In early March, we suspended all Sofar Sounds shows worldwide, impacting more than 2,000 artists across hundreds of cities in six continents. We know the devastating effect COVID-19 has had on local music communities, both on artists and the people who support them.
Sofar is doing whatever we can to bring Sofar artists and audiences together and provide resources to help artists during this time. Here’s what we’ve been working on:
Sofar is advancing a full show payment to all artists who had a Sofar event canceled. We know finances are tight for everyone and hope that this helps in some small way. When it’s safe to do so, we’ll work with the artists to reschedule their shows and get them back in front of a Sofar audience. If artists had a Sofar show scheduled and canceled, they can expect an email this week with more details.
We’re establishing a fund with an initial goal of $250,000, which will be focused on providing direct financial support to the artists who rely on Sofar and other local gigs to make a living.
Though nothing is quite like an actual Sofar show, this week we’re launching an online listening room where Sofar communities around the world can come together. It will feature live streaming performances, video premieres and conversations with artists from around the world. Fans will be able to donate directly to featured artists or make a contribution to the Sofar Global Artist Fund.
Our city teams all around the world are pulling together local resources and information for artists affected by COVID-19, covering topics from healthcare to relief fund applications. We’ll continue to add to the list, so bookmark this page.
In the coming weeks we’ll be rolling out exclusive content for Sofar artists, including a series of online meetups and webinars. We’ll be working with Berklee College of Music’s online school on some of the upcoming sessions, and are excited to be able to connect artists with their amazing educators.
The disruption to the Sofar community and stress it has caused, both for musicians and the more than 400 Sofar city teams around the world, is painful. People are losing more than shows, and friends in some cities around the world are dealing with the unimaginable. However, it’s also humbling and inspiring to see everyone come together, offering support to each other and sharing creative ideas. That’s what is keeping us going and motivating us to do whatever we can to help.
Things are moving fast here, so feel free to let us know if something we’ve launched isn’t working right, or to just to share your suggestions. We’ll keep doing whatever we can to support artists during this challenging time.
Header image of Zane Coppard by Andréa Saunier