Our no pants event was mentioned on ‘The Today Show’ in the U.S. They were interviewing Charlie Todd, the founder of Improv Everywhere, and were discussing various ‘missions’ pulled off by the group.
Report coming soon… when I’ve finished my exams. shrek the halls divx
On Saturday the 12th of January we organised and participated in the 1st worldwide annual No Pants on the Subway Event. This event wasn’t exactly a Flash Mob but it had many similarities so it was hosted by and organised through the Adelaide Flash Mob Facebook Group
. The No Pants Subway Ride is an idea originally hatched by New York based improv group, Improv Everywhere. This year they encouraged people to organise their own No Pants Events in cities around the world to take place on the same day as the New York Event in its 7th consecutive year.
The idea basically consists of a bunch of people riding the subway without wearing any pants. Each participant is instructed to pretend they don’t know any of the other pantsless riders and to act like its not particularly abnormal to be riding the train without pants. Since we don’t have a subway here in Adelaide, we decided to do it on the Grange and Outer Harbour trains leaving the city. We weren’t expecting many people so we modelled our idea on the original Improv Everywhere idea which includes a Pants Vendor. Read our event instructions to participants here download family guy presents stewie griffin the untold story free .
Our participation was disapointing. The event was almost entirely organised through Facebook and by the time the 12th rolled around over 700 people had been invited. Of those 700 invites we had 6 (including myself) who said they were attending, 64 who said they might attend, 395 not attending and 251 who hadn’t replied. On the day, only 2 of the 6 ‘attendings’ showed up and none of the ‘maybes,’ but luckily someone who’d heard about it through a friend rallied a small group of 3 to bring our total participation up to 5 (3 male, 2 female) plus some support staff who didn’t de-pants.
The New York event had over 900 participants, which is fantastic news. Still waiting* to see how the other regional events turned out. Adelaide is much smaller than New York of course but its also summer here and Saturday, at 26 degrees C, was perfect weather for walking about in underwear.
I think that this lack of participation highlights the fact that altough Facebook is a pretty fantastic social networking site and has the potential to make communications such as event organisation much easier, it still has a long way to go, at least in Australia. The problem, I think, is that Facebook is in the cyber world and events are in the real world. If you join a group on Facebook it doesn’t necessarily mean that you agree with what the group stands for or ever intend to visit again. Similarly if you say that you are attending an event on Facebook, its not the same as telling someone in person that you intend to come. Hopefully we’ll have more luck with Facebook in the future.
*Update: View reports, photos and videos of other regional events here
Participation aside, the event was very successful. On the way down everything worked as it was meant to and I think we evoked some brilliant reactions from those around us, although they certainly would’ve been more impressive if we had a few more participants. It was also great fun to do.
We had intended to repeat the performance on the train back into town but I accidently got us on the wrong carriage. I was trying to put us on the back carriage because I thought it would be less crowded but I forgot that now that the train was going in the other direction, the back carriage had become the front carriage… duhhhh. Anyway, as we were heading into town the carriage became more and more crowded. There was also a number of people with pushbikes, prams and children so we decided that it would be very difficult to de-pants, get pants to the pants seller and exit the train safely and we called off the second run through.
As a compromise, myself and Derek came up with a quick plan to make for an exciting finish to the day. We each got off at consecutive stops, however with our pants on. Then we took off our pants while on the platform and entered the next train as before. When we reached the city we walked through the station pantsless and out into the city.
We had a dedicated camera man, Sam, along for the ride to capture video. I also carried a camera hidden in a large folder (folder cam) which turned out to be probably less suttle than simply holding a camera in plain view and pretending to be fiddling with it. However, due to a number of things, not least my technological noobiness, I had the camera zoomed in way too far and unfortunately got nothing useable from folder cam. We have edited the video into a short film which is embedded below and also available on Youtube.
Its difficult to give a good account all by myself so I have posted participant reports below. Enjoy!
I nervously rocked up to Maccas, still not really knowing if I was going to game enough to participate. There had been 68 people saying they might be attending the No Pants 2K8, so it was a bit of a shock that there were just 2 guys waiting at the allocated spot at the time stated. On the one hand I wanted to run – I would be so exposed! On the other I felt that the impact would be so much better with more people, so thought I couldn’t let the side down.
It’s amazing how little people generally react to odd social behaviour – accept young males that is! There were a group of Indigenous kids who thought it was hilarious!
