Ever since I first saw a YouTube video of people busting out into a choreographed dance in an Antwerp train station, I’ve been kind of obsessed with taking part in a flash mob.
Flash mobs have taken off like crazy since then (which some may argue causes them to loose their effect) but in case you’ve been living in a vacuum and haven’t seen or heard about this phenomenon, it’s basically a bunch of people gathering in a public space, doing some kind of organized activity, dance, freeze, etc. for a brief period of time, and then dispersing as randomly as they began.
Not to be confused with the recent events of gang violence happening in and around Chicago lately, which the media has oh-so-wrongly been labeling as flash mobs, the “real” flash mobs are intended for humor and entertainment or just for the sake of fun.
ImprovEverywhere is one of the groups that organizes these fun flash mobs, and this past weekend they helped organize one to kick off TBS’s Just for Laughs festival in Chicago. Part of a series called MP3 Experiment, the people at ImprovEverywhere put together an MP3 complete with music and instructions, distribute it to anyone interested in participating, and then all the participants gather at a particular place, and all press play on their MP3 players at the same time. What follows is a hilariously fun event for the participants, and a strange and amusing sight for passers-by.
So, back to my story.
On Sunday morning, I saw a friend of mine had posted on Facebook some information about the MP3 Experiment happening in Millennium Park that afternoon. At first I was mad that I didn’t know about it sooner. But then it occurred to me that it wasn’t too late, and I could still download the MP3, install it on my iPod, and make it down there in time. (Another perk to living in an awesome city!)
So, I installed the MP3, sent out a message to some friends asking if anyone wanted to join me, and made my way downtown.
My friend Annie met me down there, and the two of us, along with 900+ people, participated in a flash mob.
Here is a video of some of the things we did. (I’m hoping another, better, video will be coming out soon, because a lot of the cool parts were cut out, including a really awesome-from-0verhead bullseye and arrow stunt.)
I won’t say where, but I do make an appearance in the video. (Hint: I’m wearing green.) But if you can find me, you now have visual evidence of me crossing off another item on my life’s list!