The “most Instagrammable pop-up in America” is coming to Boston.
If you’re an Instagram-lover, you might already know the deal. For those who don’t: The exhibit, which started in LA before traveling to Chicago and Toronto, has 12 rooms, each with its own theme — think confetti, or cookies, or flowers — designed to, well, spark joy.
“We work with a team of designers to represent what happiness is,” said founder Jared Paul, 41, a talent manager and producer who hails from Los Angeles.
Those room themes include candy, cookies, rainbows, hugs and kisses, confetti, 40,000 handmade gold flowers, and even a room where the furniture is laid out on the roof — letting attendees post the perfect mind-bending upside-down pic.
“I mainly created Happy Place because I’m a father of three who loves to do neat things with my children, things that are unique and have a wow factor,” Paul said. “I really wanted to do something that was positive, and what do people need? They need happiness.”
That, of course, has translated into rooms with vibrant colors and professional lighting, which seem to naturally attract selfies, short videos for social media sharing, and Boomerangs (basically GIFs that appear on Instagram).
“You can walk through it, interact with it, touch it, and a lot of people take great photos, Boomerangs, and videos,” Paul said. “A big part for some people is absolutely capturing the greatest picture or Boomerang — it’s something we took into account when designing it.”
The exhibit is so picture-perfect, in fact, that lifestyle website UrbanDaddy ran a story last summer dubbing it “The Most Instagrammable Pop-Up in America,” and BuzzFeed described it in 2017 as “Instagram Heaven.” (The exhibit attracts such a photog-heavy audience, its website specifically warns people that tripods, pro video equipment, and selfie sticks are prohibited.)
Of course, all of those Instagram-worthy backgrounds drew crowds of millennials, social media influencers, and celebrities. Among the high-profile names: Kourtney Kardashian, Hillary Duff, Diplo, Kerry Washington, Marshmello, Olivia Wilde, Rashida Jones, JoJo Siwa, and Joey McIntyre have all ’grammed from the exhibit. (Paul said he expects that local celebs are likely to flock to the Boston one as well but is keeping mum on specifically who.)
“People are begging us to bring it to their city,” he said, noting that a total of about a half million people have experienced the exhibit so far.
While the exhibit sounds enticing, it’s not free. General admission tickets start at $30, plus ticketing fees; they go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, March 22. (A pre-sale for American Express cardholders started Wednesday, March 20.) The exhibit runs from April 5 through June 2.
“Similar to a Broadway show, we come in for a run and then move on,” Paul said. “It is popular, and holiday weekends will sell out, so we encourage people to book in advance.”
Going through the whole exhibit, which spans 13,000 square feet in Boston, takes about an hour, Paul said. Along the way, there are small edible treats — cookies, candy, lemonade — and Paul said that even people who aren’t chasing the next Instagram high are likely to love it.
As for why Paul decided to bring the exhibit to Boston? He actually manages New Kids on the Block and sees the city as a “second hometown” because of all the time he’s spent with them. (He also spearheaded the “Boston Strong” benefit concert following the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, according to a statement from the company.)
“It’s a city that has so much spirit, and clearly loves entertainment and the arts,” he said, adding that the exhibit will “include several things we’re not prepared to announce yet that will tip our hat to the city of Boston.”