On the second train I sat down opposite a group of eldery folk. They didn’t really seem to react at all, but I heard them muttering about “swimming attire” so I guess they came up with their own explanation. When they vacated it was another group of young guys that took their seats. I was so relieved when the pants seller started selling pants because the young guys had just started trying to interact.
The train back into Adelaide starting getting really crowded, and I was feeling more and more uncomfortable about a repeat performance. Thanks Mr Penguin for allowing us off the hook!
Well done for organising the event.
I didn’t really know what to expect – I thought that maybe there would be about 10 of us, so it was disappointing to find only 5 plus support crew – but I’m very glad I managed to convince my sister and brother in law to join in too! I took my partner along because I wasn’t too worried about the train bit but didn’t want to be stranded on the platform waiting for 15 minutes with no support at all.
There were a few definite twitters when Nick de-pants-ed. It seemed to take forever for that first stop to arrive. But it all rolled from there. There were no other people at the stop that I had been given, so we had the time to just chat and relax. I don’t remember too many comments when I got onto the train as the 4th unpantsed person. I found that a baby makes quite a good prop. It gives something definite to focus on and when some people smiled at me I could smile back because I’m getting used to them staring at the baby and wanting to chat to me about that.
It still seemed to take forever for our pants to be sold back to us though!
It was a little unnerving when a small group of youths were very interested in what was going on and one struck up a conversation as I was trying to get redressed. Thankfully, he was mostly happy with chatting about bubs, and I was able to brush off his suggestion that he was getting lucky by saying “Don’t people usually take their pants off when you’re gonna get lucky? I’m just getting dressed.” He made a few comments about the attractiveness of another team member, but was generally harmless. He suggested that we should hook up again later and asked if the baby’s father was waiting at home. I said “Yes” but didn’t tell him that he was sitting directly opposite pretending not to know me.
There was a young asian couple that were along for the pantsless ride, and they returned on the same train as we did. I wonder what they thought was going on. Did they really mean to ride to Outer Harbour and back without doing anything in the middle?
So – it was nerve wracking, but I was amazed at how easy it was to keep a straight face throughout it all. And very glad I didn’t need the spare pants I hid in the baby bag! I’m glad we went in for it, even if it was jumping in the deep end for our first AFM experience! Anything after that should be much easier.
Nick (firey boxers)
Due to the lack of ‘attendings’ we received as well as the fickleness of Facebook as an organising medium, I was very nervous, leading up to the start of the event, that no one would turn up. When we managed to get 5 I was quite relieved, although later I realised that it was infact a pretty poor turnout.
I assigned myself the first stop to de-pants and get off at to be the leader and icebreaker for the others to follow. The train initially goes very slowly as it leaves the Adelaide station and I got impatient with waiting and took my pants off somewhat early. I had to wait at the door for a while but I suppose it gave the train riders a chance to take in my pantlessness and begin to wonder what the hell was going on. When I got off at the stop there was one other person on the platform and he gave me a funny look; I wonder what he was thinking.
It was a warm day and actually quite comfortable to be wearing only boxers. When I got on the next train I noticed a few people do double takes but, as I was the first one on, there wasn’t too much commotion. I tried to avoid making eye contact to stay in character and appear casual. I set myself up next to the door with my folder cam to capture the other riders entering the train (althought the camera didn’t work, see ‘documentation’ above).
There were some notable reactions that I experienced. There was one older bald guy who was on the train from the start and was continually looking around, muttering to himself, and trying to work things out. Towards the end of the trip he eventually got up the courage to say “is it no pants day to day or something?”
Once we were all on the second train pantless, I heard some laughter coming from down the back and went to check it out with my camera. There was two girls there trying to control their giggles while questioning another pantless rider. I sat down and looked straight ahead, ignoring them. It didn’t take them long to blurt out “why aren’t you wearing any pants?” I told them that I was in a hurry that morning and I guess I had just forgotten them. I also added that it was lucky that it was such a warm day and that I was quiet comfortable. They said that there was other 4 people on the train without pants. I looked around, noticed for the first time that the guy sitting across from me was also pantsless and said that I didn’t know any of the other people. The girls went through a string of theories; ‘you’re friends,’ ‘its a dare,’ ‘you know each other from work,’ but were never really quite sure what to make of it all.
All in all it was great fun to participate in and organise and I won’t hesitate to do it again next year.
Date:Saturday March 15th
Meeting: Fringe Alley off Vaughn Place off Rundle Street (see map)
Time: 7 pm
This weekend, Saturday March 15th, is the 3rd and final mob in our ‘Fast Fringe Flashes’ series of events. As you know, our second mob was set for last Sat but had to be cancelled due to the extreme heat.
