Sofar Sounds Kochi: Indie music in unique venues form the core of these secret gigs

After organising secret shows held in unique locales across 387 cities worldwide, Sofar Sounds is finally making its Kochi debut.

Anoop Menon Published :  01st December 2017 07:00 AM   |   Published :   |  01st December 2017 07:00 AM

Pic: Dhananjay Sathe

It’s no mystery that Kochi’s live performance spaces are disappearing. A crushing combination of regressive policies and politically-motivated crackdowns on nightlife has brought the city’s once-bustling live music scene to a screeching halt. Last year, Indulge compiled a list of alternate performance areas that addressed the dearth of live music venues in the city. Sadly, very few of those bastions (like The Muse Room) continue to do so. But, all hope is not lost.

After organising secret shows held in unique locales across 387 cities worldwide, Sofar Sounds is finally making its Kochi debut. The idea behind Sofar is simple—strip away the glitzy-glamour and impersonal aspects of concerts to create an organic environment where a small audience stays focused only on the music. 

Need of the hour
The modus operandi for these free monthly gigs is that the location and lineup remain hidden until the day before the show. “Guests, who sign up for these private performances, are only told about the neighbourhood where the event will take place,” begins the Kochi chapter’s city leader Vivekanand Lilladhar, adding that the audience can expect to hear at least three different artistes play four original compositions or more at the event. 

Sofar, which denotes ‘Songs From a Room’, was launched in London back in 2009 by founders, Rafe Offer and Rocky Start, but is largely a volunteer-run organisation. The concert series movement first made its regular presence felt in India two years ago in Bengaluru, since then it has expanded to 11 Indian cities including Chennai, Goa, and Kolkata.

Dos and Don’ts
Prarthana Sen, global city expansions and training coordinator for Sofar Sounds in India, explains, “We do request the audience to not talk during the show and keep their phone in silent mode. But they can take photo/videos in a non-invasive manner to post on social media. Also, feel free to interact and network with the artistes post-gig. And even though it is a free gig, we encourage donations from the audience. This is primarily to meet the cost of setting up such gigs.” Such initiatives also help strengthen the local indie music soundscape. So, there’s light at the end of this tunnel, and thankfully, it’s not an oncoming train.

On December 3. 
Near Kadavanthara.
From 6.30 pm onwards.
Register at