Thursday, February 26, 2009

London flash mobs - T-Mobile and Pillow Fights!

T-Mobile staged a coup in London's Liverpool Street earlier this year on the 15th of Jan by mobilising hundreds of 'commuters' for a flash mob dance, which footage became its wildly publicised advert.

Apparently, permission was sought and subsequently granted by Network Rail and the British Transport Police. At 11am precisely, there was a larger than usual crowd over at Liverpool Street train station and the regular commuters are non the wiser - not least until music came blaring out loud and people around them starts to dance to the tune.

The cleaned up footage was promptly uploaded onto YouTube (see below).

Subsequently, a group was set up in Facebook to challenge T-Mobile's feat. On 6th Feb, thousands thronged Liverpool Street train station during evening rush hour and traffic was brought to a standstill. Police moved in and shut the station down and it remained so for more than two hours. As a result, there was confusion and commuters were forced to rely on alternate routes.

Although that didn't turn out too well, it seems that T-Mobile's advert has led to a flash mob resurgence. According to The London Paper, there is going to be a giant pillow fight in London this coming Saturday (28th Feb). In order to prevent the police putting a stop to it, the organizers are keeping mum about the venue.

Now, the million dollar question. Where might this venue be? My guesses are as follow:

1) Trafalgar Square

It's big, centrally located and well served by public transport. Participants can emerge from Charing Cross Tube Station or bid their time in St. Martins in the Fields. It's also the staging ground for major events and thus a highly symbolic venue.

The downside is that Trafalgar Square can be easily condoned off by the Police. Not a good venue unless the participants expect the Police to join in the fun as well.

2) Piccadilly Circus

Like Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus is well served by buses and Piccadilly Circus Tube Station. If the number of participants is not that large, they can whack themselves silly around Eros, another notable landmark in Central London.

The downside is the small area available unless the numbers are large enough to spill onto the main roads, the pillow fighters would have to contend with cosy and close fighting quarters.

3) Gerrard Street - Leicester Square

It would be quite a scene to have a huge pillow fight fest along this main street in London's Chinatown. The participants can adjourn to the many restaurants in the area afterwards for a satisfying meal.

Downside? There are practically no escape route along the relatively narrow streets. There are only some many places one can go in Chinatown with a pillow in tow.

Have you got any other places in mind? I can't wait to hear them!

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xiaocangshu said...

One flash mob our teacher was telling us about in 2002/2003 involved people gathering in front of a Godzilla or dinosaur figure somewhere in town and bow shouting "Hail!"

chocmuffins said...

Hey, they're gathering at Hyde Park!

C K said...

Really? That sounds like... lol. I recalled there was one time a dozen or so people gathered at Orchard MRT and start to quack like ducks for a full 30 seconds before dispersing into the crowds.

THANKS! Where did you get that info from? Is it organize by FaceBook? Hmm, any idea what time might that be? Will probably pop by with my trusty old pillow!

chocmuffins said...

Google lor... :D

Anyway, Facebook event at

Follow twitter at

Starts noon. See you when I see you... :D


xiaocangshu said...

Quacking like ducks sounds lol too.