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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Pam Kasey
Written by Pam Kasey
Pam Kasey has traveled, brewed, farmed, counseled, and renovated, but most loves to write. She has degrees in economics from the University of Chicago and in journalism from West Virginia University. She loves celebrating Morgantown and West Virginia as executive editor at New South Media.