UPDATE: This event has passed. See the video:
Date: Sunday, July 15 (rain or shine)
Location: Governors Island (detailed info below)
Time: The event will begin at exactly 3:00 PM. The event will be over at 3:46.
Wear: Clothing instructions are based on your birthday:
– Birthdays January – June: A solid color shirt (any color but black or white)
– Birthdays July – December: A solid black or white shirt
Bring: A bag (purse, backpack, messenger bag, shopping bag, etc.) that has the following items inside:
– A water gun, filled with water (Any type of water gun that can fit in your bag. Be prepared for it to leak and don’t put other valuables in your bag.)
– A shower cap
– A white bed sheet (should be a clean sheet that you don’t mind getting dirty; white tablecloth also OK)
– A hard, flat object that you don’t want anymore
– A small, soft object that you don’t want anymore (examples: plush toy, small pillow)
– A small musical Instrument (examples: a kazoo, spoons)
– We recommend protecting your mp3 player or other valuables with a plastic bag. Use your best judgement and take responsibility for protecting your possessions.
– Governors Island is accessible by ferry in both Manhattan and Brooklyn. Here is the schedule and directions for the ferries. We strongly recommend you plan to arrive on the island earlier in the day as the ferries are likely to be very crowded close to the event start time. If you try to take a ferry after 2 PM, you run the risk of missing the event. Governors Island is a beautiful place, so plan to make a day of it and arrive early!
1. Download the Mp3:
Note: The filename for the track is “mp3_experiment_nine.mp3” and the length is 46:30
Here is an alternate link if the above does not work: download
If you have an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, you can download our new iOS app and use it to download the mp3 directly to your device. We recommend you download the mp3 in advance while on a WiFi network. Don’t wait until you are on the island to download the file to the app. The app, if open, will then play the track automatically at the right time. This is the first time we’re testing this new app, so while we believe it will work seamlessly, we recommend that you also download the mp3 file the old way as a backup.
2. Load the track onto your portable device.
3. Do not listen to the track.
4. On Sunday, wear the color prescribed for your birthday month and bring a bag containing the above-mentioned items. All of the items should be hidden in your bag until you are instructed to take them out.
5. 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:
7. As 3:00 approaches, position yourself in any publicly accessible area in the blue-shaded area on the map below. Start anywhere other than the large open field (“Parade Ground”) in the middle of the island. Blend in and prepare to press play without drawing attention to yourself. Spread out so that you are not too close to friends or others wearing headphones.
View NINE in a larger map
8. At exactly 03:00:00 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 eight years.
How will we know when to start?
You will have synchronized your watch or cell phone clock to the atomic clock above. Press play at exactly 3:00 PM. If your phone does not allow you to adjust by seconds, you have two choices: 1) Bring a watch. 2) Figure out how off your phone is and adjust accordingly. For example, if your phone is 10 seconds behind the clock above, then you would press play at 3:59:50. If you are using the iOS app, the track will play automatically at the right time.
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 the start time wherever you may be, and hurry up!
What if I don’t press play at exactly the right time?
If you can tell you are significantly off, feel free to glance at a neighbor’s device and try to sync back up to the correct time. You’ll have more fun if you’re more in sync.
Can I take photos or video?
We encourage participants to refrain from taking photos or video during the experiment. We will have plenty of photographers covering the event, and you’ll have more fun if you’re not experiencing the event through an LCD screen. We take care of the documentation; you take care of the fun! Take as many photos as you like after it ends.
I’m coming with some friends. Should we all start in the same place?
If you really want to you can, but you’d have more fun if you split up and started by yourself.
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 should I tweet about this?
Ideally no one will be tweeting during the event as you should be participating and having fun instead, but before and after, let’s use the hashtag: #mp39. And remember that Improv Everywhere is @improvevery on twitter.
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. Young children should participate with their parents, obviously. Use common sense if you are participating with a young child, as the crowd is expected to be big.
Can I bring my dog?
No. Pets are not allowed on Governors Island. [island rules]
I have another question that hasn’t been answered!
You can ask it by leaving a comment on this page. Please read the other questions first.