We have planned this weekend’s mob later in the evening to avoid the heat and to take advantage of the crowds which will be in town to enjoy the last weekend of the fringe.
As always, specific details will be handed out on the day, but we can tell you that part of the event will involve getting the fringe crowd to make one big conga line down and around the garden of unearlthy delights and rundle street. Prior to this main event there will be a few fast mobs in the rundle street area.
Please also read up on our Mobbing guidelines to make the event as successful as possible.
One more thing, this mob is time specific so please syncronise your watches (phones) to the local adelaide time at this website.
We’ve created events for both MySpace and Facebook where you can check out the updated details as the come available. If you don’t have either of those social networking programs then keep an eye on the website as we will be posting all the details here.
We need your help to get as many people involved as possible so invite all your friends along.
The original idea is basically the same as the first Improv Everywhere No Pants mission and this alternate method is a combinatation of that first mission and the event that they currently hold. The problem with the original idea is that unless the train is quite busy, there probably won’t be enough time for peole to walk inbetween each carriage when the train stops. This new idea includes a 15 minute wait on the platform, but apart from this it is as good, if not better than the orginal idea.
We all meet at around 12:30, near the Adelaide Train Station
We catch the 12:58 Grange Train
Riders de-pants and exit the train at the first six stops: Boyden, Croydon, West Croydon, Killkenny, Woodville Park and Woodville
They throw their pants to the designated pants seller/ collector who then gets off at Woodville
After a 15 minute wait, the Outer Harbour Train will come along (going the same direction) and we will get on it at our respective stops. The pants seller will also get on the train but won’t start selling right away.
This is where the fun starts. Roam about the train and act like its totally normal not to be wearing your pants.
After a little while, the pants seller will stand up and start yelling out: Pants for Sale! Pair of Pants $1
React in your own way, be creative… “did he say pants? thank god for that” “one dollar? thats a bargain” etc. Buy back your pants and put them back on.
Then ride out the rest of the trip as you normally would on a train ride. The train will reach Outer Harbour at 1:50 pm.
Its important not to speak with other participants and give no indication that your in some sort of organised event.
The next train going back into the city leaves at 1:58. On the way back we can do things a little differently… from Outer Harbour to Cheltenham (the stop before Woodville) you can do whatever you want. Then at the next six stops… get out once again.
Wait 15 mins for the next Grange-City train and board as before.
We will arrive back in the city at 2:36 pm. Then we will probably go to Maccas or the Australian Pizza House afterwards for anyone who wants to come.
What you need to bring:
Book, Magazine, Ipod etc. to do on the train and to look like normal patrons
Underwear: I’m personally gonna wear boxers, it’ll be a warm day so I think they’ll be actually quite comfortable. Briefs are also good too, but no thongs please as we don’t want to offend anyone. Ideally the top half of your clothing will contrast the bottom (no pants) half so its obvious that you’re not simply wearing shorts.
We decided to organise this mob a little bit differently by playing around with the method of delivering instructions. In our previous two mobs we had asked people to email us to register their interest anytime before the mob, then the day before the event we would email all these people and tell them some instructions that they would need to follow on the day of the mob to get the full instructions. All this secrecy was to ensure that the general public/ business owners/ police/ security/ council didn’t have advance notice of our plans and wouldn’t be prepared for our coming or try to stop the event. I think it also added another level to the mob as it was like a Mission Impossible movie, making it more fun for both organisers and participants. However, the secrecy undoubtably had an effect on our attendance because, lets face it, people like to know what they’re getting themselves into especially if its potentially embarrasing.This time we decided to give the instructions out upfront to see how things turned out. The instructions were posted on the Facebook event and emailed out to everyone on our mailing list. Here they are:
Introducing AFM #3: “They don’t have pepsi!?”
We’re going to fill an area with mobbers (the cinema’s lobby), make a commotion about something (“They don’t have pepsi!?”) and vacate the area, leaving an empty void and confused and bewildered staff and moviegoers alike.
So, here’s the instructions for this evening, and we’ll see you there!
1 – Everyone spreds themselves amongst the Cinema’s lobby area. Get in line at the Candy bar, play the games in the lobby, stand in groups with your friends, try to get some seats at one of the tables around the area… Make sure you’re in position by around 7:15pm. Favour the left side as well, facing the candy bar. Some people should fill out, but the majority will happen on the left.
