Last summer was a tough one. I was in desperate need of food for my soul, so I took a trip to San Francisco where I stayed with my cousin for several days. While I was there she suggested I got to a Sofar Sounds show. She explained it's a secret music show that's performed in someone's living room, rooftop, backyard, etc, and it's only $20 to go. The catch is you don't know where it's going to be until the day before when the location is released, and you don't know what bands are playing until you arrive at the show.

I immediately applied using her friend's code, which got me access right away. I showed up the next night to a beautiful apartment overlooking the skyline of SF. The 3 bands who performed blew me away. I knew I had to get involved with Sofar Sounds. They're located in over 400 cities around the world, and San Diego is one of them.

Once I got back to San Diego, I volunteered my rooftop as a show location. They loved it, and just 3 weeks later Sofar hosted a concert on the roof of my building in downtown San Diego. The other great thing about Sofar is it's all about the music. There are rules at the shows. No talking during any performances, no getting up during a performance, and no leaving until all of the bands are done performing. The people involved are all volunteers. Only the bands get paid. It's all about the music and the artists.

I was in love from day one, and since the performance on my rooftop I've been an active volunteer photographer for Sofar Sounds San Diego. I think at this point I've been the photographer at every show but one since that show I hosted on our rooftop.

It's been a ride, but I can honestly say I feel so much more fulfilled in my life now than I did last summer when things were hard. Not only have I felt healed since surrounding myself with live music, but I've also been really fortunate to make some amazing friends along the way. The love there is real, and I feel it like a melody. Music is medicine. I owe it more than I can ever repay.

All of the photos above by Sydney Prather.

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© 2019 Sydney Prather