Mp3 Experiment Nine – Thanks!

photo by Ari Scott

A huge thanks to everyone who came out to The Mp3 Experiment Nine today! Please use the comments section of this page to describe your personal experience.

UPDATE: The video is up!

Here are the photos from our official photographers:

Ari Scott’s photos
Arin Sang-urai’s photos
Brian Fountain’s photos

It will be a few weeks before we have any video to show, but stay tuned. You can subscribe to our YouTube Channel to be the first to know when it is released. As always, all of today’s music was created by our composer Tyler Walker. Check out his site to download free songs from today’s mp3! This event was produced in partnership with the River to River Festival. Thanks also to SkyCamUsa for helping us film from the sky with a remote-controlled drone!

To find out about future Improv Everywhere events like this, be sure to sign up for our New York Agents Mailing List, like us on Facebook, and follow us on twitter.

And don’t miss our brand new video that we just released today, The Mini-Golf Open:

And here are some of our favorite photos so far:

photo by Arin Sang-urai

photo by Ari Scott

photo by Ari Scott



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72 Responses to Mp3 Experiment Nine – Thanks!

  1. MotorboatJones says:

    Did anyone else have problems with the iOS app? I had it open and the MP3 started at 3:00 on the nose, played for about 3 seconds and then the screen said that the experiment was over. Luckily I downloaded the MP3 separately as a backup.

    • Zoe says:

      Mine crashed after 10 minutes too. Luckily, I found a kind stranger who shared headphones with me. I lost her after the water gun fight though and didn’t hear the end.

      • Tony says:

        Mine stopped about 26min in. I don’t think the mp3 downloaded correctly and it never verified/retried downloading it.

    • Charlie says:

      We definitely had some issues with the app. As we said on the download page, it was really a beta test for it, so hopefully everyone downloaded the mp3 to their phone as a backup. Mine crashed at 20 minutes and I had to switch to back up. The developers already figured out what went wrong and next year should go much more smoothly. Thanks for downloading the app and sorry that there were unexpected issues!

      • Agent Jake Richards says:

        App worked fine for me for the entire event, so it was an isolated issue.

        • Gaby says:

          Ditto – my app worked perfectly! The only stutters I had were the result of my bluetooth headphones.

    • ryan says:

      when I first downloaded it via the App it finished the D/L in just a few seconds (i figured something was wrong)… so I deleted the app and redownloaded the mp3 while in a fast wifi area… this time the download took longer. When I played I had no issues.

  2. Jason says:

    It was great for 10 minutes…then your app crashed and didn’t work again. Saying that the event was over…

  3. Farin says:

    Getting governors island was basically impossible, Im assuming about half your crowd was in Riverside Park.

    • Erwin says:

      I wonder how it turned out there since there probably were more “fans.”

      • Dmitry Kovalenko says:

        there were like 5% of “fans”, when instructions were “High Five the fan” it was hard to find one, or when it was a slow-motion walking, I only saw one guy walking normal…..

  4. Rachel says:

    I hate to be that person, but the sheer number of people there made it kind of chaotic. I loved the early instructions, but once we were in a big group I couldn’t even hear through my [over-the-ear] headphones, and… who jumped the gun on the water gun fight? It just seemed like people couldn’t hear/weren’t paying attention to the instructions/etc.

    • Charlie says:

      There were definitely a few rouges who started the water gun fight early, which spread to the entire mob. I guess when the whole premise was that everyone was a rouge agent, this was to be expected!

    • Haylie says:

      I was a bit off (15 seconds) with my mp3, but seriously, I was being sprayed in the face for about 30 seconds+ before I heard the instructions! It was totally fun, though.

  5. Ana says:

    I love IE and have been doing the Mp3 Experiment since 2008, when I first moved to the city. Love that you guys are getting much more notice and attention, but because of that, I think you need to stop hosting it on islands. The Randall’s Island one was kind of a mess since there was only one train going there, and this year was 10x worse than that. I was lucky enough to jump on the last boat and got there two minutes before the start time, but many were not able to get to the island. Next time, can you guys just do it in Manhattan, or at least somewhere accessible by multiple trains? Coney Island might be a good place; Central Park is the most obvious choice.

