Titled “This Is Shawn,” the experience (hosted by VerizonUp) takes fans inside Mendes’ songwriting process as well as his live show, with interactive installations and real-life videos. Though it’s only open the two days Mendes is in New York for his Barclays Center shows in Brooklyn on Aug. 23 and 24, the pop-up is the ideal experience for any devoted Shawn fan.
Billboard checked out the “This Is Shawn” fan experience one day early, and we can confirm that the Mendes Army is going to be pretty pumped about it.
See why below.
It feels like Shawn is there with you
Before you even enter the experience, you receive a text with a link to a video of Mendes personally welcoming you to his world. As you move through the four rooms, you receive two more texts with videos, including messages from Mendes like, “I hope you liked the last room :).” It’s a cute way to incorporate him into the otherwise immersive experience, almost making it seem like he’s your tour guide.
You get to “record” where he recorded much of Shawn Mendes
Mendes explains the journey of his third album began with “In My Blood” in a Malibu studio called The Woodshed. Shortly thereafter, you walk into a replica of the studio that’s decked out with a rug, multiple instruments and, of course, pictures of Shawn; there’s also two recording booths set up for you to take a stab at singing “If I Can’t Have You.” The best part? It doesn’t matter if you suck!
You see his show from his perspective
The final room is an augmented reality version of the B-stage from Mendes’ World Tour, with a panoramic screen that displays actual footage of the crowd during his performance of “Life of the Party.” In the texted video before this room, Mendes says of the live shows, “There’s a connection that feels like something I can’t describe with words, and I’m so obsessed with it.” If you sit at the piano in the center of the room (like the one Mendes uses on his b-stage), you might just feel the connection he does every night.
Whether it’s the breathtaking oceanfront Malibu view, the tranquil Woodshed studio, or the mesmerizing stage, each piece of the “This Is Shawn” activation makes for an awesome pic or video — and you’re encouraged to take as many as your heart desires. Quick tip: You’ll need your phone to check in to each portion of the experience, so make sure you have a decent amount of battery life before you go. Can’t let a dead battery get in the way of your perfect Instagram posts, right?
You can purchase tour merch stress free
Once it’s over, it isn’t quite over: Before you head out, you stop through “The Flower Shop,” which features some of Mendes’ floral-themed tour merchandise that you can purchase on site. And for those who are VerizonUp members, there are exclusive pieces available that were designed by Shawn and Verizon. It’s the perfect way to cap off the “This Is Shawn” experience, especially for those who will be seeing him in concert just hours later.
“This Is Shawn” is located at 535 West 28th Street in Manhattan. Fans can visit from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 23 and 24.