Be Still and Listen: Sofar Sounds Takes Beirut

Posted by Irresistible Blog on

It’s no secret that nothing compares to live music. There’s something so profound about listening to artists perform the music they’ve created live. Sofar Sounds is a periodic gig that gives all music lovers the opportunity to enjoy stripped down music in a very intimate setup. The initiative that was conceived in London is now in Beirut giving you the opportunity to be still, listen and take the music in! If you’re a music aficionado yet haven’t heard of Sofar, it’s about time you do and we’re taking on the task of filling you in on the must attend monthly event in Beirut.

The Sofar Sounds story began in 2009 when three friends Rafe, Rocky and Dave attended a Friendly Fires gig in London and were extremely disappointed with the audience. People ruined the atmosphere of the gig by constantly talking, using their phones and clinking their glasses. The three guys decided to start something that fits more into their idea of live music and how it is supposed to be appreciated. They invited their musician friends to their own living room and started what soon became a global initiative that celebrates quality music in an intimate setting.

Sofar Sounds has landed in Beirut at the beginning of 2017. With a show every month, they’ve had 10 gigs to date each marked with the magic of music! In a small country like Lebanon, Sofar has become a platform for emerging local artists to share their art with the select few attending the Sofar gig, at first, and the world, when the gig is posted online for the global Sofar community to enjoy. Because Sofar wants to maintain its driving conviction “be still and listen”, there’s a long process before the audience gets to enjoy the Sofar sounds. At first, the artists chosen to perform aren’t chosen at random. Rather, live footage of the musicians’ music is shared with a global Sofar panel that gets to vote on the eligibility of the acts. Second, those who are willing to attend the gigs are supposed to send a request to attend the gig via https://www.sofarsounds.com/beirut . After a screening process, and a couple of days ahead of the gig, Sofar sends out an invitation to the accepted attendees revealing the address of the gig. More often, this is a cozy location like an apartment or a small coffee shop… As for the acts, they remain a secret until the gig itself.

Three acts are expected to perform every gig and they are only revealed before their performance because the Sofar community is convinced this is more respectful to the artists. They wouldn’t want people to apply to see this or that act, they want them to attend to feet the Sofar magic. Not only that, imagine attending a gig with three different acts; you’re bound to discover something new, something you might really like!

Sofar Sounds Beirut has only been growing and the community today is as beautiful as it gets. Every gig exudes a vibrant thirst for good music whether by Sofar loyals, attendees who are discovering the community and other artists. What’s even more special is that the audience can get up close and personal with the artists. At the end of every performance, the stage (there isn’t an actual stage, performers and audience are at the same level but you get the idea) is opened for questions concerning the artists’ music. Sofar offers you a global community. Something you often hear at a Sofar gig is that with Sofar you have a friend anywhere around the world. Wherever you may travel there’s a Sofar gig you can attend. Even more so, many artists have kickstarted their careers by playing at Sofar. Indie-folk band Postcards and pianist Vladimir Kurumilian started working on exciting new projects after playing for Sofar.

The Sofar Sounds Beirut community is ever-growing to prove that the local music community has a lot to offer. In fact, emerging artists showcased at initiatives like Sofar have so much potential and what’s coming next for these talents is very promising


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