Pop-up Entertainment

We have had several pop-up phases over the last couple of years. First it was pop-up dancing with flash mobs taking over every large public space in the world. Next it was pop-up dining as restaurants sprang up for one night only in a random location. Now? I think it’s time for some pop-up music!


I was procrastinating on YouTube and came across this video of pop sensation Jessie J singing a song in the New York Times Square Metro Station. It wasn’t an expensive or elaborate performance; she was dressed well and singing along with a karaoke version of Who You Are coming from a boom box. But it does suggest a new form of promotion – especially for other businesses around the Times Square area!

Check it out below:

There weren’t many people around when she was performing as you can see from the rather small crowd on the video – and no doubt it would have been a completely different atmosphere if she had taken her act 6 metres above her head to Times Square. But that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that it has since been seen by 13.5 million people.

And why has it been watched by 13.5 million people? Because it is something different, new and exciting.

Compared to all the highly-produced lyric videos and expensive music videos that we see on YouTube, it is nice to see something novel. And the video stays with you because it is unlike most of the other videos released by these artists. In fact, I came across this video about a month ago and it has continued to stay at the front of my mind.

(It also gives her a bit of street cred as she is willing to put herself back in subjective and difficult arena of playing for passers-by who may have absolutely no interest in her music – or even know who she is! And I don’t know about you, but it raises my opinion of her, especially with those crazy vocals.)

Surely this wouldn’t be too difficult to reproduce when it comes to promoting a Broadway musical. The performers already have ridiculously powerful voices and all you would need is a couple of high-powered speakers and a karaoke version of your most popular song.

Even if there aren’t many people around Times Square (although I’m not sure there is ever a time when it is desolate) or another city where the musical is opening, it is something different to upload to YouTube and separate your offering from all the other competitors for audience’s entertainment money.

What do you think? What would you like to see your favourite entertainment offering do to attract attention to itself? Let me know in the comments below.