Lashmobs and Impromptu Jams

Random acts of kindness have ben around since the 1980s. They’re generally spontaneous good deeds, performed by a person or group, with the intention of spreading happiness or providing a specific service to another person or group. In 2003, this need to spread happiness evolved into a new experience: the flashmob.

What is a Flashmob, and How Does it Work?

A Flashmob is a modern group of merry-makers who tend to organize their efforts on social media. The first flashmob was organized on June 3, 2003, after an idea by Harper’s Magazine senior editor Bill Wasik. It was conceived a social experiment designed to encourage spontaneous gatherings in public spaces, just for the fun of it. The first flashmob consisted of 130+ people who arrived at the ninth floor of Macy’s department store to purchase a rug together. Soon, flashmobs were erupting at shopping malls and other public spaces around the globe.

The most popular flashmobs consist of groups of dancers or singers who serenade crowds or assemble to perform fun and intricate dance routines. They are usually recorded, either by a member of the group or various spectators, and the results are uploaded to the Internet. A quick search on social media will reveal flashmob of everything from elaborate pranks to spontaneous orchestras and performance art; colleges are also a popular spot for planning or performance.

The idea of the flashmob is to take the crowd by surprise, then disappear after the performance as if nothing ever happened, just for the delight of entertaining people in an unusual, fun manner. The reactions of the crowd are priceless, and they are part of the attraction, both for those participating and for the tens of thousands of viewers who watch and share on the Internet.

Another trend in modern entertainment is the impromptu jam. This is a phenomenon where are single musican or group of musicians performs in a public space. Although there is nothing new about street performers, flashmobs and jams are created, not for the purpose of making money, but for the pure delight the performers get in surprising and entertaining people.

A number of famous people have become involved, partially for the fun of playing from the heart while remaining anonymous. Boyd Tinsley is an example of this trend in spontaneously entertaining the masses. Musicians like Tinsley are providing a service by sharing their talents in public spaces throughout the world to bring a little light and joy into the lives of everyday people.


  1. Janet W. says:

    I’ve enjoyed watching flashmob videos on YouTube. That is so neat to watch people dance together and take over an area and then walk off like nothing ever happened!

  2. Karen Glatt says:

    I have seen flash mobs on TV and thought they were a lot of fun to watch. I have never seen one live, or never have seen musicians live in a Impromptu jam. Maybe someday I will see a flash mob.

  3. shelly peterson says:

    Flash mobs are pretty cool. I have not seen one in person but think it would be neat to see.