Sofar Sounds, the worldwide intimate live performance community, has made a comeback after going through vital challenges in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, reporting that it paid out greater than $30 million to artists because the pandemic.
The determine was reported by Selection on Tuesday (June 13), noting that Sofar has since hosted a number of livestreams and managed to pay some 3,000 artists whose reveals had been canceled as a result of lockdowns regardless of being initially perceived as one of many music trade’s most susceptible companies in the course of the pandemic.
Sofar Sounds managed to climate the storm, paying artists greater than $1.5 million over the course of the pandemic, the report mentioned.
Sofar is thought for having hosted early performances from the likes of Billie Eilish, Bastille, Leon Bridges, Hozier and YEBBA.
The payouts to artists not solely embrace efficiency charges but additionally consequence from the corporate’s foray into artist companies. By means of its platform, Sofar Sounds launched ‘Fan Rewards’ and VIP experiences that enable artists to supply unique perks to their followers.
Jim Lucchese, CEO of Sofar Sounds, acknowledged the impression on artists in the course of the pandemic, noting that greater than 70% of them misplaced over half of their earnings, whereas greater than 90% misplaced practically all of their scheduled gigs.
“We had 3,000 artists that that we needed to cancel,” Lucchese was quoted by Selection as saying.
“So despatched them a word and initially mentioned, ‘Right here’s the cash to your reveals, what we usually pay, contemplate it an advance,’ pondering we’d be again in a couple of months. However as issues dragged on, we simply mentioned, ‘Preserve that cash as a grant, mainly.”
Sofar additionally launched a proper grant program for artists.
Throughout the pandemic, Sofar remained financially steady by organizing livestreamed concert events referred to as Listening Room, the place artists retained 100% of the donations, with a median quantity of $450 per efficiency.
Moreover, the corporate secured help from traders and sponsors. Lucchese had been planning the enlargement into artist companies even earlier than the pandemic, and in February 2021, Sofar acquired Seated, permitting touring artists to attach instantly with followers by a listings instrument for selling non-Sofar reveals and merchandise.
The corporate additionally diversified its livestream choices to incorporate tailor-made choices and VIP packages, starting from digital birthday events to company team-building occasions.
“That is operationally hands-on, the place we work with the artists and managers to create customized VIP experiences, after which construct a little bit of tech and supply companies to carry these to life. That may be something from early entry to tickets to a meet-and-greet or a totally bespoke fan expertise,” Lucchese informed Selection.
With the resumption of stay occasions, Sofar has expanded past its conventional format of three artists performing 20-25 minute units in unconventional venues. The corporate now gives numerous present codecs that command increased compensation.
The corporate now goals to host about 10,000 reveals throughout 400 cities worldwide by the tip of the 12 months.
Earlier than the pandemic, Sofar revealed in Could 2019 that it had raised $25 million to gas its future enlargement all over the world. The funding spherical was led by Battery Ventures and Union Sq. Ventures, with current traders Octopus Ventures and Virgin Group additionally collaborating within the spherical.
Two months later, Sofar partnered with Signia Inventive, a division of the personal funding workplace Signia, and UK-based charity Assist Musicians on a sequence of reveals to lift funds to help musicians.
Music Enterprise Worldwide