Friday, July 19, 2024

SoFar Sounds is coming to a backyard near you

Local musician Eric Miller of L Shape Lot joined on as a Penguin host this year, further connecting the music to the community
Local musician Eric Miller of L Shape Lot joined on as a Penguin host this year, further connecting the music to the community

WILMINGTON — SoFar Sounds, the company responsible for “secret gigs and intimate concerts” in over 350 cities worldwide, is bringing its particular brand of shows to the Port City later this summer.

The grassroots organization, which began in the U.K. in 2009, works to “bring the magic back to live music.”

According to the official website, SoFar Sounds “curate(s) secret, intimate gigs in unique spaces, from living rooms and churches to hoodie shops and fancy furniture showrooms,” all with the goal of creating performance spaces that are “respectful to artists, where the audience lives in the moment and listens closely to the music.”

Haley Coleman, owner of Wilmington’s Vantage Point Productions, has been working with the London-based organization over the past few months to open up the newest chapter here in town.

“Once a month, we’ll feature three bands in an intimate setting, each playing a 30-minute acoustic session,” Coleman said. “These shows are really about the music.”

Many times, small shows like these can end up being “background music at a bar,” but that won’t be the case with SoFar, she said.

For starters, Coleman has secured insurance to cover 200 people at the so called “shop shows.” Venues will range from places like local coffee shops and bars, to people’s homes and backyards.

One of the coolest things about these concerts, according to Coleman, is the spontaneity of the event. None of the attendees will know who is playing until 24 hours ahead of time.

According to the SoFar website, you first have to track down the date of the up-coming show. Next, if you manage to get in, SoFar will release the address of the secret venue to you. From there, it will let you know 24 hours ahead of time who is actually playing the gig.

“It’s going to be different genres throughout the shows, and we’ve already had our first few bands pass the review stage,” Coleman said. “This is for people who really want to support their local music scene.”

As of now, Coleman is planning on hosting the shows on Sunday afternoons. Afterwards, there will be an “all out jam session” to conclude the show.

Artists are compensated with free video of their performance in the SoFar network, or up to $100 per show. The shows don’t feature an opener, or a headliner. It’s just about the music.

Coleman hopes that by bringing local acts to into the SoFar network, she can connect them with other venues throughout the United States, allowing them to break out, and gain recognition for their talents.

The series will kick off in August. For more information on the shows, visit To find out how you or your band can get involved, visit the Vantage Point Productions website at, or email Haley Coleman at

Send comments and tips to Cory Mannion at, @corymannion on Twitter, and @corythamann on Facebook.

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