This is fascinating. "In Sofar’s self-mythology, the non-announced lineup adds to the “surprise” element of its prefab fun experience: you never know who might show up. But, in fact, not announcing who is playing your sponsored music event is a tactic that massive corporations have used to center their own brands while downplaying the role of artists for decades. In the 1999 book No Logo, Naomi Klein recalls this approach being taken by the beverage giant Molson Brewery in its attempts to siphon coolness from musicians. At the time, Molson—now owned by Coors—maintained big stakes in the music industry, including owning several venues and a 50 percent stake in a national Canadian concert promotion company.
But in 1996, Klein writes, the beer billionaires were fed up: the artists were stealing their spotlight, and there was a growing trend where artists would talk shit about sponsors on stage. They needed to become more efficient leeches, so they designed a series called “Blind Date Concerts” that would eventually be adopted by sister company Miller Beer too. Molson and Miller would hold a “contest” offering winners a chance to attend a super exclusive concert they’d organized in a super intimate venue. “And here’s the clincher,” writes Klein. “Keep the name of the band secret until it steps on stage.” Sound familiar?"