Mp3 Experiment – Toronto Details

Here are the full details for The Mp3 Experiment Toronto. Please take the time to read all of the instructions on this page. This event is taking place in Toronto. San Francisco details are here. New York details are here. Chicago details are here.

Please note: This is a participatory event. If anyone wants to cover this event for the press, you may only do so by participating, not observing. No press cameras allowed. We also encourage participants to leave their cameras at home and have fun participating. We will be thoroughly documenting the event as usual and will post tons of photos.

Date: Sunday, September 28 (rain or shine)
Location: Riverdale Park East (southern area near playing fields) [map]
Time: The event will begin at exactly 2:00 PM. Arrive early! The event will be over at 2:45.
Wear: A Red, Blue, Yellow, or Green t-shirt.
Bring: An umbrella and an uninflated balloon.

Full instructions below:

1. Download the Mp3: Download Page (Right click on “Toronto” and save the link. If you just click on the link it will start playing in your browser. Spoilers!)

Note: The filename for the track is “mp3experiment_toronto.mp3” and the album, artist, and track name will be “Mp3 Experiment Toronto.”

2. Load the track onto your mp3 player (iPod, etc) or burn to a CD for use with a “Discman.”

3. Do not listen to the track.

4. On Sunday, wear a t-shirt that is one of the following colors: Red, Blue, Yellow, or Green. (Long sleeves / sweaters are OK too.)

5. Bring an umbrella and an uninflated balloon. (Any kind of umbrella. Any kind of balloon that can be blown up.)

6. Bring a watch with a second hand (or use your cell phone if it displays seconds.) Before you leave, sync it up to this atomic clock:


(If your browser doesn’t show the clock above, you can use this link to get the correct time; note that the hour is off, but the minute and seconds are correct.)

7. As 2:00 approaches, take a seat anywhere on the field. Spread out and don’t sit too close to others who look like they might be a part of it.

8. At exactly 2:00 PM, press play.

Frequently Asked Questions

Say what now?

If you’ve never heard of The Mp3 Experiment, check out our coverage of the past four years:


How will we know when to start?

You will have synchronized your watch or cell phone clock to the atomic clock above. Start right at 2:00:00 PM.

Do I have to have an iPod?

No. The event is designed for folks who own an iPod or similar portable mp3 player, but those of you with portable CD players can participate as well. Simply download the track and burn it to a CD. Don’t have a burner? Ask a friend to burn it for you.

I can’t find the track on my iPod. Where is it?

The artist and album are both listed as “Mp3 Experiment Toronto”.

Should I listen to the track beforehand?


Can I listen to the track beforehand?

You really shouldn’t. Sure, there’s nothing we can do to stop you, but to really get the full experience of the event, you shouldn’t listen to it. It will spoil most of the fun. We know it’s hard to resist. Be strong.

What if I get to the event late?

Press play at 2:00 wherever you may be, and hurry up!

What if I don’t press play at exactly the right time?

That’s OK. We’re counting on everyone’s tracks being slightly off. Different mp3 players have different response speeds. It will be fun to see participants who are clearly ahead or behind. If you are significantly off, feel free to glance at a neighbor’s iPod and try to sync back up to the correct time.

What if I accidentally hit a button on my player during the experiment that stops the track?

We recommend turning on the “hold” button on your player after pressing play to prevent this from happening.

What if my player crashes or the batteries die during the experiment?

In the unfortunate event that this happens to you, we recommend you pretend like nothing is wrong and just go with the flow. There’s really no way to fix it, so why not have as much fun as you can anyway?

Can I take photos or video?

Please refrain from taking photos during the experiment. We will have photographers covering the event, and you’ll have more fun if you’re not taking photos. We take care of the documentation; you take care of the fun!

I’m coming with some friends. Should we all wear the same color t-shirt?

No. It won’t matter. You won’t be separated from them either way.

Can my shirt have writing on it?

Sold colored t-shirts are best, but it doesn�t really matter if there is writing or designs so long as it�s clear what color it is.

Do I have to RSVP?

Nope, but we did create a Facebook Event if you want to RSVP there. Bring as many friends as you like– this event is open to the public.

How do I get there exactly?

From Queen station, take the 501 Queen streetcar east to Broadview, then take the 504 Broadview north to the park. From Broadview station, take the 504 Broadview south to the park.