2 – Three “key mobbers” will get in line at the Candy Bar. Most of you have seen/met Mr. Penguin (Nick) before so keep an eye out for him. (about 7:25pm)
3 – Mobber 1 gets to the front of the line, and asks for a pepsi. (roughly 7:30pm)
4 – After being told that they don’t sell pepsi, mobber 1 asks loudly “You don’t have pepsi?”
5 – Mobber 2 continues with “What’s this? They don’t have pepsi?”
6 – Mobber 3 further back, “They don’t have pepsi!?”
7 – General mobbers start “HURMF”ing and “They don’t have pepsi?”ing, making a growing commotion.
8 – Flash mob gets upset and leaves the cinema area.
**In addition to the instructions above: We have organised a bunch of people to be in the line for the candy bar on the left hand side to set off the mob. Look for me (tall guy with short brown hair, blue polo shirt and light coloured shorts) nearer the back of the line at around 7:30.
We want mobbers to gather themselves mostly on the left hand side in between the ticket booth and the candy bar.
Once you hear the initial ‘theres no pepsi’ that is the cue to start the commotion. The initial mobbers will start walking away after a time and the mobbers should all follow in a group, continuing the commotion.
Mobbers are invited to meet afterwards outside the New York bar and grill.
Check out the video:
Heres how it went:
For this mob I stood aside as the ‘Mob Leader’ and we organised some other people to set off the mob. Mobber 1: the mobber who originally asked the question: Can I have a Pepsi? was played by Barny Smith. His mate, Mobber 2, who chimed in with: Did you say you don’t have pepsi? was played by Paul Whan. We used a digital recording device which Barny held, pretending it was a phone, to record the dialogue. Apparently the security are quite strict about to filming in the building so our cameramen had to be quite covert. I would also like to thank Ken Kimber and Sam King for their excellent filming once again.
There are two things which you need to pull off a good mob. First you need a large mobber turnout, and secondly you need a large number of bystanders to witness the mob. In AFM#1 we acheived both of these things, in #2 we acheived neither and in this one (#3) we had a large turnout, around 30-40 people I think, but the cinema lobby itself was quite bare. However, this also worked to our advantage because basically everyone who was in the area was a mobber so it was quite a noticable effect when we all got up and left at once in disgust leaving the couple of movie-goers and the candybar staff slack jawed.
It was great to see a number of people getting into it with their ‘They don’t have Pepsi-ing?’ We didn’t have any problems with security or anything so it looks like the method of giving out the instructions up-front didn’t have any noticable effects. If you participated feel free to leave a comment below and tell us about your mobbing experience.
See you at the next mob
Finally, the report from our second Flash Mob; Tapitty Tap.
This is the email sent out to mobbers on Friday 14th December 2007:
The time is almost upon us.
In order for our mob to be as unexpected as possible to our ‘audience,’ the specific details of the action to take place will be kept under wraps until tomorrow. This email contains instructions for you to follow to obtain those specific details, so listen in.
There are a couple of things we need to do first. Everyone needs to read these guidelines that we have created to ensure the mob works properly. If you have guests coming, you need to inform them of the guidelines also.
This mob isn’t entirely dependent on time cues, but it does help to have everyone on the same clock, so please visit this website and set your time piece to the local Australia/ Adelaide time.
General Location: Near the beach end of Jetty Road
Approx. Time: 1pm
To get the rest of the details you need to come to the Playground at Wigley Reserve between 11:50am and 12:30 pm on Saturday. Find a man dressed in a blue t-shirt, blue shorts and carrying a green clipboard and approach him. This man is known as Mr Penguin; stand in front of him on one leg and he will hand you a piece of paper with the rest of the instructions. Do not talk during this exchange.
Mr. Penguin will only be at the Playground between 11:50 am and 12:30 pm so you must come within those times.
If it’s a hot day remember to be sun smart. Mobbers will be invited to meet up post mob to discuss the event and share thoughts/ ideas.
Adelaide Flash Mob
This is what happened:
Here are the instructions that mobbers received after meeting Mr Penguin at the playground:
AFM#2: Tappitty Tap
Locations to be aware of for this mob:
• Walkway area- walking area bordered by the tall stone monument with a ship on top, the start of the jetty and the two grass areas.
• The Jetty- the long walkway thing sticking out into the sea from the land which people fish off of.
• Right Rail- the rail on the right hand side of the jetty if you are looking along the jetty from the land.
By 12:50 pm you should be generally scattered in and around the Walkway area. Spread out anywhere in this area (including the grass), look natural and make sure you have a clear view of the Walkway area in between the monument and The Jetty.
