Sofar Sounds Chico


Photo credit: MAWD

Sofar Sounds is an international organization that is reviving the enchantment of live music. And after making a home in 328 cities across the world, it’s coming to Chico.

“Sofar only hires really talented artists. There are going to be local bands and even touring bands participating in Sofar Chico, which will be a great way for the community to connect with smaller and bigger artists,” said Brandon McKie, Sofar Chico co-organizer.

What makes Sofar unlike any other concert is its secret nature. The artist and venue is unknown when applying for tickets. If they are lucky enough to receive a chance to buy tickets, the artist and host address will be revealed the day before. The events are typically held in somebody’s home, so the atmosphere is cozy and intimate.

“The setting is always really intimate so that the audience truly listens to the music. You get to focus on the artist. It’s exciting because you never know which artist you’ll get,” McKie said.

Well-known artists like Hozier, James Bay and Leon Bridges have all made appearances at Sofar Sound events, so it is possible that the next big artist will grace their presence on the many stages of Sofar Chico in the near future.

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Photo credit: MAWD

Sofar Chico’s debut concert was March 10 and showcased local and touring artists such as MAWD, Kyle Williams and John Craigie—an up and coming folk artist.

“John Craigie was just starting his tour and apparently he is going to open for Jack Johnson,” said Samantha Nickel, back-up vocalist to MAWD. “All of the artists have just released new music and are either on tour or about to go on tour.”

As the singer/songwriters performed, they were illuminated by a multitude of string lights in the quaint backyard of MAWD’s humble abode. Chairs and blankets were set out for the audience to kickback and quietly enjoy the night of acoustic tunes.

“We had a lot of fun at the first Sofar Sounds event. It was a comfortable setting. People were dancing but not being disruptive. You have to go for the experience of listening to people—it’s like story time through song,” Nickel said.

While there are a lot of places in Chico to experience live, acoustic music, there is nothing like a Sofar Sounds concert.

“Unlike the usual college house shows or noisy venues, Sofar Sounds strives for a silent and attentive audience,” said SoFar Sounds Chico organizer MAWD. “It’s almost as if you transcend to another world where you focus on the music instead of daily distractions.”

Unplug and unwind at the next Sofar Sounds, which will be hosted mid-to-late April.

Apply for tickets online at the Sofar Sounds website or contact Sofar Sounds Chico on either Facebook or Instagram for information.

Anisha Brady can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter.