Oops, They Did It: A Pop-Up Recreating Britney Spears' Music Videos In LA's Fairfax District
Pop-ups range from hot garbage to experiences that transport you into a magical wonderland where you can live another life, and come away with the photos to show for it. The Zone isn't perfect -- there's no sign of a "(You Drive Me) Crazy -- The Stop Remix" room -- but it's a pop-up that shows they've put in the work to create something that captures the feeling of being a Britney fan.
The detailed sets walk you through Britney's career largely chronologically, other than saving the "I'm A Slave 4 U" room for a flourish near the end.
Outside, the building's been painted with a giant Britney mural -- even the parking lot lines have been repainted pink.
Inside, you first enter a large retail space. The shop is also open to the public, even without tickets for the full experience. It features famous Britney outfits in glass cases, including her "Toxic" flight attendant gear, along with a wide variety of Britney merch -- a Britney Funko doll, anyone?
You check in and get an RFID-tagged wristband, and you're encouraged to download an app. That's because there are chances throughout for you to scan your wrist and get photos and video of you for all your socials sent directly to your phone.
The experience begins in earnest with a Britney classroom, a la the "Baby One More Time" video. There are Britney mementos in the cabinets -- including some that are available for you to purchase on the way out -- along with a chalkboard that's actually a giant video screen, writing the song's hook over and over again and playing an introduction video for the Britney version of Disney World.
You'll move into another room with another wall-sized video of the music video itself playing. Throughout, Britney's music keeps you pumped up -- there's plenty of space for you to recreate all of her iconic dance moves, at least if it doesn't get too crowded. We think we still remember the "Oops" dance from when we were kids.
They know that "Baby One More Time" is what everyone wants, so there's another Britney room. This one's a small gym, with a basketball hoop conveniently positioned for a pink layup. Banners hung around the room trumpet her career successes. There are also notepads for you to write letters to Britney -- it's like writing to Santa, and we're guessing the chances these get read are just as high, but feel free to ask her to email your heart.
Next up, it's time for "Oops!... I Did It Again." You're taken through both the Earth control room and to the surface of Mars, complete with an astronaut ready to propose to you with Titanic's Heart of the Ocean necklace.
(This is a real thing that happened in the music video. That's how big of a movie Titanic was, that it was a beloved reference to put into a music video three years later.)
That's followed with another room themed around a song for this era, built around "Stronger." It features metal chairs for you to try your hand at doing Britney's video chair dance, as well as a video screen giving you the sensation of being in her CGI car speeding through the rain. (That was the plot of that music video, right? We think?)
Now it's time for the Madonna duet, "Me Against The Music." No, you don't recreate that moment (though if you're with a friend, sure, why not?), but you do get the chance to shoot a video of yourself taking the place of Madonna. They even had a Britney double come in to shoot her side of the dance, so you come away with a video dance-off between the two of you.
Next up: the plane from one of her most enduring hits, "Toxic." You can walk down the aisle, put on Britney's flight attendant hat, and find emergency instructions printed in the video's style. There's even a plane bathroom, which also plays a major role in the classic video. When you get to the phone on the wall, it rings -- and you get your very own "It's Britney, bitch," before she immediately hangs up. Rude, but it's Britney, so that's OK.
Move ahead into one of the largest rooms in the experience, themed around her Circus album. The room is centered around a giant ball pit, which also has a chance for you to scan that RFID tag to get a video of you making the leap into it. You'll find posters around the room featuring "Circus" lyrics, one of her Circus outfits framed on the wall, another video screen for you to get a video with, and even a Zoltar to tell your fortune.
Now you enter the church of Blackout, the church of Britney. Faux candles are all around -- blow on the one in the center and they all go out. And if you choose to kneel in front of one of the stained glass windows, watch your knees (seriously, ow), but the window will light up as you bathe in Saint Britney's heavenly glow.
Finally... finally... it's time for "I'm A Slave 4 U." The climate shifts as you enter, with actual humidity putting you into the jungle vibe. You'll come face to face with a giant snake, as well as having the chance to drape a snake over your shoulders to do your best Britney impression. Her iconic MTV VMAs performance plays on shimmering mist falling from the ceiling.
You get to walk through another Instagram-worthy hallway on your way to your chance to live Britney's paparazzi life, with a photo opportunity to put you on a magazine cover alongside some Britney-themed (relatively tame) tabloid headlines.
That's because this is what Britney is about now -- she became so much larger than life that she's in some ways better known for those tabloid moments than her music at this point.
You'll walk out through a newsstand room featuring dozens of copies of her classic Rolling Stone cover, and you can see your own magazine cover on a large video screen alongside her -- because in this social media era, we may as well all be Britney.
And remember: if Britney Spears survived 2007, you can do anything.
The experience ends with its own bonus gift shop, featuring some exclusive merch that isn't out in the main store. That includes surplus materials from her tours, like programs from the Circus tour.
So, how strong is your desire to live that Britney life? Tickets start at $59.50 -- though children 3 and under are free, if you want to raise the next generation of Britney fans. They estimate that the experience will take 60 to 90 minutes to go through.
You can get in The Zone starting this Friday, Jan. 31. It's currently open through April, with plans to extend if it proves popular enough. And if you really want to live in Britney World, the Zone is hiring.