flash Friday

Have you ever seen a flash mob on YouTube and wished you had been a witness?  Wouldn’t that be a fun story to tell your friends and family?  “So, I was just shopping at the mall the other day, and this music came on and all of a sudden…”

It perhaps the story loses some of its oomph if you knew it was going to happen ahead of time.  But let’s face it, it would still be fun… right?

Well, a friend of mine from work was in a flash mob yesterday.  So my friends and I knew it was going to happen, and we decided to check it out.  Since he had been to practice and everything, we knew exactly when and where it was going down, how it was going to unfold, etc.  The only thing we didn’t know was if it was really going to happen… because the plan was for them to do it in the middle of a street.

I’ve seen videos of flash mobs in malls and train stations, which are a little safer than the middle of the street!  (My favorite ones are the singing ones… like this one.)  So we weren’t sure how this was safely going to unfold.  There had been some talk of cars stopping in the middle of the street to shut down the road, but that seemed a little hard to pull off.

When we got downtown, there were lots of policemen hanging around, so it was clear that they knew  something was up.  And then the news showed up.   This being my first flash mob, I’m not sure whether that’s standard procedure or not!  And the other flash mobs I had seen on YouTube  seemed to be more random — people seem to be bystanders, and then jump in to join the fun.  For this one, a large group began to gather just before seven, and it was pretty clear something was about to happen.

Just after seven, the cars were still coming, and there was no sign of the street suddenly shutting down.  Then the music began and the lead dancer stepped out — right into the street, where the cars were still coming.  The news reported that police shut the street down, but that makes it sound like there were no cars… and there were.  They maybe shut down two lanes, but where we were standing, there was definitely still traffic — it just had to come to a standstill as the crowd of onlookers spilled out on to the street to get a better look.

Here’s my video of it — my apologies at the amateur camera work.  I was using my phone (hence the bad sound quality) held above my head, and towards the end my friends waved into the street to get closer, so you get a nice shot of the sky for a minute as I walked into the street.

And here is the news story.  My friends make a quick appearance towards the middle.  http://www.newschannel5.com/story/14932695/flash-mob-takes-over-downtown-nashville-street

I have to admit– I was a doubter.  Our friend mentioned that not many people had come to practice, but seemed hopeful that more people had watched the online tutorial and would be ready to make their debut.  I had low expectations.  And I’m glad I was proven wrong!   It was a really fun, random moment!  Even if it wasn’t so random for us. : )

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