Tag Archives: Improv Everywhere

Montreal’s MP3 experiment

UPDATE: Read about how this event went.

It’s called “Love Mob Montreal“, which sounds kind of weird, but it’s actually a Montreal version of Improv Everywhere’s famous MP3 Experiments (Improv Everywhere prefers people not use their names for independently-organized events, to avoid confusion).

The idea is that all the participants download an MP3 audio file to their iPod or other portable media player. They gather in a common place, and at a specified time they all press play simultaneously. The audio file contains instructions for what the participants should do. Since bystanders can’t hear the audio, the experiment gives a sort of surreal image of a bunch of people doing crazy things in unison.

The Montreal event, organized by a “flash mob” group with some pretty poor web design skills, takes place today (Sunday) at Place des Arts, at what appears to be 3:30pm (the event lists the time as 3:30pm in English and “13h30” in French, but it had previously been established as 3:30/15h30).

Unfortunately, that puts it squarely in conflict with the Day 2 afternoon sessions of PodCamp Montreal. At first I figured the events would be related because they were on the same weekend and I had heard about the Love Mob from someone involved with both. But that’s not the case, and I’ll have to ditch at least two PodCamp seminars in order to participate.

The MP3 files themselves have just been put online: English, French (UPDATE: Links fixed, sorry). Participants are asked not to listen to them before the event. Instead, remember to bring a watch or other timing device that’s accurate to the second, a media player with the MP3 loaded, and a white, red or pink T-shirt, and be at Place des Arts for 3:15pm.

Facebook has over 400 people “confirmed”, which means about 40-50 will actually show up, give or take 200.

Frozen at Berri-UQAM

UPDATE: See the article and video about this event.

The Improv-Everywhere-style freeze today at Berri-UQAM metro I told you about was a crazy success (much to my surprise). About 50-60 people showed up, then entered the metro station and gathered in the area around the puck on the mezzanine. For five minutes, they all stood frozen, quiet, as regular travellers passed them by.

There’s talk on the Facebook page of organizing a second one some time in March, or perhaps other IE-inspired activities. I’ll keep you updated, of course.

I’ll have more to write (and show) about this later. In the meantime, here’s the first video that’s been uploaded showing what happened. In it, you can hear the loud, spontaneous applause that took place among participants just as the freeze came to an end.

Also see this video, this compilation video,
this “warm-up” freeze and this photo gallery.

UPDATE: Journal de Montréal article

Flashmob freeze planned for Saturday

Inspired by Improv Everywhere’s freezing-in-Grand-Central prank, as well as the group’s new worldwide social networking site (whose Montreal subgroup now has 50 members), it looks like the first truly IE-inspired event here might take place this weekend.

The usual caveats apply: It’s being loosely organized by random people, publicized almost entirely through social networks, and with very little notice. It might be wildly successful with hundreds of participants, or there might be three people there who decide it’s not worth it embarrassing themselves alone.

Nevertheless, here’s the skinny:

Saturday, February 23, 5:30pm at Parc Émilie-Gamelin (a.k.a. Berri Square, at Berri and Ste-Catherine, just outside the Ste-Catherine exit to Berri-UQAM). A re-enactment of the Grand Central freeze, in which participants suddenly stop in mid-step (or mid-kiss, mid-puff, mid-fall, etc.) for a few minutes, attracting the curious glares of passers-by.

(Since this would be the first such event for most of the participants, I imagine they won’t be as strict about having people hide their cameras, which means passers-by will quickly conclude it’s some sort of public exhibition.)

For more details, see the Facebook group page or the Improv Everywhere social network forum.

Flashmobbing is cool

Improv Everywhere, the New York City-based scene-causer, has another mission up, which involved dozens of people freezing in place at Grand Central Station for exactly five minutes. They’ve also started up a social network for people from elsewhere in the world to connect. Here’s the Montreal group, which so far only has three members.

Speaking of this kind of unauthorized fun in public places, a scavenger hunt is being planned in the underground city next weekend. Facebook has over a dozen participants confirmed.

For those of you with moral objections to that site, here’s the details:

Saturday, Feb. 9, 3pm-5pm
Top cloor (Niveau Cinéma) of the Eaton Centre, McGill metro
Sign in when you arrive at the checkpoint with your team name and members (up to three)
This is a free, all ages event


  • Do not leave the underground city. You are using the honor system.
  • You will need:
    • a bag
    • a bit of money (no more than 5$)
    • something to take pictures with (a camera phone is OK)
    • something to tell time with
  • Time – You have from when we release you until 5:10 on the judges’ timepiece (official time). If your entire team is not back by then, only what has arrived will be counted.
  • Points will be awarded once per team for each item on the list brought to the finish.
  • Judges’ decisions are final