Mac Miller always harboured a supportive, friendly and passionate fanbase. He was a cult hero but on a massive scale. His supporters continued to grow, appreciating and supporting every creative twist and turn. Since his passing, his fans have gathered at Blue Slide Park at the Mac Miller memorial to honour the music that he gave us and the influence he had on people.
His posthumous album Circles feels like it’s given people from all around the world to re-engage with the Miller community. Over the past few weeks there has been listening parties held in Sydney and London and pop-up stores in the US. It’s a chance to celebrate a brilliant album but also come together fanbase to talk about Miller’s influence.
If you need any proof of his impact, you just need to look at the line wrapping around the block for the New York pop-up. In town for just two days, it also happened to fall on the coldest day of the season. The temperature was in the minuses and yet none of the fans seemed to be deterred by the three hour wait to get in.
In the line, there were fans with speakers playing music from Miller’s back catalogue from Good News off circles to Weekend from GO:OD AM. The mood was sombre but heart-warming. It’s rare that you get to hear such a completed work after an artist has left us and fans seemed to be taking some comfort in hearing where Miller was at before his passing.
The inside of the pop-up was a visual tribute to Miller featuring a series of artworks and pictures that documented his career at a snapshot. A description printed on the wall described the exhibition as a showcase of, “the interconnected and wide-ranging talent of the Mac Miller fan community as well as his friends and family.” As much as this was about Miller, it was also about the community that he brought together and you could feel the interconnectedness in the room.
From Pop! figures tracking the various outfits from his career to artworks made just after his passing, it was designed to celebrate the art he made and the people that formed around it. The busy room has people gathering in front of the artworks and photographs, discussing memories of the rapper. One fan was overheard calling the experience “cathartic” and that seemed to be echoed throughout. Miller’s passing was sudden but a chance to once again interact with his art has been taken as a chance find some peace.
“Understanding that, like all things, we are simultaneously temporal and infinite, driven together by our collective humanity,” read an exhibition description. He may not be physically here but his music and influence lives on. From the new record to the merch that was selling quick, everybody left the pop-up with a renewed sense of Miller’s timelessness.
Downstairs, fans were given the chance to listen to the album in Ultra HD audio for the first time. The album had just dropped in the US so for many it was the first time they were hearing it from back-to-front. It’s a contemplative album rich in lyricism and the production Jon Brion’s production matches that. You get the feeling that Miller would be smiling down watching his fans sit and listen to the album together bopping to tracks like Blue World and getting emotional to the beautiful closer Once A Day.
The Mac Miller pop-up felt like less of a farewell to Miller and more of a reminder of his everlasting presence.