While Lipdubs Reach New Heights of Awesomeness, Flash Mobs Wreak Havoc

In the past couple of years, the popularity of lipdubs has skyrocketed, especially with university students. Last fall, UVic created an epic lipdub video inspired by another UVic, located in Spain.

But UBC has taken lipdubs to a new level. Their 10 minute video has gone where no lipdub has gone before—underwater—and features a unicorn, scuba divers and the first successful Old Spice parody I’ve ever seen.

maria dancers - Stikky Media

Lipdubs are known for being dance-fueled and fun, but flash mobs—lipdub’s more “random” cousin—have a bad rap. These once-innocent acts of performance art are now tarnished by vandalism, theft and assault. And in one case—a shooting.

During a flash mob performance in Venice Beach last Saturday, a man was shot in the head and is now in critical condition. The event, partly organized over Twitter, was meant to attract a mob to the shoreline basketball courts, but gang members quickly infiltrated it. As the crowd grew in the late afternoon, 6 or 8 shots were fired, sending one man to hospital.

In the wake of this incident (and the rough year Philadelphia has had), it’s time to take a look back at some good ol’ fashioned, feel-good flash mobs.

University of Victoria Vote Mob – Respect

UVic students recently put together a video urging people to get out and vote. The 18-25 age group has the poorest voter turnout in Canada, with only 23 percent of eligible voters heading to the polls. This isn’t the greatest video ever made, but the message is solid. And since most people can’t even organize a birthday party, I say job well done.

Churchill Secondary and David Lloyd George Elementary

Over 300 students from Vancouver’s David Lloyd George Elementary and Churchill Secondary flash mobbed a mall in the name of anti-bullying. They ripped off their jackets to reveal pink t-shirts and danced their way to over 300,000 YouTube hits. It was even picked up by Ellen Degeneres and Perez Hilton.

Train Station Red Carpet Event

This video was put together by Big Help Mob, an Australian team who flash mobs for greater good. I love celebrations of public transport, especially when they’re so well done that people actually play along. Nothing ruins a flash mob like creeped-out people scurrying by and avoiding eye contact.

Central Antwerp Station – Sound of Music

Okay, so maybe extolling the wonders of the von Trapp family isn’t as important as voting, anti-bulling or public transit, but it’s nice to see a wholesome, family-friendly story being brought into the 21st century. The Sound of Music is my favourite movie/soundtrack/thing in the world, so I’m a little biased when I say this is the greatest video ever made. But 22 million views can’t be wrong, right?