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Inside Mac Miller's Circles Pop-Up Listening Event in Los Angeles

On Thursday (Jan. 16) the Mac Miller Estate opened its arms for a preview of the Circles: Til' Infinity listening event for Mac Miller’s first posthumous album, Circles.

Held at the revamped D.O.M. Gallery at the busy intersection of West Hollywood’s Melrose and Fairfax Avenue, the brightly lit, two-room Mac Miller museum pop-up glowed from blocks away on an otherwise quiet, rainy evening in Los Angeles. Organized by Warner Brothers Records, Mirrored Media, and Mac Miller’s family and former management, the minimalistic event was first advertised on social media five days ago as “Circles: Til Infinity. Intimate front-to-back listenings of Circles by Mac Miller. Art by fans and friends. Exclusive merch at all locations, with all net proceeds going to The Mac Miller Fund.” 

Upon entering the venue, attendees are met with a space resembling an art gallery, with a square, barbed-wire-enclosed merchandise station in the center of the room under a strikingly tall ceiling. Fans are given the opportunity to purchase over a dozen styles of shirts and hoodies, all of varying colors, with a Mac Miller logo and various phrases decorating the clothes. As mentioned on the "92tilinfinity" Instagram page, all sales' proceeds are funneled to The Mac Miller Fund.

This first room tells a condensed tale of Miller’s life via visual mediums: Floor-to-ceiling windows take up one of the walls, while the other three are adorned with photos, paintings, posters, and personal polaroids (from Miller's own cameras) of the late artist. A common theme among the photos is a smiling Miller, either at the studio, with friends, or in the midst of a carefree activity such as bike riding, portraying the Swimming MC as most fans and loved ones remember him.

While a majority of the photos depict the rapper as an adult, several childhood photos are also included, showing Miller with his mother and other family members. On the largest wall in the back of the room hangs a collage measuring over 40 square feet, boasting dozens, if not hundreds, of fan-art pieces -- the fans’ devotion and love palpable. To the left of the collage is a placard listing the social media handles of the collage contributors. Glass cases with cartoonized Mac Miller POP! figurines by Bram Valure & Thomas Wadtke stand at one side of the room, emblematizing Mac as a pop culture fixture for this generation. 

The room had a pacified atmosphere as attendees moseyed around the crowded gallery, reading placards and examining photos. Most notably, Karen Myers and Mark Mccormick, Mac’s mother and father, and Miller Mccormick, Mac’s brother, were present. The late rapper’s immediate family remarkably did not formally address the guests, but rather nonchalantly socialized amongst the crowd, as strangers and friends alike approached the relatives to exchange greetings and pay their respects. The room buzzed with somber conversation and friendly chatter as a quiet playlist featuring the likes of The Eagles, John Lennon, The Rolling Stones, and Mazzy Star filled the background, with the tracks said to be selected by the estate as some of Malcolm’s personal favorites.

Through an entrance to the gallery's side is a black-and-red decorated, dimly lit, sitting area intended to be the listening room. This second room is smaller in area than the gallery, with a bar on one side of the space. Couches, chairs, and other lounge furniture fill the room, inviting attendees to sit and take heed to the Circles album, which is played consecutively from the speakers at the top of every hour for the duration of the event. Unlike traditional listening events, there is no DJ working the crowd nor is there rambunctiously loud, upbeat music. Rather guests are implicitly encouraged to relax and become immersed in a sonic adventure, provided by Mac Miller and his producers.

The two-day listening experience is free of charge and will be open to any and all fans on a first-come, first-serve basis on Jan. 17 and Jan. 18, in Los Angeles, New York City, and Miller’s hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While the album is already officially released, phones are reportedly not permitted in the venue.


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