    • Jason says:

      Sheep meadow in Central Park would be an awesome spot.

    • Charlie says:

      We did it in Manhattan the past two years and have staged in Central Park twice before as well. We warned on the instructions page to get to the ferry terminal super early. I know an island is not ideal, but River to River invited us to do it there, and we love Governors Island.

      • Danny R says:

        East River Ferry was mostly empty. Comfortably seated the entire ride both ways

      • Pete says:

        I´m still surprised at the number of people complaining about not getting there in time and problems with the app. The site made it clear to prepare for both of these issues. You thought even to caution people about their guns possibly leaking in their bags. How much more thoughtful can the organizers be! Haters gonna hate. Thanks again Charlie! It´s still amusing to me that this all started with someone mentioning you look like Ben Folds :)

        • Charlie says:

          Thanks Pete. Yeah, we literally spent months working on this and thinking of everything. No matter how hard you work a public event in a public space with thousands of people will have hiccups. Thanks for understanding that!

  6. Dmitry Kovalenko says:

    My sound just stopped on the 40th minute, but application was open and there were still “pause” button active (basically app were thinking it’s still playing. Luckily I downloaded the mp3 file also.

    • Gil says:

      Exactly what happened to me as well, at exactly the same time. Thankfully I had the file downloaded separately, although I had a few agents to drench first…

  7. Kevin P says:

    Upon exiting the subway at South Ferry, at 1:25 PM, the line for the Governor’s Island ferry stretched all the way back to the subway entrance. Thankfully the ferry staff were able to accommodate us so I could board the 2:30 PM ferry and not miss the event. Sympathies to those who arrived too late. Planning ahead is critical. Sympathies also to those using the iPhone app. My personal wish is that we could all be in sync, because it seems like every year I end up 10 seconds behind the rest of the group. But technology often surprises us, by failing when we need it most. #firstworldpains

    Before the zero hour, the island filled with dozens and dozens of groups of headphone wearing people. Everybody trying to act casual and pretend they always come outside on Sunday afternoons, and check the time every few seconds. Some people open carrying water guns.

    The moment arrives and a calm silence falls as hundreds of people quietly listen to Steve’s recorded voice. We give each other winks and see that nearly everybody in sight is playing the same game. As we give high fives to non-partcipants, the same ten people got high fives from dozens of us. They seemed to enjoy the sudden attention and status.

    The big water gun battle rivaled the movie Braveheart in size and energy. If water could kill, this battle would be covered in history books for generations to come. Water sustains life, cools down heated bodies, and causes smiles.

    On the way back to the ferry, I found a purple duct tape wallet. Someone offered to walk down the ferry line and try to find its owner, or mail it home to its owner. Hope it finds you safely.

    On the 1 uptown train, I put my shower cap on and three people sitting opposite me put theirs on too, which confused and amused the poor tourists. My shower cap remains on as I write this and will remain on as I leave the city.

    What a day!

    • Jordan Gochman says:

      That was me and my friends! I liked your shower cap! Confusing and amusing the ‘fans’ was a high point of the day.

    • Sarah says:

      There was actually a guy in a blue shirt doing the speech from Braveheart right before the water gun fight. It was epic.

    • Shana says:

      I saw you with the wallet, I hope the owner gets it back.

    • Kevin P says:

      An update: Do not wear a plastic shower cap in the heat of the subway platform in July. It just keeps sweat in. Ugh bad idea.

  8. Rina says:

    This was soooooo fun!

    It was my first MP3 experiment and I had a blast. I downloaded the app as well but after 10 mins, it crashed and said the event was over. But there was a nice girl who let me use one of her earphones (Thanks Maria!)

    It didn’t get me down though! Overall I think it was super exciting and we all DEFINITELY caused a scene. :)

    • Toan says:

      My friend also experienced the app shutting down after 10 mins. Luckily, I had an extra phone with the app and mp3 downloaded ahead of time (in anticipation that my primary phone dies).

      Overall, excellent experience and will do it again next year.

