I officially visited the last of the pop-up experiences/museums/whatever you prefer to call them last month. And let me tell you, I certainly saved the best for last.
Refinery 29's 29Rooms was by far my favorite pop-up experience of the year. That's right, the entire YEAR. ALLLL of 2017. I first caught word of the pop-up when I saw pictures of this mysterious experience all over Instagram. However, it was unfortunately on the East Coast in New York and no where near my Southern California home.
I went to their profile to contact the Refinery29 team because I knew this just HAD to be visiting Los Angeles in the near future. While they gave me a very cryptic "stay up-to-date on the website for upcoming cities," in no time at all 29Rooms was coming to LA and tickets for two weekends of the experience were available.
I missed out on the first round of ticket sales however I was online the second the next round was released. Tickets were secured and the countdown was on for 29Rooms.
This particular pop-up was unlike any I've visited in a number of ways. First of all, it was extremely well-organized. From the moment you enter the parking garage you're ushered through the process of checking in, receiving a wristband, getting a free iced latte as you stand in line (!!!) with the 200+ other people waiting for the 11am time slot and then the doors opened promptly at 11am and off we went.
Everyone working the event was also in these fabulous white overalls with paint splattered all over them. I honestly wanted to ask if they had them for sale at the gift shop, they were that good!
You're greeted by a number of fabulous, colorful and interactive free-standing sculptures and art displays upon walking in. Lines form pretty immediately since everyone for the 11am time slot is let in at the same time. Of course there's those latecomers - which work in your favor - but I would say there's roughly 300-500 people there at any given time.
From there, the entire space is filled with 29Rooms, free-standing sculptures and art displays which you have three hours to see. To say it's a lot to take in would be putting it lightly - it's a LOT to take in! But in the best way possible.
It was best to just dive right in and go for the rooms that seem most appealing as you walk by. As I mentioned, the lines definitely start forming pretty quickly and it's rare to find a room that you don't have to stand in line to experience or take photos in.
Personally, I don't mind standing in line for things like this especially if you're in good company - it does make the time go by faster. Plus, you could easily see inside the room as you walked by and get a sneak peak to see if it was truly worth the wait.
Each room was a partnership of Refinery29 with various artists, companies, activists, groups, etc. For example, there was a Netflix/The Crown room (which was TO DIE FOR), a Demi Lovato room and a Chloe and Halle piece to name a few. This particular concept really set 29Rooms apart from the other pop-up experiences. It personalized each "room" or piece of art and gave it a voice specific to the person or group featured in the partnership.
Although three hours may seem like a long time, let me be the first to tell you it most certainly is not. Within the first hour the lines went from bearable to quite lengthly. By the last hour we had to pick and choose which rooms we really wanted to see.
While we didn't get the chance to experience every single room during our three hour experience, I honestly cannot say enough about 29Rooms. From the very beginning it was well executed, organized and a seamless experience. The rooms and art were beautiful, thought-provoking, interactive, colorful, picturesque and truly captivating.
If 29Rooms ever visits your city, drop what you're doing and BUY TICKETS! You will not regret any penny spent or any moment passed in front of the computer screen buying tickets.
(Originally Published January 2, 2018)