, and others that make sure the shows happen and artists get paid.

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