  9. nichole says:

    i didn’t have any problem with the ios app. i was worried it wasn’t going to start on time but it worked pretty smoothly for me. but yeah, getting to an island is kinda annoying when you have hundreds of people tryin to leave at the same time. i’m glad i took the paid ferry, but the line for the one back to bklyn was kind of ridiculous. overall it was fun although it made me slightly late to a trumpet lesson, lol. improveverywhere you owe me 15 minutes of trumpet lesson :-P

  10. Johnay says:

    This was my first MP3 experiment and it was very enjoyable! My friends and I had a blast, my favorite part was probably throwing the stuffed animals into the air and also follow a fan! The traveling was no big deal, like you said it was important to get there EARLY. I arrived to Gov’s Island about 1pm, because I knew it would have gotten crowded like it did. Amazing time! Can’t wait till future missions. :-)

    • Toan says:

      I agree. My friends and I arrived at the ferry terminal at 12:40PM and was in line for the 1PM ferry. We got on the 1PM ferry without a problem along with countless others who were prepared for the mass exodus to Governors Island. I knew others would be left behind because some people really don’t listen when Charlie says to arrive early. Shame on them, but I hear Battery Park had its own rogue event so kudos to that.

  11. Katie says:

    Super fun day, but seemed to be less inspired than last year’s. Maybe it’s because there were almost no “fans,” or that it doesn’t feel like you’re disrupting anything on such an isolated island. It’s also not much of a secret when it’s listed as an event on the River to River calendar online.

    iPhone app was a total mess. I had to restart the app during the countdown to start b/c my countdown timer was 2 full minutes behind my friends’. Then it stopped playing halfway through, and told me the experiment was over. Luckily I found someone nice enough to share, but everyone I knew using the iPhone app experienced it stopping at some point. The app sounded like it would get everyone in sync better, but it seemed to create more problems throughout.

    • Shana says:

      It was on the River to River’s calendar online last year as well.

    • Earl says:

      I had a PERFECT experience with the app on my end. Played on time from start to finish.

    • Bridget Daniels says:

      This was our first experience and we came all the way down from Albany–so much fun and thank you so much!

      We ended up in battery park(thank you to the woman in front of us from Brooklyn who initiated that!!) It was great to see the faces of the tourists on the liberty boats as we all dropped to the ground!!

      Great time and totally worth the travel time!!

      • Gaby says:

        I was on the Island but my boyfriend got stuck in Battery Park, and he still had fun, so I’d like to also extend my thanks to whoever spearheaded that, since, while I love Governors’ Island, it no longer really seems a viable option for Mp3 Experiments now that it’s so big.
        (For the record, while I love the Island, spending nearly 5 hours outside in muggy humidity on the Island for the really fun 45 minutes of Mp3 Experiment didn’t really seem good for one’s health – I was lucky I had lots of fluids on hand, but a lot of Island amenities and the ferries themselves seemed somewhat taxed by the overload, and I’d sympathize with people who possibly had to wait more than an hour to get off the Island because of huge ferry lines).

  12. Arron Luo says:

    I took the 7 train from Flushing – Main St to Times Square… Then I walked the hour-and-a-half walk down south to the Battery Maritime Building. =]

    My feet HURT!

    The event itself was a good experience. First-timer here, and came by myself.

  13. Amha Mogus says:

    So, I like to think about today’s event in two phases. In the first phase we had fun following fans, dancing, meditating, walked around as ghosts, and stretched according to Steve’s instructions. This was great. It was a gentle introduction to imrpov.

    In the second phase we had an epic water gun fight. It started calmly with both sides playing their anthems. We were then ordered to marched toward the center of the field and, without warning, someone fired the first water gun. Madness ensued, and, it was amazing! Congratulations another successful Mp3 Experiment IE.

  14. Jenn says:

    Had a great time! Had some technical issues with my 7 year old’s mp3 player and she started to get upset! She was looking so forward to this event. Eventually we got her to do it…and she wanted to do it and just copy what we were doing and she did GREAT! Can’t wait for next year!

