With hundreds of shows around the world each month, countless memorable moments happen at Sofar. Here are just a few of the special shows we put on in the past few weeks!
Last year, rising Chicago rapper John Walt was tragically killed the day before his scheduled Sofar show. His guitarist attended the gig and performed in his honor, and the saddened crowd joined together to sing the choruses in John Walt’s memory. To honor him one year later, Sofar Chicago joined forces with Walt’s mother and his close friend and Sofar alum L.A. VanGogh to benefit the John Walt Foundation through a special show celebrating emerging Chicago artists, with sets from VanGogh, Manasseh and Frankiem Mitchell. Ticket sales raised almost $900 for the foundation, the single largest donation that the newly formed foundation has received to date.
Not many people can say they’ve experienced a concert in a pool, let alone at the bottom of one. For their October show, Sofar Shanghai gathered guests in the empty pool of the old Navy Club of Columbia Circle, originally the social hub for Americans in Shanghai in the 1920s-1940s. The show had sets from world music group Beyond the Quarry, American folk singer Chris Garneau, Australian guitarist Dave Stone, and Hong Kong group The Sulis Club.
Sofar Porto Alegre brought music lovers together for an afternoon of music in a beautiful setting: the Biblioteca Pública do Estado, or state public library of Rio Grande do Sul. Guests listened to sets from Carne Doce, Pedro Cassel and Akeem Music in the historical building dating from the early 1900s.
On October 25th, Sofar Gothenburg celebrated one year of intimate shows in Sweden’s second-largest city! They threw a show at the Röda Sten Konsthall, a gallery housed in an old boiler house with an interesting history: first, burning wood chips and coal for industry, then, a place for illegal raves starting in the ‘70s, and since the ‘90s, a state-funded art gallery with interactive art.
To celebrate the team’s multiculturality (the 25 team members come from 15 different countries!), the proceeds of the show went to Röda Korset Ungdoms Kompisgruppen, helping unaccompanied child refugees to experience fun activities together, while they’re waiting on a more secure living condition. The show featured performances by The Groove, Ulrik Munther and Nadja Itasaari.
This month, Sofar Seattle took over the stunning ballroom at The Ruins, a well-known local events space in the heart of the city. Aside from crystal chandeliers and luxurious deep blue velvet curtains, the room also features hand-painted murals. Built in 1928, The Ruins was formerly an auto body-building plant, drafting office and pottery manufacturer. Hi Crime, Sydney Ranee’ and Clay Priskorn provided the tunes.
You never know what type of genre you’ll see at a Sofar show, but it's not often punk. That wasn’t the case at this week’s Sofar Gainesville show, where punk/hardcore band War on Women played a rare acoustic set. They stayed an extra day in Gainesville to perform with us after their set at The Fest, a major punk festival. The band has received acclaim for vocally critiquing social issues they care about (gun violence, racism, transphobia, sexual assault, etc.) and channeling that rage through music. Bonus: one of Sofar Gainesville’s team members is actually in War on Women’s touring band!