A Sofar Sounds gig is a great way to explore the local music scene of the city you are in! Last May 2016, I went to my first Sofar Sounds Los Angeles gig at a secret location in Downtown LA.

If you haven’t heard of Sofar Sounds, they’re a team of music lovers that organise secret shows all over the globe. Since they do it for the love of music, the whole show is one big volunteering act! It depends what city you’re in but they may pass the hat or ask for a small donation to keep their cause going.

My first encounter with Sofar Sounds was when it was held at a Bratpack store in Manila. It was there I learned to appreciate the local indie music scene in the Philippines. From then on, I knew that one of the best ways to experience the music scene is through an avenue such as Sofar.

Secret gigs have this negative misconception, but I assure you that Sofar isn’t trying to build that kind of reputation. It’s for people who love the experience of an intimate gig. That’s one of the things I love about Sofar. They really highlight the music and treat musicians with respect. When an act is on, the doors are closed. Everyone is quiet and focused. There are hardly any phones up in the air. There was only one photographer in the crowd. Everyone was in the moment. I loved it!

As such, I didn’t take many photos during the gig. I just felt weird to be documenting it when I was at a place that encouraged you to experience the music and immerse yourself in it!

Sofar Sounds Los Angeles

There were three performers at the Sofar Sounds LA show.

An Acoustic Session with Avid Dancer

Avid Dancer is an all around musician who began as a drummer. After moving to LA, he taught himself to play other instruments and started to record his music. He sat down on the yellow chair in front of us and began singing acoustic renditions of his songs. Though he was nervous–he admitted that it was scarier to perform in front of an intimate crowd than a big venue–he commanded everyone’s attention in the room.

Natula Performs for a Cause

When Natula turned thirty, she knew she wanted to do something big. She’s using this milestone to achieve great things with her music. Before beginning her set, she told us about her project, The Golden 30 Tour. She’s doing house shows around the world to raise money for Syrian Refugees. She’s not only a talented musician–her sound is unique–she also has a big heart.

Bootleg Sunshine: The Only BS You Need!

That’s Bootleg Sunshine’s website tagline, no kidding. It only shows you that this band is oozing with humour. Not only are they fun to watch, their stage presence makes you want to jump up and dance. And I almost did, but resorted to some lame form of dancing while seated: bobbing my head and moving my upper body side to side.

Here’s a little snippet I recorded!

Bootleg Sunshine ‘s impressive sounds at #sofarla #music #gigs

A video posted by Days in Wonderland (@daysinwonderland) on


There you go! A recap of my Sofar Sounds LA experience.

I hope you found musical gems in this post and are curious to experience a Sofar show for yourself! 🙂

Interested in attending a Sofar Sounds Manila gig? Be sure to sign up if you want to know when their next gig will be.

‘Til the next post!

About the author

Izzy launched Days in Wonderland as an avenue for avid music fans and travel bugs to find inspiration. Days in Wonderland features concert photos and write-ups, song suggestions, interviews and travel guides.
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