Call for musicians and venues as Harrogate becomes a Sofar City


Talented musicians and artists are being invited to perform in intimate venues around Harrogate after the town joined other locations around the world in becoming a ‘Sofar Sounds City.’

Live music website links music fans with secret gigs at small and unusual venues. Harrogate has now been confirmed as a Sofar Sounds City following efforts by Harrogate Convention Centre to bring more well-known and up-and-coming acts to the North Yorkshire town.

Brian Dobson, head of sales and events at the Centre, was instrumental in winning the bid, and said venues and artists were now needed to apply for the Harrogate launch show on January 31.

Brian said:

Being a Sofar Sounds City means we are now part of a global network of towns and cities around the world with a recognized pedigree in hosting quality live artists and bands.

I went to my first show in Manchester this summer. I was made to feel at home straight away in the Sofar community and when I heard the gorgeous harmonies of a stripped-back The Travelling Band just a couple of feet away, I was transfixed.

While the Convention Centre was behind the bid, it’s now really up to the talented musicians and lovers of live music to throw their support behind it. Artists from around the world are already signing up to perform. We’ve had applications from Paris, Berlin, Istanbul, San Francisco, Arkansas, Nashville and Edmonton.

We need artists to perform, unusual venues to host the shows and we need an audience. The whole Sofar Sounds ethos is about getting involved. That means virtually anywhere can apply to become a venue for an intimate live gig – whether it’s a café, warehouse, studio, or even someone’s living room or kitchen.

Sofar was founded in 2010 in London by a small group of music fans who wanted to create evenings where the focus was on listening to live acts without the usual interruptions of noisy bars and people arriving late. The movement has now granted Sofar status to 385 cities around the world, with each city being vetted for local talent before they are accepted.

Jason Odle, co-founder and director of Harrogate music label, Ont’ Sofa, was one of the first to welcome the news. He said:

Sofar is a great contribution to Harrogate’s live music scene. I think the town will benefit greatly from having this level of intimacy at live performances.

Sofar is a brilliant initiative and it will be so good to get Harrogate on the contemporary musical map.

The shows work by selling tickets for a gig taking place on a certain date in the host city of the concert goer’s choice. The identity of the venue and artists are kept secret until just before the show takes place.

Concerts will include local up-and-coming and established musicians and guests artists from around the country. All have been vetted by Sofar. Anyone interested in getting involved, whether as a volunteer, host or artist should register at

To register for Sofar tickets sign up at and select Harrogate as your home ‘city’.

For more information on Sofar Sounds Harrogate contact



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