  15. Krista says:

    I had a great time from minute 10. My app stalled in the first couple of minutes…right after Steve said, “now take some deep breaths” or whatever, so at first I thought the silence was on purpose. I tried and tried but couldn’t get the app to start playing again. I went to the website and found the mp3 download and waited for that… Finally got to join in 10 minutes into the experiment.

    I didn’t see a warning anywhere to download a backup or even a note that it was beta. I just now checked the app and only saw “version 1.0″, so if it’s only beta, it’d be nice if you made that loud and clear.

    Had a good time once I got to join in, though. Especially flying capes.

    And at Battery Park, we put up our canopies just as it started to rain–perfect timing!

  16. dan says:

    Sounds like the battery park experiment went better than the governors island one, i had an awesome time at battery park and there were tons of fans watching. Such a good time, cant wait till next year.

    • Patrick says:

      I wish i would have seen you guys my wife and i missed the ferry…. the wife blamed me the whole way home….. talk about disappointing…brings me to my next point.

      For an island event where if you miss it the ride… there should be a plan B mp3 that we can download ahead of time.It could make fun for all of us… but we could still all have fun, even carry out a completely different mission.

  17. Rob says:

    Thanks to whoever gave my daughter an orange dinosaur stuffed animal?. She loves it.

  18. Karen Nemiah says:

    If enjoying the nature of improv is the core of these experiments, then the Battery Park Crowd gets all kinds of kudos! Stuck in a way too long line (even if you were there way before 2pm!), we participants took matters into our own hands and began strategizing with obvious participants about Plan B. Then when the 2:30 boat was announced full, some enthusiastic leaders went down the ferry line inviting mp3ers to come to Battery Park where, I may be going out on a limb but, we had TWICE as much fun cuz we really WERE an IMPROV improv. There was a great camaraderie that we pulled it off without any “officials.” While we were certainly sad to miss the real deal, we had a helluva an excellent time in our “consolation” activity. Thanks Charlie & IE!

    • Charlie says:

      Love that you guys did this! So awesome.

    • Gaby says:

      Thank you guys – my boyfriend got stuck off the Island when I was already there and he still got to have fun and participate in his first Mp3 Experiment (my 5th, I believe) and I was grateful for that. The greater annoyance was trying to meet up afterward with the lines for the ferries still running on half-hour schedules being ridiculous – I didn’t catch up to him until an hour later. Made me wish I’d been in Battery Park too!

  19. We almost made it on the 2:30 ferry, we were among the first 50 to board the 3:00 (not including the second reserved line). This meant we got to start on the boat. Still had a blast! There were maybe 3 “fans” that everyone was imitating and it was hilarious. Also, when we had to drop to the ground and relax, the bobbing up and down of the boat was perfect for this. By the time the real activities started, we had made it to the island and all went smoothly. Loved the fun group activities, swapping items, and of course the water gun fight. Everyone kinda jumped the gun on that, but then again, everyone thought they were rogue agents! Well played Improv Everywhere!

    We didn’t use the App so I can’t comment on that, I just used my iPod nano and engaged the lock switch after I pressed play. No issues.

    This was my 4th and I’m looking forward to next year!

    PS: Wondering who ended up with the Woot monkeys my wife and I gave out?

  20. Michal says:

    I took the paid ferry from Queens, which turned out to be a really great discovery– it was my first time on GI, and it’s actually much more accesible (from my part of town) than I’d expected.

    This was also my first MP3 experiment, due to only being able to participate on Sundays, and I had a total blast. I’m an android user, so I just popped the MP3 onto my iPod and it all went very smoothly. I’ll echo the issues about the overwhelming ratio of “athletes” (only time I’ll ever call myself an athlete!) to “fans”, and the problem some had with the watergun fight starting early– at that point, I had no idea what Steve/Walter were saying– but really, it was all exciting. (And the rain earlier was a good warm-up/wet-up; you guys so think of everything ;-)) I think the first half of the experiment was more my speed, but honestly, it was all so much fun, with such a great atmosphere, and such a great feeling to finally get to participate!

    Thank you IE, and here’s to many more!