Artist and venue TBA—and that’s the point.


➼ Alone on a San Francisco business trip last fall without evening plans, Bryan Stealey bought a concert ticket online. It was a leap of faith—the location wasn’t specified and the bands weren’t named. “I ended up sitting on a couch with people I didn’t know in somebody’s home, and I had the greatest time watching artists I didn’t know I’d love, but did.”

Stealey had stumbled across Sofar Sounds: secret shows in intimate spaces. After a second Sofar concert, in Las Vegas, he was hooked. He contacted the organizers and asked about starting Sofar in Morgantown. His monthly shows hit the ground running with a sold-out concert at Pathfinder in March.

A Sofar show consists of three bands playing four songs each. Ticketholders learn the venue the day before their show—might be a flea market, might be an empty warehouse without electricity—and don’t know who the bands will be until they get there. A ticket costs $20, refreshments are BYOB, and bands may be local acts or shows on tour. The unconventional, intimate settings—typically fewer than 100 people—make every show a memorable experience.

Started in London in 2009, Sofar Sounds is in 400 cities worldwide and growing. To catch a show in Morgantown, or to offer to play or host, visit sofarsounds.com and search “Morgantown.”

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