Flash Mobs. Just Don't.

By Hazel Last edited 111 months ago
Flash Mobs. Just Don't.

Image by SlipStreamJC from the Londonist Flickr group.

Hey! It's Friday! Time to get crazy and let our hair down for the weekend! Let's do something whacky and spontaneous and mildly anarchic but still charming and innocent in an ironic manner! Let's have a flashmob! No, wait! DON'T!

Because... a thousand or so people having a pillow fight / throwing handfuls of jelly / dancing to T'Pau / dropping their trousers in a synchronised move on a station concourse during evening rush hour is officially a major inconvenience and highly inconsiderate of others, as deemed by the British Transport Police. And many others unable to use their train station at the end of a long working day because it's been overtaken by a sudden appearance of 1,000 gurning 'kerrrazy' people doing the conga in pirate costumes no doubt also hold this opinion.

British Transport Police are discouraging flash mob organisers from holding their events at train stations and will be monitoring where and how these things are organised in order to intercept or at least prepare for the unwanted surge of live Rickrollers waving their fake quiffs while singing really badly. In some ways, the anarchic and underground edge of the original flash mobs may return due to this clampdown - but we imagine the corporate 'blue sky' thinkers have changed the genuine wildness of these spontaneous gatherings forever and from now on, these public transport crippling events will only ever be re-enactments of 'the advert with all the people dancing in Liverpool St station.' This clampdown may turn out to be a mercy killing for a phenomena gone badly stale.

At time of writing, there's a hint that a U2 themed / sponsored flash mob will take place this evening. Quick! Everybody get down to Kings Cross station for 7pm and join us in a spontaneous, simultaneous throwing up of hands into the air and crying 'Oh gawd, make it stop! Make it stop!'

Last Updated 27 February 2009


Flashmobs were cool for about 15 minutes a few years ago. Now they're just a bit sad.

Vice UK puts it rather well.


How are gatherings orchestrated well in advance "spontaneous"?

Don't know why you're blaming it on "corporate blue-sky thinkers", either. There was never any "genuine wildness". The Vice piece linked above lays the blame for this ridiculous phenomenon squarely where it belongs, at the feet of the individuality-enfeebled who crave anything that could masquerade as a statement of intent in their driftwood lives.

Flash mobbing is the 21st century's version of saying "I'm mad, me".


You know flashmobbing is dead when mobile phone companies present it as fresh, fun, new and cool.


Unlike reality, stupidity is inescapable.


You know it's dead when Morph turns up too http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/ent...