Sofar Sounds: The Secret’s Out

At a time when supporting live music is more important than ever, a special group of Gold Coasters offer their skills, resources and passion to deliver intimate gigs in secret locations around the city.

Launched in 2017 by Dani Miller and Mindy Davies, Sofar Gold Coast is a branch of the global community known as Sofar Sounds, which reimagines the live music experience through curated, intimate performances in more than 325 cities around the world, including ours.

What started as a hobby at the home of its London founder Rafe Offer quickly transformed into a global community that connects artists with audiences, delivering personal live music experiences to many cities around the world, including the Gold Coast due to the efforts of Dani Miller and her team.

Dani Miller, currently an Associate Producer at HOTA, introduced Sofar Sounds to the Gold Coast in 2017, after returning from London where she first came across the concept.

“I wanted to make the most of my time living in London, so when someone told me about this event called Sofar Sounds that’s BYO, cheap and really amazing, I had to check it out,” she explained.

“So I went to a few and became absolutely hooked on the concept.”

When Dani heard that Sofar Sounds existed in Australia but not on the Gold Coast, she jumped at the chance to bring Sofar Gold Coast to life. With help from fellow Sofar Sounds enthusiast, Mindy Davies, the pair set out to bring these special events to Gold Coast artists and audiences.

Now, with the help of a small but solid team of dedicated volunteers, Sofar Gold Coast has established itself as an esteemed Gold Coast community, delivering monthly gigs at secret locations and featuring diverse line-ups.

Proudly supporting local, up-and-coming talent since its inception, Sofar Gold Coast has collected an impressive repertoire of artists, including Budjerah Slabb, Robbie Miller, JK-47 with the Kinship Collective, Asha Jeffries, Girl and Girl, Bronte Eve and The Oogars, just to name a few.

“I think it’s important for artists, especially those who are lesser known, to play for people who really want to listen,” Dani said.

It’s nice to be heard.

Hosted each month in different locations, Sofar Gold Coast scours the city for unconventional spaces where live performances could be held. With some previous locations including a craft parlour, office space, barber shop, even horse stable, each event provides a distinct experience for everyone involved, whilst also connecting venues with new potential customers.

During a trying time for the music and arts industries following COVID-19, Sofar Gold Coast has acted as a pillar in the community, providing multiple opportunities to many people, from artists and venue owners to small businesses.

“It really feels like a like-minded community; the audience, the artists, the venue owners, and our team,” Dani told us.

“We are all there because we believe in the power and magic of live music in its purest form. The artist gets to tell their story to an audience that wants to listen, it restores your faith in humanity. And to be welcomed with open arms into someone’s venue is pretty damn special.”

Offering a new way to experience live music, Sofar Gold Coast is first and foremost about community, connecting people with artists and venues that they may not have been aware of, as well as other music loving Gold Coasters.

“I hope people who attend leave feeling more human, I know I do,” Dani said.

With an abundance of local talent and quirky venues right on our doorstep, there are plenty more spellbinding Sofar Gold Coast events scheduled for 2021. So keep an eye out for their next gig in May and prepared to be welcomed with open arms and enveloped in live music.

The Sofar Gold Coast team consists of: Dani Miller, Beth Galvin, Leilani Zito, Lauren Woods, Philippa Arrowsmith, Sam Townsend, Max Anand and Alistair Page. For more information, visit the Sofar Gold Coast website sofarsounds.com or find them on Facebook and Instagram. You can also check out Sofar Sounds videos from around the world on the YouTube Channel.

IMAGE: daste. at Mobile Barber Shop Depot 2021 © Melting Wax Photography

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