Tired of watching live music in bars, clubs, theaters, and arenas? Virgin Hotels has a proposition for you.
The hotel chain — founded in 2010, it has a total of eight locations in the United States and Scotland, with two more slated to open in 2025 — has partnered with Sofar Sounds, a London music company built around showcasing upcoming and established talents in unconventional locations, to launch Hear This!, a monthly concert series taking place in Dallas, Chicago, Nashville and New York, as well as Edinburgh and Glasgow.
“We do a lot of initiatives from scratch — we have entertainment departments at every hotel,” said Mary Jones, Virgin Hotels’ director of entertainment. “The allure of partnering with Sofar Sounds was that they obviously have a great audience, and we wanted to really maximize our impact locally.”
The initial Hear This! event in Dallas kicks off at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 17 at the Virgin Hotels in Dallas’ Design District. (December’s installment is scheduled for Dec. 22.)
Sofar Sounds doesn’t reveal which artists are performing ahead of its events, so the only way to find out who does is to attend. Still, Jones offers a flavor of what those paying customers can expect.
“I think each market is doing a multitude of different genres, based on what the local community has to offer,” Jones said. “There’s always hidden surprises with Sofar Sounds. … It’s definitely very broad, in the sense that it’s not pigeonholing each city into one genre. Like, we’re not just doing country music in Nashville or Dallas, despite us being in the South. It’s definitely a much larger scope.”
Ultimately, Virgin Hotels and Sofar Sounds hope audiences use this concert series as a beginning — a way to actively listen, and engage with performers, in a way you can’t necessarily do in more conventional live music settings.
“I hope people take away a new appreciation for local artists, and take away just going to more live events, and being present in person,” Jones said. “I think it’s really easy to consume music and media from our phones. What’s also great about Sofar Sounds is it’s an in-person event that really is about showing up and being there for the performance and appreciating that medium.”
Sofar Sounds and Virgin Hotels present Hear This! at Virgin Hotels, Dallas. 6:30 p.m. Nov. 17. Tickets are $23.
Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on X (@prestonjones). Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.