Toronto music promoters on building a global scene from the ground up

Sean Minouge

Apr 29, 2019

Sofar Sounds, an intimate, secret concert series held in unconventional venues around the world, now has a Toronto branch. This weekend saw psych folkies Delta Will, percussionist/master drummer Amadou Kienou and chamber music ensemble Pocket Concerts perform at Lab T.O. near Lansdowne and Wallace to a handful of in-the-knowers. 

To find out about upcoming events, you have to join Sofar’s mailing list, search for Toronto events, apply for tickets and then wait to see if a confirmation email lands in your inbox. The organization releases the address one day before the event, along with who’s performing and other info. You pay what you can and are allowed to bring a plus-one. 

Sofar Sounds shows, which are largely acoustic, aren’t completely new to Toronto. Mây Cafe hosted Tich Maredza Band, Ase Eschu Bafamet and Snowday in February at 876Studio; cellist Cris Derksen and the Bros. Landreth performed at the LinkedIn Canada head office in December, and Unbuttoned and Coronado performed at an event last August.

Musicians interested in playing can fill out an online application. Payment takes the form of a high-quality video from the show or a fee equal to the cost of making such a video. You can also apply to host an event.