Top 10 Most Unique Sofar Venues

Top 10 Most Unique Sofar Venues
Sofar Turns 10May 3, 2019

We pride ourselves on showcasing amazing talent in nontraditional venues. When we first started out, Sofars were all held in people's homes. But when we have the chance,  we love to switch it up a little bit and send our guests somewhere completely unexpected.

It’s hard to narrow down, but here are our Top 10 favorite – and most unexpected! – places we’ve ever hosted a Sofar:

We’re celebrating Sofar Turns 10 around the world with 65+ shows, and we want you in on the festivities. Join us in kicking off the next decade of music discovery with some of our favorite alumni artists and good friends – all at special secret locations, of course. Full list of events.

10. Harrogate, UK | Royal Hall

Most people who take in a show at the Royal Hall in Harrogate enter, take their seat, and look toward the stage for the performance. Not the case for guests at last year’s Sofar Harrogate show – they were directed to sit on the stage itself!

All acts and guests got cozy on the stage for intimate sets, with the stunning Edwardian theater as their backdrop. Opened in 1903, the Royal Hall has since hosted everyone from The Beatles and The Kinks in the ‘60s to English composer Edward Elgar.

Grafton Ash with String Infusion
Sofar Harrogate onstage at the Royal Hall

9.  San Francisco, USA | Tonga Room

Our team in San Francisco has now hosted two special shows at the legendary Tonga Room. The Tonga Room, which opened in 1945, is not only the oldest continually operating tiki venue in North America, but has also been described by Anthony Bourdain as "the greatest place in the history of the world." The acts played their tunes on the floating stage surrounded by water.

On The Sun performing at Sofar San Francisco's Tonga Room

8. NYC, USA | United Palace Theatre

The United Palace Theater very quickly became one of Sofar NYC’s favorite venues, and it’s not hard to see why! We held Sofars in the ornate golden lobby of the preserved movie palace, mixing ‘20s vibes with modern day music.

Tom Walker performing at Sofar NYC at United Palace

7. Rome, Italy | Cinecittà Studios

We took a trip to the Golden Age of cinema in the famous Cinecittà Studios garden. Our bands set up to play just in front of a statue featured in one of the most iconic scenes in movie history, the chariot run in Charlton Heston's 1963 film Ben Hur.

Sofar Rome hosted their show at Cinecittà as part of Give a Home, a worldwide collaboration with Amnesty International where we put on over 270 shows worldwide in support of refugees worldwide.

Sofar Rome at Cinecittà

6. Odense, Denmark | Trampoline Park

While the music played at Jumping Fun in Odense, it was entirely a classic Sofar gig. Shoes off, silence, and floor seating. Between sets was a different matter, when guests could go nuts on the trampolines, jumping tower and foam pits! By the end, we had three sprained ankles to match the three bands that had played that night. Not the worst backstory to have behind an injury...

Sofar Odense at Jumping Fun
Isaac Musoke performing at Sofar Odense

5.  Wroclaw, Poland | A moving tram

Beginning at one end of the city with the first band, Sofar Wroclaw took its show on the move in a tram that was more than 50 years old. The tram moved throughout the city, and at each stop, the bands changed, and people from the street were invited aboard the tram. On its way back, all of the bands played together in a final rousing set!

Sofar Wroclaw on the tram

4.  Lund, Sweden | Lakefront Sauna

One summer in Lund, a Sofar audience headed to a lakefront to watch three artists play on the moss-covered roof of a sauna. After the show, our guests headed indoors for a post-show steam!

Sofar Lund at the lakeside sauna

3. Chicago, USA | Willis Tower

Chicago is known around the world for its stunning skyscrapers and modern architecture, so it’s safe to say that we were pretty excited that we were able to host a Sofar at the top of its tallest building, the Willis Tower.

With panoramic views of the city, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better place to see live music during a sunset.

Sofar Chicago at the top of the Willis Tower

2. Barcelona, Spain | Gaudi’s Casa Batlló Rooftop

Casa Batlló is widely thought to be the finest work of world-renowned architect, Antoni Gaudi, and we were fortunate to host a show on its stunning rooftop in Barcelona.

Like the Cinecittà Sofar in Rome, this show was one of more than 270 organized worldwide by Sofar and Amnesty International for Give a Home, a project in support of refugees worldwide.

Sofar Barcelona at Casa Batlló

1. Oslo, Norway | Top of the Holmenkollen Ski Jump

Not once, but twice, the Sofar Oslo team has managed to shift three bands, their equipment and an audience of happy people up a funicular ski lift to the top of the Holmenkollen Ski Jump, one of Oslo's most recognizable sites.

Here's a video of Norway's Gundelach performing their song “Spiders” at the top of the lift. Try not to get too distracted by the stunning views!

Swing’it Dixieband performing at Sofar Oslo
Gundelach performing at Sofar Oslo

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