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Mob Report: AFM#1: Look Up!

This post is a report of how our first mob went. Check out the photos and videos, read the report and leave a comment at the bottom if you wish.

Video: Ken Kimber & Dom Legg
Photos: Tudor Taylor, Kirby Crawford, Kay Walker, Steve Thomas (so far)

Here is the email that was sent out on Friday 19 Oct 2007:

G’day Mobbers,

The time is almost upon us.

In order for our mob to be as unexpected as possible to our ‘audience,’ the specific details of the action to take place will be kept under wraps until tomorrow. This email contains instructions for you to follow to obtain those specific details, so listen in.

There are a couple of things we need to do first. Everyone needs to read these guidelines

that we have created to ensure the mob works properly. If you have guests coming, you need to inform them of the guidelines also.

This mob isn’t entirely dependent on time cues, but it does help to have everyone on the same clock, so please visit this website and set your time piece to the local Australia/ Adelaide time.


General Location: Rundle Mall
Approx. duration: 6 mins

To get the rest of the details you need to come to the fountain outside of the museum on North Terrace and find a man wearing a green t-shirt, green shorts and carrying a green clip board and say: “Good morning Mr. Penguin.” He will hand you a piece of paper, you need to move away, read the instructions and follow them.

Mr. Penguin will only be at the fountain between 11:10 am and 11:40 am so you must come within those times.

It looks like its going to be great weather tomorrow, so we hope to see you all there.

Remember the most important thing is to HAVE FUN!!!

Adelaide Flash Mob

These are the instructions that mobbers received after visiting Mr. Penguin outside the museum: download deja vu movie

Mob #1: Look Up!

Duration: 5 minutes

Location: Rundle Mall, in front of Toys R Us building, near public phones.

By 11:50, mobbers should be casually blended into the area surrounding the Toys R Us building. Browse in the shops, sit on the chairs, look through the shop windows and make sure you have a clear view of the area around the public phones.

At 11:58, be on the look out for ‘Mr Penguin.’

At 12:00, Mr Penguin will walk along the mall, stop, look up towards the top of the Toys R Us building and appear transfixed by something up there.

At the cue of Mr Penguin looking up, mobbers need to start emerging from their positions, looking up and apparently seeing what he’s looking at and congregate around him.

The congregation should take place gradually over the space of a minute- like it would naturally happen if we were really looking at something. Mobbers need to start a commotion, looking, pointing, chattering… ‘Wow,’ ‘oh my,’ ‘what is it?,’ ‘its huge,’ ‘its tiny,’ ‘fantastic,’ etc.

At 12:01, all mobbers should be congregated and continuing the commotion.

At 12:04, Mr Penguin will silently put his hand down and walk away.

Over the next minute, mobbers should silently stop pointing and go back to what they were doing before hand; browsing shops etc, before leaving the area.

By 12:05, all mobbers should have blended back into the general shopping crowd.

By 12:15, all mobbers should have left the area completely.


Before the mobbing starts, don’t be afraid to spread out. There are a number of shops that you can look in while still being able to see the phone boxes.

If anyone asks you what you are looking at, try and answer with something like: ‘I don’t know, but its big,’ ‘No idea, but its scary,’ ‘That’s what I was wondering, what do you think?’ In other words, give them anything but a real answer.

While making the commotion, try and be as energetic and sincere as possible. Hopefully we’ll be able to draw a number of people from the general public into looking up as well, trying to figure out what we’re looking at.

Keep these instructions hidden and don’t throw them into a public bin. HAVE FUN!


Video also available here

Nick aka Mr. Penguin

The day started off great as it was nice and sunny and it looked like there would be plently of people in the mall by lunch time. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous for the time leading up to this mob, so I’m quite glad that it turned out so well. I’d like to say thanks to all those who turned up, and to those who didn’t, I hope you can make it to the next one. Judging by the number of instruction sets I gave out I’m estimating there was between 25-30 mobbers who took part in AFM#1: Look Up!

One thing that I personally enjoyed, which other people didn’t experience, was giving out the instructions from my position on the bench, under the tree, near the fountain, outside the museum on North Terrace. The thing was that I really didn’t know who was involved so I looked upon every passer by as a potential mobber. As soon as someone entered my field of vision I would sneakily look at them and try and work out if they were walking to me or just past me. I also happened to be sitting next to a bin, so there was a number of people who were simply heading over to put something in it and probably wondered why I was peering at them with a stupid grin on my face.

Memorable momments:

-When we first arrived at the fountain there was a girl sitting on one of the benches already who grinned to herself as we approached. Dom said ‘I bet shes on of them,’ I wasn’t so sure, but low and behold she came over shortly after and collected her instructions.

-At one point a girl came and sat right next to me on the bench but didn’t say anything. She was messing with her phone, it looked like she was ‘pretending’ to check her messages. Shortly after she said, “oh screw it, good morning Mr Penguin,” so I gave her the instructions and she left.

For the mob itself I approached the designated spot from the Rundle Street end of Rundle mall and timed it so I got there alomst exactly on 12 noon. I pretended to stretch as I reached the Toys R Us building then started looking up. There was a short time while I stood there looking up, pointing and talking loudly, before anyone else got there but it felt like a lifetime. A small thought started growing in my head that perhaps I had got the time wrong and no one was coming and that I was just making a complete fool of myself, but then I heard some loud shouts and suddenly people started appearing from everywhere.

Since I was the first to arrive and leave as well as being at the front of the group, I didn’t really get to see much of the mob first hand. Luckily the video and photos were great and I talked to some people to get a feel for how it all went.

Memorable moments:

-Someone shouted out “hes gonna jump,” which evoked a big response from passers by.

-There was a shop keeper who happened to be giving out free samples of something right behind the mob and he loudly exclaimed, “this is great for business!”

-The cops showed up shortly after, presumably to break up the large group of people causing a commotion but of course we were long gone by then.

-A number of mobbers took out their cameras and phones to take photos of the top of the building which made it look much more authentic- nice thinking guys.

All in all it was a great mob, great fun to organise and great fun to participate in.

If you would like to be involved in future mobs by the Adelaide Flash mob then please join us, the more people we can get, the better. If you are on FaceBook you can join our group, find it by searching for ‘Adelaide Flash Mob.’ If you don’t have FaceBook then you can join our mailing list by sending a blank email to adelflashmob (AT) hotmail (DOT) com with the words ‘let me in,’ in the subject line.

If you would like to contribute something to this write up then you are most welcome. It would be great to see the event through someone else’s eyes. You can leave it in the comments section below or email to us on the address above.

See you at the next mob!


20 Responses to “Mob Report: AFM#1: Look Up!”

  1. Dom
    May 26, 2008 at 11:17 am #

    I was sitting on a bench filming ‘lookup’ for the flashmob.

    I sat down next to an elderly old man who had an oxygen tank and the tubes up his nose and stuff looking rather frail. I pulled out the camera ready for the event and the old man suddenly became quite spry asking if i was going to film girls walking past. I was like noo noo.. just wait and see.

    The event started. People were looking up doing the whole ‘gosh thats big’ ‘wow whats that’ and the old man sitting next to me says ‘gosh people are so dumb.. they aren’t looking at anything are they.. people are so gullible.’ The old man knew what was going on all the time.


  2. Amy B
    July 4, 2008 at 2:48 pm #

    I was working in Novo shoes at the time, I had no idea until today why people were looking up! I even quickly ran from the store to look up to see what all the fuss was about! haha funny stuff.

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