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  • Writer's pictureMichael Bugeja


Sofar Sounds is an initiative that dates back to 2010 when the first edition was held in someone’s living room in Kilburn, London. Although there were only eight people in attendance, that first event proved to be a milestone gig, kick-starting an innovative idea that has since spread globally, with similar events taking place in people’s living rooms from London, Paris and Berlin all the way to Sao Paulo, Istanbul, New York and, as from this week, in Malta too.

Based around the idea of giving a platform to up-and-coming musicians, Sofar Sounds seeks to stage events where the music comes first. Given their restricted audience capacity, Sofar Sounds gigs are not paid performances, but the participating artists do receive an edited video of their performance, which is then also uploaded on to the Sofar Sounds channel on You Tube. In line with the Sofar Sounds policy, no advance notice of a gig is made public other than to the selected audience, and even then only the time and location is disclosed, but not who the artist performing will be. Attendees are also allowed one guest and should take their own beverages with them. Bending this rule only slightly, Sofar Sounds have announced they will be hosting their first Malta event this Friday, but of course, stopped short of divulging both the location and the artist or band that will be performing.

London-based Maltese musicians and music writer Shawn James attended his first Sofar gig last November. “It was at a huge artistic warehouse, and when I got there it was packed,” he recalls of that particular evening. “The atmosphere was great, and I remember coming away from it with a big smile on my face, thinking this would be a fantastic idea to bring to Malta.” With so many active bands on the local scene, the Sofar concept should have no problem taking off here. Meanwhile, anyone interested in hosting a Sofar Sounds gig or in attending future Sofar gigs should contact Shawn James at

Watch Jim Hickey perform a Sofar Sounds gig in Berlin here.

This artice was first published in The Sunday Times of Malta (20 April 2014)


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