July 19, 2019 | 93° F

Sofar Sounds comes to New Brunswick with new student rep

Photo by Deanna DiLandro |

Waking up one morning as a first-year living in Tinsley Hall on College Avenue, I remember picking up a copy of the New York Times from the lobby and flipping straight to the arts section, scanning the bold print for a headline that would inspire me to read on.

“Intimate Concerts in Secret Locations,” was the headline that swayed me to snag the arts section and read its content while sitting on an LX bus headed to class. It was on that bus that I was introduced to Sofar Sounds, a live music experience unlike any other.

Founded in London in 2010 and now based in more than 300 cities around the world, Sofar Sounds is a global network of artists, hosts and guests, all with the goal of cherishing live music. From apartments to warehouses and marine ships, Sofar Sounds shows happen all over the place — if you can get in.

Half the adventure of Sofar is the surprise of where and who you will be seeing at a gig, and the other half is getting the chance to attend a live music event catered to an intimate experience with the music and the audience.

Two years later, Sofar Sounds is making New Brunswick a part of their global network. Current Rutgers first-year student and Tinsley Hall resident Amanda Leifer has attended countless Sofar shows and wanted to bring Sofar Sounds to an already thriving music scene.

“When I was coming to Rutgers I already knew that I wanted to do musical things,” Leifer said. “I knew that I wanted to be a part of something musical within Rutgers, I learned so much about the basement scene here, and I thought, having gone to so many Sofar shows, what would be a better way to bring people into place where they can listen to more music? And I thought New Brunswick was that perfect place.”

Through attending Sofar shows, Leifer realized her ability to curate personalized shows in the city she is living in. The New Brunswick Sofar Sounds team has begun hosting shows throughout the city, including, but not limited to Brunswick’s basements.

“We plan to host more shows in diverse locations throughout the community, and we’re really excited for audience members to find out where we are hosting gigs,” Leifer said.

Not only is Sofar Sounds shedding light on sharable spaces within the community, but it is also opening up the scene to a wide range of musicians who apply to play gigs with Sofar Sounds in New Brunswick. Musicians who apply to play Sofar shows come from all over the world, creating a diverse live music experience in an already diverse city.

“Being a part of the music community is what brings together the music geeks and band nerds together,” Leifer said. “Sofar Sounds makes a big school seem smaller.”

Deanna DiLandro

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