Sofar Sounds: Live Music in a Secret Setting

Founded in 2010, Sofar Sounds hosts live music in cities and random event locations all over the world but there is one catch: all the shows are secret and you have to be on the list to get in. This is exclusive music in an intimate setting. We had the chance to catch up with Nicole Fallon, an ambassador for Sofar Sounds and chat about live music, the Sofar experience, and the joys of working with great artists.


In your own words, can you tell us what Sofar Sounds is?

Sofar Sounds is a movement of bringing people together in unique settings to listen to live music. Sofar Sounds connects people that truly appreciate music. It allows us to come together in a very intimate setting, almost like an inside picnic pending the location. Sofar Sounds brings the artist closer to it’s audience and it is a magical thing.

What is the meaning and the mission behind Sofar Sounds?

I’ll refer to the website and Rafe Offer’s most recent NPR interview as his words are much better than mine.

Tell us about how this idea came to be?

I believe it came to be by Rafe and some of his friends going to shows and not being able to really enjoy the show because they couldn’t hear the music. Most of us go to shows to listen to music, to find new artists, to enjoy the sound. I know that experience can be easily disrupted by those not truly there for the music.


Who are the typical audiences interested in this event?

The most typical I’ve come to find are those that truly love music. I’ve also come to find it is totally for those that are okay with attending things alone as well. It’s about meeting those that have the same interests as you. It’s fun to meet all the audience members and learning about why they are there each show. I’ve already had repeat audience members and it’s so fun to have them be as excited and as enthusiastic about the experience as myself.

What other cities in the Midwest is Sofar Sounds in?

There is Sofar in Madison, WI, Fargo, ND, Chicago, IL. I encourage everyone to go to the website to see where the nearest city is for them; it’s also incredible if you know you are going to be traveling and can attend in a different city! 

How do you see Sofar MSP or even Sofar Midwest differentiating itself from the other international Sofar Sounds events?

I would have to say, as of now, I can’t see us being that different. I have artists that have played in other cities and countries reaching out because all the shows have been so cohesive as far as operations and they absolutely love how the audience has no idea who will be playing music for them that night. They are truly coming to find new sounds, to listen… to appreciate. It’s pretty incredible.

How to you spread the word about your events? What marketing channels do you use?

This part of Sofar Sounds kind of blows my mind. I do little to none for marketing. There is Facebook and Twitter – but I’ve come to find that word of mouth works extremely well for these events. Who doesn’t want to come to a SECRET show? If you are a part of the email system you get the first look at what cities have show and get the opportunity to apply! Then, with people being able to bring a plus +1, I can tell each month the “hype” is growing naturally and reaching those that are truly interested in enjoying live music.

What are some good/crazy stories about artists/ hosts that have happened at Sofar Sounds MSP?

I would have to say Sofar Sounds MSP has changed my life. I’m a part of this because of the past Sofar Ambassador Andrea Bussey. The hosts have been incredibly generous and gracious. I know these are my people. Welcoming strangers into their homes, no questions asked. Literally! Nothing too crazy has happened yet, but I know that there is so much to come and it is going to be a fun ride! One thing that comes to mind was during my first show where we were doing a live recording… and all of a sudden multiple police sirens started going in the back… the artists commented on it and somehow incorporated it into their song! It was a spontaneous funny moment in front of about 100 guests. Cheers to many more shows, new locations, and beautiful music!