In conjunction with their European tour, Metallica have announced a pop-up shop appearing in the heart of London’s contemporary culture district, Shoreditch. The temporary store, running from 18th-23rd October, will include ‘exclusive and collectible items’, which will no doubt be music to the ears of fans unable to attend Metallica’s two completely sold-out London O2 Arena shows.
It’s not the first time the band has put on such an event – seemingly, it’s one of many in what seems to be a growing trend, with some more outlandish than others. Most recently, Foo Fighters had their own pop-up pub for one wild week, complete with themed booze and a pub quiz (obviously), to celebrate the release of their latest album, Concrete and Gold. Similarly to Metallica, The 1975 and The xx have had stints in London’s Camden Markets and Pop Brixton respectively, selling exclusive merchandise to coincide with their live dates.
In late September 2016, fans of Bon Iver gathered outside Rough Trade on Brick Lane, as 22, A Million was played on cassette the day before the albums official release, whilst themed newspapers commemorating the new album were given out free of charge.
In the same vein, the ever erratic Frank Ocean gave away a limited number of free magazines containing copies of his album Blonde out of a converted London newsagents in the early hours of the morning back in August 2016. Whilst the process was replicated in New York and LA, as well as a brief Black Friday event, Blonde is still yet to receive a mass physical pressing, making Ocean’s pop-up events one of the most sought after.
Putting his own spin on the pop-up phenomenon, Nick Mulvey has played to intimate crowds in London, announcing acoustic solo shows hours before the event with nothing more than the address, time and the tag ‘#meetmethere’.
Clearly, the pop-up movement is proving popular, and it’s an undeniably smart strategy utilised by artists both old and new, who are milking the immediacy of social media to the benefit of both bands and their fans. For a fleeting moment, you can fully immerse yourself in a world created by your idols. Build it, and they will come.