Flashmob for Michael Jackson

Anyone who has seen some of the flashmob videos online can’t fail to have been impressed. The recent ads by T-mobile at Liverpool St and Trafalgar Square show what big corporates can do when they play with the concept – the MC Hammer one also being fun. The frozen statues at Grand Central Station and Trafalgar Square are possibly the best examples I’ve seen of flashmobs just organised from the ground up.

So last Friday, as the world was digesting the news that Michael Jackson had died on Thursday, I was interested to see messages flying around Twitter saying that there would be a mass moonwalking session at Liverpool St station at 6pm that evening.

That sounded like fun. I went along to see what was going to happen, but this time it was not so well organised. Someone did bring some music along and do a bit of dancing, but they can’t have guessed that so many people would show up. The police had to shut off large sections of the station, just for safety, and they were forcing the moonwalk enthusiasts to go outside rather than loiter inside the station.

I shot this video as I walked through the crowd. Clearly it’s not very interesting, but I wanted to capture the moment. To show that a few messages on Twitter resulted in thousands of people coming to Liverpool St all at the same time to pay their respects to Michael Jackson – or just to have fun and see what was going to happen.

With a bit of organisation, flashmobs can be impressive. It’s a shame that whoever started this one didn’t think that it might be hard to get a very large crowd to all start moonwalking without a serious PA system and some big video screens…

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