Taylor Swift “Pop-Up Library” Has Fans Divided Online

Swifties are swarming The Grove in Los Angeles in a days-long hunt for clues about Taylor Swift’s 11th studio album The Tortured Poets Department (2024). In advance of the album’s April 19 release, the singer-songwriter collaborated with Spotify on a three-day pop-up “library installation” that went on display in the open-air shopping mall yesterday, April 16, offering dozens of easter eggs about the new album and other potential future projects that have yet to be officially announced.

Before dawn yesterday, over 1,200 fans of the artist lined up to sneak a peek at the installation, which is teeming with dark academia props including seemingly worn manuscripts, typewriters, fountain pens, clocks, and shelves lined with books.

According to Hyperallergic contributor Matt Stromberg, who was on the ground, the crowd was generationally diverse, with several younger visitors attending with their parents and “a couple of guys wearing Iron Maiden and thrasher t-shirts.”

While the news of the pop-up may have fans excitedly lining up in an outdoor shopping center before dawn, the actual installation itself has many Swifties divided online. 

On X, users were quick to poke fun at the installation’s tea-stained lyrics, which misspelled the word “talismans,” with one person finding humor in the pseudo-artifacts’ inclusion of a faded Spotify logo:

spotify logo
On X, users found the tea-stained manuscripts felt reminiscent of elementary school history assignments. (screenshot Maya Pontone/Hyperallergic via @nikostratis on X)

Others took issue with the pop-up’s location in the beloved-and-hated luxury commercial center, which has been criticized over its parking policies:

X users used the pop-up as an opportunity to poke fun at The Grove’s parking policies. (screenshot Maya Pontone/Hyperallergic via @americanamemes on X)

But one of the best comments came from the Los Angeles Public Library, which couldn’t resist offering its thoughts on the temporary installation:

The Los Angeles Public Library offered its thoughts on the current Taylor Swift installation. (screenshot Maya Pontone/Hyperallergic via @LAPublicLibrary on X)

Simply visiting the pop-up once won’t encapsulate the entire experience, as the makeshift library is continually updated each day, but fans unable to attend the pop-up for its entire run in-person can stay in-the-know on the latest clues via the streaming service’s social media accounts — or through all the memes and TikToks lampooning it.

“Additionally, fans should keep their eyes peeled at the event and on Taylor’s countdown page for surprises leading into Friday’s release,” a press release reads.

Regardless of whether audiences find a “library installation” tacky or tasteful, the pop-up attraction is just the latest public relations gimmick Swift is currently using to promote her new music — a QR code mural in Chicago that is part of an international Swiftie puzzle apparently linked people to a YouTube short with the message “Error 321” and a faded “13.” At the end of the day (9pm for those in line at The Grove), this seems to only fuel her devoted fanbase.

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