The Mp3 Experiment - A Participatory Audio Mob

Put on headphones, gather with strangers, and be a part of a ridiculous audio adventure.

The Mp3 Experiment

Improv Everywhere’s Mp3 Experiment is a participatory audio adventure where attendees listen to synchronized, secret instructions in a public space via headphones and a smartphone app. The event has brought joy to tens of thousands of people around the world in dozens of cities across eighteen countries. The Mp3 Experiment is a one-of-a-kind event that surprises and delights both the participants and those who happen upon it.

It’s part flash mob, part silent disco, part immersive theatre, and 100% fun.

The Mp3 Experiment is the perfect event to bring a community together. Hire us to tour the fun to your school, festival, conference, or downtown. You provide the location, and we set up the rest.

It’s an exciting and unique event for college campuses (think: orientation, homecoming, family weekend), music & art festivals, business improvement districts, corporate team-building, and conference ice-breakers.

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We've toured to schools and festivals around the world:

Testimonials

“It was hilarious. The crowd was young and fun, and the whole thing was orchestrated, planned and written exceptionally well. What a totally, totally cool idea: part mass hypnosis, part party, part comedy club… like a political rally, but with more to do. Find a way to be part of it.”


David Pogue, The New York Times

“The Mp3 Experiment was a wonderful spectacle!! It was fun and surprising to the ones who participated and others who watched wondering what the heck! Thanks for working with us to make it great for Memphis!”


Memphis River Parks Client, Tom Lee Park Grand Opening

“Thanks for setting up this awesome event! It was so much fun and did a great job of getting the campus involved in a unique and exciting way.”


Student Activities Board Member, UNC Chapel Hill

“It was a great success! Hundreds of people attended and everyone was extremely engaged. It seemed like everyone there had a blast (including us)!”


Lincoln Road BID Client, Miami Beach

Past Clients: Schools

Past Clients: Festivals & Parks

FAQ

How long is the event?

The off-the-shelf touring version of the Mp3 Experiment is 30 minutes. We can make custom events at any length.

What do participants need to do to participate?

Participants will need to download the free Mp3 Experiment app from the iOS or Android app store. It’s easy to find by searching, but some hosts provide QR codes linking to the app stores to make it even simpler to find. Once installed, participants click on the event to join, and the app does everything else. The event is powered by the participants’ own smart phones and headphones. No additional equipment is necessary.

What do I need to provide?

Our clients only need to provide a location and any necessary permits or insurance requirements associated with the location. The event requires no electrical power, no tables, no stage, no vehicle access, and has no vending. It is entirely “people-powered,” and just requires a great car-free open space.

Can you write us a custom script?

Yes! We often customize the Mp3 Experiment script for clients. This can involve anything from small changes like mentioning the name of a school or calling out surrounding landmarks, to more substantial changes where completely new activities are created based on a client’s needs.

Does anyone from Improv Everywhere travel in person to the evet?

It depends on the host’s needs. We can organize your event entirely remotely and save you travel costs. Some hosts prefer to have a representative from Improv Everywhere on site to represent the project and to do interviews with local media. Many hosts also book Improv Everywhere founder Charlie Todd to give a talk as part of the engagement.

Do you film it? Can we?

We film our big NYC Mp3 Experiment every year, but we do not film our touring versions. Hosts are welcome to assemble their own film crew and film the event, and they’re welcome to publish the footage wherever they please.

What locations work best?

The Mp3 Experiment works in any open public space with a decent amount of foot traffic. Think: campus quads, public parks, pedestrianized plazas, open streets. Our off-the-shelf touring track works in any open space, and we can write a customized script to accommodate any unique needs (i.e., an event that needs to start in one location and travel to another.

What time of day is best?

We recommend choosing a time when you think the most people will be available and when foot traffic will be high. We also have a nighttime version of the event if you’d like to do it after dark.

What number of participants is ideal?

We’ve done it at small schools with crowds of 40 people and in New York with crowds of 4,000. It scales really well! In general, the more the merrier.

Is it an all-ages event?

Yes! The Mp3 Experiment is family friendly and a total blast for participants of all ages. Young children should participate with their parents supervision.

Can we have it happen more than once?

Yes! We can facilitate the event happening multiple times on the same day or over multiple days.

Can it happen in different locations?

Yes! We can set up the event in different locations (either at the same time or at different times.)

Can you translate it into another language?

We have staged Mp3 Experiments in Spanish, French, Chinese, Russian, and other languages. We send our hosts the script and they are responsible for translating it and recording the dialog. We then insert the translated dialog into the track. It’s also possible to stage a bi-lingual event where the track is available in multiple languages.

What troubleshooting is provided or needed?

We will be available before and during your event to help should any issues arise.

How did this all get started?

The Mp3 Experiment is a collaboration between Charlie Todd and Tyler Walker. All music for the Mp3 Experiment is composed by Tyler. The first Mp3 Experiment was staged in 2004, shortly after the widespread adoption of the iPod. The event has happened annually in NYC ever since. Learn more about the history of the Mp3 Experiment here.

How do I participate in the annual New York City Mp3 Experiment?

Join our email list and NYC Mp3 Experiment Facebook group to receive updates and to be notified about future events in New York.

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