How to Create a Flash Mob

by TessaSchlesinger

Learn all about flash mobs and how to organize one. Flash Mob Dances, Flash Mob Singers, and all Flash Mob entertainers can learn the steps.

A Flash Mob is a group of people who have agreed to meet at a certain place and then put on a free performance of some kind for the general public. They are becoming more and more popular, bringing a sense of wonder to the those who encounter them. This article will share some videos of great flash mobs that have taken place over the last few years as well as explain how to create a flash mob.

Definition of Flash Mob.

Different Types of Flash Mobs

A flash mob is a group of people who get together, do something entertaining, and then quickly disperse. The performance of the Flash Mob appears spontaneous and generally brings gasps of surprise and joy to members of the public who, unexpectedly, encouter the show.

Increasingly, they are being used to bring messages to the general public. MetroWest Medical Center CEO, Andrei Soran, and Bonnie Biocchi, the President of the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce President and CEO decided to invest in a Flash Mob in order to get the community to understand how important it is to continually wash one’s hands throughout the day. While the Flash Mob is arranged, the audience is not. It is the surprise that it brings to the audience that makes such wonderful theatre. When it is filmed by camera, it makes good video, and this helps to spread the message

T-Mobile used the Flash Mob medium to create a wonderful advertisement. The Flash Mob collected at Liverpool station in London and danced away. For those who do not know the area, Liverpool station is immensely busy at all times of the day and the number of people filtering through it at all times numbers thousands and thousands. There is always a sense of joy on these occasions. However, that is not the only purpose. The actual video has been seen nearly 25 million times. And that is the point. It is very effective advertising.You will always be able to see if the flash mob is being used for promotional purposes because there will be a camera crew around.

History of Flash Mobs

The first time a flash mob collected was in Manhattan in May 2003. It was planned by Bill Wasik, the Harper Magazine senior editor. That one did not go according to plan as the retail store involved was warned ahead of time. However, the next gathering of about 100 people, on June 3rd, 2003, at Macy’s was a success. The next one was staged at the Hyatt Hotel in New York. It consisted of 200 people and lasted 15 seconds. After that, flash mobbing grew, but surprisingly, most have never heard of it.

When Bill Wasik was asked why he created flash mobs, he said it was a social experiment that would poke fun at conformity. Ironically, it is now becoming main stream. However, the element of surprise will not be removed, as it will not be a flash mob if it is.

Flash Mobs can be both private and promotional

Organize a Flash Mob

Are Flash Mobs always used for promotional purposes? No, sometimes, they are used to commemorate something or simply just to have fun. They have also spread to many countries.

Generally, in order to accomplish something like this, an advertisement is placed in a community newspaper or social networking site asking for those who would like to be involved. The dance is then taught in the hour or two before the event. In the tribute to Michael Jackson (below), about 300 dancers learnt the dance in the hour before hand.

Here’s one that is a tribute to Michael Jackson In Stockholm, Sweden.

Creating a Flash Mob

Planning a Flash Mob Performance

Forming your own flash mob is not rocket science. Here are ten steps you need to take to creating a successful flash mob.

  1. The first thing to do is come up with a good idea that will delight and shock. That could be dancing or singing, but it's been done so many times now that it's getting a bit dated. How about a Renaissance Court appearing in the middle of nowhere, or even aliens suddenly appearing in abundance. Look for different ideas.
  2. Advertise for people who want to take part in a flash mob. You can try a social networking site like facebook or you can advertise on craigslist or anywhere else where you will get a response.
  3. Explain to everybody what is required and ask if they can do that. If it involves costume, do they have access? Find out how many people will come. Remember that sometimes people say they will come but won't arrive. So, best idea here is to halve the number that say they will come. If that's not enough, advertise for more people and repeat the pattern.
  4. So, now you have enough people, arrange a time and a date for practice. Some flash mobs require more time than others. Perhaps, you will need to meet the day before, or perhaps you can meet a few hours beforehand at the venue. Rmember that Flash Mobs can comprise as little as four people and max out at two hundred people.
  5. Remember to plan your choreography beforehand. Also remember to plan for a camera to be around. The number of cameras depends on the number of people and the geographical spread of the event. Start with two cameras. At about two hundred people, six people filming in different locations is a good idea.
  6. At your meeting, present this. Practice some, then practice more. Of course, everybody is not going to be perfect, and you shouldn't really have more than one practice.
  7. Meet on the day. If it's costume, people dress with their own clothes over the costume and then stand at their assigned places and remove their outer clothes at the same time. If it's a song, it can start with one person, and be joined by many. If it's a dance, have everybody assigned to where they make their entrance. And so on.Make sure that everybody knows the exact time to start and make sure that all watches are synchronized so that nobody is out of step.
  8. Perform! Perform! Perform! The length of the performance should generally be between three and five minutes.
  9. As soon as the performance is over, you have to get out of there. Tell everybody not to speak to anybody and arrange for a coffee house meet somewhere down the road.
  10. Have an after flash mob afert party. Enjoy.

Flash Mob Performances Spread Throughout the World

International Flash Mob Performances

Flash Mobs are spreading throughout the world. The video below shows what happened in Australia a few years ago. Two thousand two hundred people collected to give a great performance.  The video below also shows what happened before the event and after the event - almost as entertaining as the main show. Why did this crowd do it? Just for fun!

How to create a Flash Mob
How to create a Flash Mob
Tessa Schlesinger

Different things Flash Mobs can do

Singing Flashmobs, Dancing flashmobs, Performing Flashmobs,

Flash mobs don't only dance or stand still. They also sing, appear as Zombies in crowds, dress in fancy or historical costumes, for example, like a Royal Imperial Court. They tend to demonstrate skills and talents which are exceptional and entertaining. The Opera Flash Mob in the video above entertained a lunch crowd with a choral rendition of Allelujah.Naturally the crowd was enchanted.

Flash Mobs can give a message

Political Flash Mobs

Flash Mobs can be used as easily to give a political message as they can to deliver a powerful commercial message. Occupy took advantage of musicians and dancers to deliver a powerful message to the people of San Franciso in the video below.

Flashmobs become mainstream

Flash Mobs can be anywhere

Flash mobs are no longer backstage. They have become mainstream. If you do a search on youtube, you will find that they are now popping up all over the place. They are effective because they bring a burst of delight to busy - and often stressed - people on their way to work and other responsibilities. Cameras come out, spectators smile, and when it's all done, the flash mob quickly disperses, leaving many hearts warmer and lighter than they were before they saw the flash mob.

Updated: 12/24/2012, TessaSchlesinger
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TessaSchlesinger on 12/24/2012

Jo, I have this idea that if every city or community had their own flash mobs - say on the weekend or once a week at a lunch time, it would bring much more happiness to the community, don't you think. We have them at San Diego comic-con for Zombies and I've been in one once!

JoHarrington on 12/24/2012

I thoroughly enjoyed that! I've never seen a flash mob in person (but plenty on You Tube). I'd love to though. They're so much fun.

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