Public Flash Mobs: How To Avoid Being A Nuisance
A prankster has made the news today as police shut down ‘rave’ being held on London Underground train carriage. At first glance it’s a bit of harmless fun. However, the story suggests many passengers were made to feel uncomfortable on their journey which made us decide to write about our social responsibility when we perform in public.
Over the years, TopSecret has performed in front of thousands of people all over the UK and abroad. We love, love, love what we do and so do our clients. However, we’re often asked to do PR stunts or jobs which won’t always sit comfortably with the general public. That poses a problem as, whilst we always aim to keep our clients happy, as a professional flash mob company, we have responsibilities, too.
In the first instance we have to ensure we’re not breaking the law. London is a great city to flash mob but there are a lot of private estate companies which prohibit performing on their land. Places like Covent Garden & Canary Wharf might seem like ideal locations but actually it’s very difficult to get permission to perform there. In fact, London has become the capital of red tape. Lots of boroughs ‘demand’ permission for performances yet, in reality, have little jurisdiction over public performances which don’t breach public offence laws.
Anyone performing in public has a responsibility to their environment, their intended audience, the public and to themselves. There seems to be an increasing ‘risk factor’ with pranksters competing to see who can pull the most outrageous stunts. Sadly, this often leads to breaking the law as the perception of what is entertaining isn’t always legal. One such Trollstation prankster crossed the line this month ending up with an 8 month suspended sentence. It’s always best to check first before getting into hot water.
We’re not talking about climate change here. We mean our public flash mob performance space and the surrounding area. Most of our events involve some form of live or recorded music. We try to ensure we’re not disturbing people after all flash mobs are meant to be a fun surprise not a nuisance. A few years ago we were asked to send a brass band round to wake up a loathed public figure. We refused as the noise would wake up the whole neighbourhood. It’s just not cool.
The TopSecret crew are also mindful of obstructing a public path. We’re there to add a bit of magic and raise a smile not get in everyone’s way so we choose our locations carefully when performing in public. Check out some of our top London flash mob locations. It’s not just space to perform in – we also have to consider how big a crowd could gather as any offences resulting from that would make us responsible and probably guarantee we get stopped in our tracks. Also not cool if a client has paid good money for our services.
We also don’t perform at major transport hubs such as train stations, shopping centres or airports unless a client can secure permission from the authorities. Security is super tight and large crowds do pose a problem at such locations and we don’t want a public flash mob to be interrupted – especially by people with guns (see below). There are so many alternative locations and we’re happy to recommend safe, legal areas suitable for your event.
Every now and again we do get caught out. A couple of years ago we had everything planned out for a lovely surprise flash mob in London. With just a few minutes to go before our client arrived the whole team were moved on by plain clothes FBI looking types. dark shades, suits, microphones on lapels, earpieces, guns – the whole shabang! We were told in no uncertain terms to clear the area as the U.S President was visiting the American Embassy 50 yards away and, for security purposes, his team had to clear the area. Our crew came up with an awesome Plan B and the flash mob was a huge success albeit a bit further away from where we planned. It’s a shame as we think Obama would have loved it.
Your Event In Safe Hands
Hopefully, you can tell we take what we do seriously. The success of each event is paramount and we only commit to a booking if we know it’s safe, sane and not going to cause any problems for our clients, our team or the public. TopSecretAgent is a professional flash mob company and due diligence is part of what we do to ensure that your event will be the best possible without any nasty surprises.
Get in touch – let’s make something amazing happen!