There’s a cohort of music makers and event producers who are a monthly fixture at Catalyst Ranch, but you may be in the dark about them even if you keep tabs on our public events calendar. And that stealthy existence is one of the methodical puzzle pieces that Sofar Sounds has orchestrated to create a live music experience like no other.

The concept is pretty simple, though it might be vexing to someone used to buying tickets to an ordinary concert. When you purchase a ticket to a Sofar Sounds event, you’re only given a date and time and neighborhood. The rest of it–miniscule details like, oh you know, just who is performing!–is an intentional secret that is exhilarating for their ever-growing audience to commit to.

Their success lies in their ability to vet both their diverse slate of talented music acts and their stable of unique, intimate venues. And naturally, we’re honored to be on their roster for five years and counting! They’ve made an ordinary activity (going to see live music) an entirely new and unexpected experience only they can deliver; it’s why we feel such simpatico symbiosis with Sofar.

We asked Sofar team member Tori Hughes about why our two companies work so well together. Thanks, Tori, for making us feel so great in what we provide, and cheers to continued success in charming audiences with that special Sofar experience!

Tori, please tell our readers about yourself and about the magic that is Sofar Sounds.

Hi! My name is Tori Hughes and I am the Host Operations Manager for Sofar Sounds in Central North America! This means I work with all of the amazing spaces we host Sofars in across six cities, including Chicago.

Sofar Sounds is a global community of music lovers creating space where music matters. We organize intimate concerts in unique locations, typically with three artists that are kept secret until the show begins. Our shows create lasting connections between artists and fans without distractions, pretense, or crowds. As Host Operations Manager, I spend my days finding new unique locations, managing relationships with our venue partners, and coordinating our show schedule.

How did the relationship with Catalyst Ranch begin?  

Catalyst Ranch was one of the first spaces I had the privilege of working with when I joined the Sofar Chicago team as our Venues Manager back in 2017. After Catalyst Ranch applied to host with us via our site, we quickly set up an in-person visit to the space and fell in love with the unique atmosphere of the space. We’ve been hosting monthly for nearly five years!

What is it about our space that speaks to you and to the Sofar audience?

There are so many things that I love about Catalyst Ranch, but the people and the décor are my favorite! Being able to work with Alan, Kira, and Kim over the years has been such a pleasure. I love seeing Sofar guests’ reactions when they come into the space. It’s so unassuming from the outside, but when you enter you’re transported into a colorful wonderland of quirky décor, unique vintage pieces, and a world of childlike imagination that truly fosters creativity.

Why is a space like this impactful for your organization? 

Catalyst Ranch has generously offered their space for Sofar shows for the last 5 years. Their consistent hosting relationship with us has been a contributor to Sofar Chicago’s growth and success. Guests always leave the venue excited for their next show. We’re so grateful for Catalyst Ranch and their team!

What is the future like for Sofar? What would you like to see in the next few years? 

There are a lot of exciting developments in the works for Sofar Sounds, but ultimately, the team is constantly working to find new and innovative ways to support artists at any stage of their careers, and continue bringing special experiences to music lovers and small business owners.

See upcoming Sofar concerts in Chicago

Click here to see all our scheduled public events at Catalyst Ranch.


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