At the bottom of the hill, go right.

What if it rains?

Unfortunately we do not have a rain date. It will happen rain or shine at 2:00. You’ll have an umbrella with you anyway.

How old do you have to be?

The Mp3 Experiment is appropriate for people of all ages. If you are under 18, you should have your parent’s permission to participate.

Why is Yahoo! involved?

Our partnership with Yahoo! is making it possible for us to tour The Mp3 Experiment to three other cities. Yahoo! did not influence the content of the mp3. They are making it possible for us to do exactly what we want to do in four cities. We’re thrilled about it.

I have another question that hasn’t been answered!

You can ask it by leaving a comment on this entry.


  1. Hey cool, but it’ll probably be cold/chilly so I suggest changing from coloured T-shirts to coloured clothing in general…

  2. Thank you Charlie Todd. Toronto never had any events for a VERY long time. Hopefully many would come in this event. D:

  3. @Kari,

    I don’t think there are any spoilers in the previous ones. This is all new… but certainly in the spirit of the old ones. I don’t think it matters either way.

    By the way, I changed the Facebook RSVP page. The one I made this afternoon had the wrong date, and I couldn’t delete it. The new one is linked above.

  4. Charlie… I sent you a wall post on Facebook.
    Get in touch with me, bro.
    Then, delete this message before it explodes.

  5. For clarity you should refer to the park as Riverdale Park EAST, since Riverdale Park is split into two halves connected by a footbridge and both halves have palying fields at the south end. In the detailed directions it’s clear which area you are referring to but at a quick glance someone might wind up on the wrong side of the DVP.

  6. lol. is this demand supposed to be serious?:

    “Please note: This is a participatory event. If anyone wants to cover this event for the press, you may only do so by participating, not observing. No press cameras allowed. We also encourage participants to leave their cameras at home and have fun participating. We will be thoroughly documenting the event as usual and will post tons of photos.”

  7. @john,

    Yup, it’s serious. I don’t know why you’re laughing out loud. We’re trying to create a super fun event where people participate rather than document their participation.

  8. He’s laughing out loud because you’re trying to bar people from doing something guaranteed as a fundamental right of all free societies (freedom of the press) from exercising said right in a public place. What next, no Jews allowed?

  9. Holy shit John, aren’t you just an upstanding member of the civil liberteez hypervigilance honor guard / Intarweb cheer squad. When you’re finished rubbing one out to the EFF site could you dial the righteous boy scout schtick down a notch or three?

  10. I think directions from Dundas, College, or Broadview Station would be a lot easier.
    From Dundas Station, take the 505 streetcar going east. It will go to Broadview St. and automatically turn north on Broadview. Get off when you see the park.
    Same happens from College Station except you’ll need to catch the 506 that says it’s going to Broadview station, not Main.
    From Broadview station, take either the 506, 505 or 504 streetcar.. you can even walk it.
    You don’t need to transfer TTC’s on any of these routes.
    If my directions are wrong, please delete this comment.

  11. Here’s what I posted on the New York Details page to someone who asked about the “no cameras” policy:

    At The Mp3 Experiment 2.0 in 2005, press photographers showed up with huge cameras and took photos right in the middle of the action, showing no respect for what was happening. They got in the way and made it less fun for those around them. Since then, I ask press photographers not to come. Yes, it’s a free country and if a press photographer wants to take the ferry and come shoot photos we certainly can’t stop them, but I want to at least try to discourage them from doing so. Our photographers are always happy to license photos to the media after the fact.

    You wouldn’t get up on stage at a play and take photos. You wouldn’t take photos on the basketball court of a Knick’s game, nor would you take photos from the middle of the court in a pick-up game in a public place. For some reason at these types of events, press photographers in the past have jumped in the middle of it all and detracted from the experience.

  12. Wouldn’t it be faster to take the College Streetcar East to Parliament and walk 2-3 blocks east on the first street directly north of Carleton.

    that will take you to stairs right by the park?

    seems less complicated than the broadview route…

  13. miggitymiggitymiggitymack,

    your plan is good if you want to walk 15-20min to the east side of the park (over the DVP footbridge). Taking a streetcar and walking up 2 blocks from Gerrard = not-so-complicated, non?

