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Shakira’s Pop-Up Show: Not Something She Dreamed Up at Breakfast

They may look impromptu. But they are not. Pop-up performances in Times Square aren’t quite the spontaneous events the term suggests.

Shakira’s performance on Tuesday evening lasted barely longer than a subway trip from the Port Authority bus terminal to Grand Central and went off without a hitch. But that was largely due to months of behind-the-scenes planning that included securing permits, meeting multiple times with city officials and the police, and carefully calibrating when, exactly, to announce the secretly planned show.

Overseeing those preparations was Nick Holmsten, the co-founder and co-chief executive of TSX Entertainment, which operates a large concrete stage on the third and fourth floors of a building at the corner of Seventh Avenue and West 47th Street.

Nick Holmsten, co-founder and co-chief executive of TSX Entertainment, led logistics planning for the show, which began two months before Shakira was scheduled to take the stage. Credit…Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet for The New York Times

Most days the performance space is hidden behind an 18,000-square-foot electronic billboard. But on Tuesday, two panels, weighing 86,000 pounds, swung open to show Shakira, along with her dancers and musicians, 30 feet above the sidewalk.

A reported 40,000 people were there to watch from below as Shakira opened her show with “Hips Don’t Lie.”

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