Pop-up and party-up: spontaneous concerts powered by social media

Lying in her bed after class on a Tuesday afternoon, a swipe through Twitter is about to make Brooke Bierman’s night a whole lot better.  She sees a tweet from Space Yacht, a link and address, and hastily rounds up her friends to head to Los Angeles for a night of last-minute revelry.

“I love music, I don’t need to get drunk or anything,” the senior communication studies major said. “I just drive sober, have a drink there, then drive home. I’m always having a blast, I love it.”

All over Los Angeles, electronic dance music lovers are soaking up a burgeoning concert scene powered by social media. They’re called pop-up concerts.

The pop-up events by Brownies & Lemonade and Space Yacht are completely free if you can snag a coveted RSVP before the link ripples through the Twitterverse. With one tweet you could be face-to-face with some of LA’s biggest DJ’s, like Skrillex, What So Not, and Baauer. The small, intimate shows bring EDM back to its roots, without weighing on your wallet.

The music industry in LA is constantly evolving, and its newest fad is the pop-up concert. Soundcloud has majorly fueled this trend by bringing attention to homegrown DJ’s and innovative forms of electronic music. Event planning company Brownies & Lemonade is the vanguard for LA’s pop-up party movement, hosting rowdy functions with EDM’s elite on a weekly basis.

“We try to focus on music that’s cutting edge, emerging, and unique, and obviously electronic music is really at the forefront of all that,” said Brownies & Lemonade founder Kushan “Kush” Fernando.

What sets pop-ups apart from your typical rave is the element of surprise and spontaneous nature of the events. Senior Steph Koko said she’s always impressed when she goes to Brownies & Lemonade.

“There’s so much excitement in the crowd because you never know who could show up next,” said the business administration major. “People will be dancing in the crowd and the next thing you know they’re on stage playing a DJ set, it’s insane.”

By eliminating high ticket prices, pop-ups are freeing music lovers from the financial burden of attending a show.

“Sometimes we make money, sometimes we don’t,” Fernando said. “We want to make sure we do stuff we’re really happy with, we’re focused on the music.”

University Program Board Director of Special Events & Traditions, Katie Gilmour, said planning Chapman’s fall concert with Baauer was no small task, and that it required months of planning in advance.

“It involves a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, but it’s all worth it at the end,” said the strategic and corporate communication major. “Baauer and Trademark were both super nice and pretty accommodating.”

Pop-up concerts are typically announced on social media a few days before the event, with secret guests in the lineup more often than not. When it comes to the RSVP list, it’s luck of the draw.

Bierman said she’s been to pop-up shows about seven times, and she can’t get enough.

“It’s like home base kind of, I just love it, I always know when I’m there I’m going to have the best night” Bierman said.


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