Missing the days when concerts didn't involve glaring cell phone screens or drunkenly loud conversations competing with the music? Sofar Sounds has teamed up with Airbnb Experiences to bring the magic back to live music with intimate secret shows around the Bay Area.
Leah Siegel of FirehorsePhoto by Jose Camargo
Now live in 327 cities around the world, Sofar began when a group of friends in London became disgruntled by a typical show experience of inebriated mayhem and a general lack of appreciation for the music. They put together an intimate show in their living room, and then did another, and another, slowly expanding from city to city, country to country. Now they've teamed up with Airbnb to expand their vision in the Bay Area.
"Sofar Sounds, like Airbnb, is all about global community. The magic that happens when people come together around the universal things that matter, like music," says Rafe Offer, cofounder of Sofar Sounds. "We're excited to welcome Airbnb guests into that community, allowing them to discover and get closer to the best music experiences that cities have to offer."
So how does it work?
"People sign up for a date via the Airbnb app and Sofar will contact them directly with the details on the day of the show," explains Mira Brock, global brand manager of Sofar Sounds. "The only difference here is that we communicate with guests via messaging in the app and not email. Also, the deal with Airbnb allows users to purchase priority-access tickets, with guaranteed entry to a Sofar show."
There is an air of exclusiveness as well: One must apply to attend and the audience is selected based on venue capacity, unless you book through Airbnb. Though you can add a Sofar show to your Airbnb booking, you can also sign up for just an experience for $30.
"The Airbnb staff has been to many Sofar SF shows and we've been looking for a way to partner together for a while," says Brock. "When they launched the trips platform with a 'Music Experiences' vertical, it was the obvious answer."
Airbnb's launch of their bespoke program of "Music Experiences" includes exclusive access to sold-out shows and intimate live performances in 13 global cities from Bombay to Sao Paolo to San Francisco.
Sofar adds to that specialness factor by featuring artists ranging from breakout indie bands to internationally acclaimed artists including Bastille, Hozier, Leon Bridges, James Bay, Yeasayer, George Ezra, Karen O, Tom Odell, and Wolf Alice.