5 Trailblazing Musician Pop-Up Shops - Rolling Stone
Home Music Music Lists

5 Trailblazing Musician Pop-Up Shops

Revisit buzzy brick-and-mortar ventures from Drake, Kanye West, Foo Fighters and more

the strokes shop, kanye shop, drake shop, justin bieber shop, foo fighters shop

Justin Bieber is one of many stars who have opened surprise pop-up shops to draw attention to a new album or tour.

Courtesy of Vfiles

Musicians have found a new way to make up for declining revenue: pop-up shops. The huge crowds that have assembled at temporary retail outlets opened recently by Kanye West and Justin Bieber prove that fans are hungry for this kind of limited-time merch experience – egged on, of course, by the prospect of catching a glimpse of their idol. Here are five of the most noteworthy examples of the growing trend. 

The Strokes, New, Must-Have, Rock-Star, Item, Pop-Up Shop

Sacha Lecca

The Strokes

Opening date: May 30th, 2016

Vibe: Retro. The band set up in an old furniture store near the former site of CBGB.

For sale: The band's new Future Present Past EP ($15), a T-shirt featuring their fake band name, Venison ($15)

Must-have item: A glammed-out varsity jacket ($150)

Did the band show up? Just Albert Hammond Jr. 

New, Must-Have, Rock-Star, Item, Pop-Up Shop, Justin Bieber

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty

Justin Bieber

Opening date: May 4th, 2016

Vibe: Hot Topic at Christmas-time. Fans were let in 20 at a time to the shops, which were set up during Biebs' Purpose tour stops in New York and Toronto.

For sale: Purpose denim jacket ($350), sweatpants ($100)

Must-have item: "My Mama Don't Like You" tee ($50)

Did Bieber show up? Yes, with a police presence. 

Kanye West, New, Must-Have, Rock-Star, Item, Pop-Up Shop

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty

Kanye West

Opening date: March 18th, 2016

Vibe: Hip-hop couture. His downtown NYC shop, followed two months later by an L.A. spin-off, took in a self-reported $1 million.

For sale: A Life of Pablo-themed jacket ($400), a Yeezy Season 2 zine ($200)

Must-have item: The Donda West/Robert Kardashian memorial tee Kanye wore on SNL ($55)

Did Kanye show up? No. 

Drake, New, Must-Have, Rock-Star, Item, Pop-Up Shop

Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star/Getty


Opening date: April 18th, 2016

Vibe: Frustration. All kinds of Beats Electronics gear was on display at the NYC pop-up, celebrating Drake's Apple Music exclusive, but nobody could grab or buy any of it.

For sale: Nothing. Every fan received a free black-and-white Views T-shirt.

Must-have item: The T-shirt

Did Drake show up?: Yes.

Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters, New, Must-Have, Rock-Star, Item, Pop-Up Shop

Kevin Winter/Getty

Foo Fighters

Opening date: July 12th, 2015

Vibe: Rock-and-jock. Foos pop-ups in New York City and Chicago, respectively, promoted shows at local baseball stadiums last summer.

For sale: Chicago Cubs-style T-shirt ($30), Foo tote bag ($15)

Must-have item: Original bearded-skeleton concert poster for 2015 L.A. Forum show ($25)

Did Dave Grohl show up?: No.

Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.