At 1pm Mr Penguin (the man in blue) will take a walk through the Walkway area and then freeze mid-step.
As soon as he freezes you should quickly and quietly form a line behind him facing The Jetty.
Once most of the line has formed, Mr Penguin will continue his walk towards The Jetty. When he gets about halfway, the next person in line should start following him. When that person gets halfway, the next person should set out also and so on.
Once Mr Penguin reaches The Jetty he will look for the first available position on the Right Rail and take up a stance of looking out onto the beach with both hands on the Right Rail.
Mr Penguin will then start to tap on the Right Rail in a pattern that goes something like this: tap clap tap tap clap, tap clap tap tap clap, tap clap tap tap clap, and so on.
As each person reaches The Jetty, they should look for the next available position on the Right Rail and begin to tap and clap in time with Mr Penguin until all mobbers are lined up along the Right Rail tapping and clapping.
Continue to tap and clap until Mr Penguin stops. Once everyone has stopped, Mr Penguin will turn and walk away from the Right Rail. Everyone should then follow him keeping in line. Mr Penguin will go for a walk around the area; everyone should follow him, keeping in line and copy everything he does.
To finish off, Mr Penguin will walk back into the Walkway area and once again freeze mid-step. At this point people should one by one walk off and blend back into the crowd starting with the last person in the line until only Mr Penguin remains.
Mobbers should not speak throughout the entire mob. Everyone is invited to meet back at the location where you picked up these instructions to discuss and enjoy the mob with your fellow mobbers.
Please Do Not let these instructions get seen by non mobbers. Please don’t litter.
How it went:
As you can see by the video we had a lot less people than we had hoped for and were led to beleive were coming based on emailed expressions of interest. We opened a discussion on Facebook to try and figure out why this was and got a range of reasons. We got incredibly unlucky with the weather… it was raining that morning which is when most people would have looked out the window and decided whether they were coming or not. We also underestimated the effect of this crazy time of year when theres so many things on with people getting ready for xmas etc. Glenelg might also have been a bit harder to get to than our first mob which was in town which also could’ve affected the turnout.
We had a bit of a chat afterwards with some of the mobbers who turned up and they all said that they had had fun, and once again it was fun to organise so thats all that matters in the long run. I’m sure we left some people wondering what was going on as they were strolling on the jetty or sitting on the grass. There was once particular couple who were sitting on a bench that the video didnt completely capture. I didn’t see it personally but I’m told that we got a good ‘what the’ reaction from them as we all silently walked around them in a line.
Thanks to Sam King and Ken Kimber for the video and of course the mobbers who showed up. The small turn out obviously wasn’t as good as a larger turn out but it was many times better than no turn out would have been so thanks again guys.
**THIS EVENT IS CANCELLED DUE TO THE WEATHER**
Date: Saturday March 8th
Meeting: Adelaide CBD (specific location tba)
As we said before, we wanted to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to come to a Mob and we also wanted to make sure that we took full advantage of the Fringe crowds so we’ve decided to AFM#4 over 3 weekends.
The first of the three mobs happened on Sunday. Everyone had a lot of fun and we got some great reactions. Check out the video on below (also available on Youtube
AFM#4.2: Saturday March 8, 2pm- **CANCELLED**
Unfortunately we’ve had to cancel this event due to the weather: http://www.weather.com.au/sa/adelaide Its forecast to be 38 on Saturday and we had planned the event for the hottest part of the day.
Remember we are doing an AFM recruitment drive on Tuesday: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=8972322997 If you’re free come down and join us. We might do a simple mob also to make up for Sat.-Nick
**THIS EVENT IS CANCELLED DUE TO THE WEATHER**
We had the first mob of our 3 weekend mobbing bonanza on Sunday (March 2nd). A full report of all three mobs will go up at the end, but for now check out the video below and if you participated, leave your reports on how the day went in the comments section below.
To get involved in one of the two remaining sub-mobs of AFM#4, Check out the details in the post above.
Date: Sunday, April 6, 2006
Meeting: South West Corner of Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide
Time: 3pm- 4pm
We are starting to gain some momentum as a group now so its time to organise our next mob to continue it. Our recent ‘Fast Fringe Flashes
‘ series of mobs got a great response and everybody had fun.
In order to continue our success we need to get as many people as possible so please encourage your friends to come along.
WATCH THIS SPACE TO KEEP UPDATED ON THE DETAILS OF THIS EVENT.
Hope to see you there