  14. this seems very badly planned as others have pointed out. Inefficient TTC directions, telling us to wear t-shirts in cold weather for 45 minutes and then later saying oh yeah, wear whatever, wrong date in Facebook, childish “No photographers allowed”. Why not just say that you request people taking photos to do so from outside the group. Was this organized by a 12 year old or something? Because then I would understand.

  15. LOL @ al … Sorry to hear this isn’t being executively project-managed to your liking! So predictable … can always rely on clenched-fist tightass Toronto sourpuss cliches like you to piss all over anything anyone else does, especially if it’s supposed to be fun.

  16. In refrence to “Um’s” Comment : LOL @ al … Sorry to hear this isn’t being executively project-managed to your liking! So predictable … can always rely on clenched-fist tightass Toronto sourpuss cliches like you to piss all over anything anyone else does, especially if it’s supposed to be fun. Iwould like him to retract it.

  17. We’re here for a good time
    Not a long time (not a long time)
    So have a good time
    The sun can’t shine every day

  18. have fun everyone. you guys are fortunate to be participating in this experiment i just wish i could join. I agree with Charlie that its difficult if some photographers would butt in and making things difficult with everyone. so good luck everybody. hope it will not rain.

  19. To al: I am sorry you feel this is badly organized, I suggest next time you organize something. I am sure it will be perfect and I will be there, with my huge camera, to photograph it. I suppose you do not know the meaning of the word “constructive”…
    To bruno: no cool….

    to Charlie Todd: thank you for organizing it

    Have fun everyone

  20. Weather should be good for this

    As for TTC directions – you have to be pretty slow to not be able to figure out how to get Riverdale Park via TTC.

    Get to Broadview station, exit station, cross Danforth and walk 2-5min. The park is pretty damn hard to miss.

  21. Charlie,

    Love Improv Everywhere. Don’t really understand all the bad vibes in the comments, but in any case, thanks for coming to town and organizing this. I should be able to make it, though I will be conspicuously balloon-less (Unless an anaphylactic allergic reaction is part of the show).

  22. Consuelo, I am planning something. OK, ready? If your name is “Um”, put on a red shirt. That was great. Now, wave at someone with a yellow shirt. Wasn’t that fun? OK, now everyone with a red shirt go hug someone with a camera. Wow, could this get any better? Now, everyone all together say “We’re all individuals!” Now everybody say “baaa”, like a sheep.

    lol, just yankin’ your chain. It’s a great idea and I’ll be there for the free hugs. But Charlie, when you’ve got this many people ready to follow you, you have a responsibility. You need to give your instructions more than a few minutes of thought.

  23. YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA XD!!!!!!! I was just checking when the next event is and low and behold it’s

  24. I’m listening to the track right now (as I can’t possibly attend) and I’d like to say that I really really wish I could be there. Who made the background music for this? I love it.

  25. @K,

    Yes. As long as you don’t inflate it ahead of time.


    Tyler Walker makes all of the music for the Mp3 Experiments. A link to his website is in the sidebar.

  26. If you are allergic to balloons and cannot touch or smell them (not just latex, ALL balloons), how are you supposed to be able to participate in the event?

  27. I have difficulty listening to English (especially with digital sounds).
    Just imitating other people’s action is okay too?

  28. WOOOO! I am SO PUMPED FOR THIS! I’ll be sore as hell after running the Scotiabank Half Marathon, but I’m still gonna show up with a huge smile on my face.

    Thanks for organizing this in Toronto, Charlie! I’m a huge fan of IE! I hope to meet you during or after the event!

  29. I’m so excited :) Thanks for coming to Toronto!!!
    I’m feeling pretty paranoid that my headphones will pop out of my iPod midway and the track will pause, so I’m probably going to tape them down XD
    And I don’t have Facebook so I have no idea what the turn out will be like! I hope a lot of people come!

  30. @Nicoleslaw looks like close to 300.

    @Jon You can park along Broadview for an hour or two for free. I have a car myself, but I’ll even be taking the TTC.

  31. thanks for organizing this (and the weather as well (was that you) too, though I think it would have been fun even in rain)…loved it even though my player froze 10 minutes into it. I shared someone else’s IPod!

  32. Wow, I am so disappointed that I missed this by just a few days! That’s what I get for not checking this site as regularly as I should. Looking forward to seeing the video, and hope that you guys come back to Toronto sometime!