Meet Sofar Sounds' Rafe Offer, The Concert Curator Who Wants To Bring Ed Sheeran To Your Living Room
publish date: 2017-10-23
Would you attend a concert with no stage and no pre-announced lineup? What if it took place in a stranger’s living room, an antique shop, a rock climbing center -- even the top of a ski slope?
Rafe Offer is banking on it. With his gig curating company Sofar Sounds, the London-based entrepreneur has staged secret, intimate concerts with names like Hozier and Sylvan Esso in all these donated settings and more, spread across 382 cities worldwide from Memphis to Mumbai, New York to Newcastle. And with backing from Virgin Records co-founder Richard Branson, the project is growing fast: In late September, Sofar teamed up with Amnesty International for the one-day event Give A Home, bringing performances by 1,000 musicians including Ed Sheeran and the National to living rooms across the globe to raise awareness of the ongoing refugee crisis.
The idea for Sofar -- short for “songs from a room” -- first sparked between co-founders Offer, Rocky Start and singer-songwriter David Alexander while attending a noisy, packed Friendly Fires concert in London in 2009. Between the clinking of beer bottles and iPhone cameras swaying in the air, the three friends couldn't hear or see a thing.