Mp3 Experiment

Improv Everywhere: the Mp3 Experiment Berlin
Saturday, November 8th, 2:30PM, Alexanderplatz

It was a particular honour for interfilm Berlin to host the New York artist and performer Charlie Todd and his project “Improv Everywhere” in Berlin. The organised “Mission” - the MP3-Experiment Berlin - held at Alexanderplatz on 8 November saw approximately 300 spontaneous participants with umbrellas and balloons enchant the passing onlookers.

ABOUT Improv Everywhere

80 people besiege the front windows of a five-storey shopping centre and make hilarious synchronised movements. 207 people suddenly freeze and stayed glued to the spot for five minutes – in the middle of New York’s Grand Central Station. Such peculiar actions carry Charlie Todd’s signature. In 2001 he founded Improv Everywhere, a New York based improvisational group. Owing to the friendly support of thousands of undercover agents, they have gradually achieved international notoriety with their humorous and chaotic scenes in public places.
Charlie Todd and his agent Cody Lindquist will attend the 24th International Short Film Festival interfilm Berlin. In addition to presenting excerpts and offering background information on missions such as Frozen Grand Central or No Shirts, they naturally intend on executing a mission in Berlin too!

Here are the full details for The Mp3 Experiment Berlin.

Please take the time to read all of the instructions on this page.

This event is taking place in Berlin.

Please note:
This is a participatory event. If anyone wants to cover this event for the press, you may only do so by participating, not observing. No press cameras allowed. We also encourage participants to leave their cameras at home and have fun participating. We will be thoroughly documenting the event as usual and will post tons of photos.

Date: Saturday, November 8, 2008 (rain, snow or sunshine)
Location: Berlin Alexanderplatz (area around fountain in fronmt of Galeria Kaufhof) [map]
Time: The event will begin at exactly 2:30 PM. Arrive early! The event will be over at 3:15.
Wear: A Red, Blue, Yellow, or Green top or jumpsuit.
Bring: An umbrella and an uninflated balloon.

Full instructions below:


1: Download the Mp3: Download Page

Note: The filename for the track is “mp3experiment_berlin .mp3? and the album, artist, and track name will be “Mp3 Experiment Berlin.”

2. Load the track onto your mp3 player (iPod, etc) or burn to a CD for use with a “Discman.”

3. Do not listen to the track.

4. On Saturday, wear an top or jumpsuit or just „something“that is one of the following colors: Red, Blue, Yellow, or Green. (Scarfs, long sleeves or sweaters are OK.)

5. Bring an umbrella and an uninflated balloon. (Any kind of umbrella. Any kind of balloon that can be blown up.)

6. Bring a watch with a second hand (or use your cell phone if it displays seconds.) Before you leave, sync it up to this atomic clock:


(If your browser doesn’t show the clock above, you can use this link to get the correct time; note that the hour is off, but the minute and seconds are correct.)

7. As 2:30 approaches, take a seat anywhere on the field. Spread out and don’t sit too close to others who look like they might be a part of it.

8. At exactly 2:30 PM, press play.

Frequently Asked Questions

Say what now?

If you’ve never heard of The Mp3 Experiment, check out our coverage of the past four years:


How will we know when to start?

You will have synchronized your watch or cell phone clock to the atomic clock above. Start right at 2:30 PM.

Do I have to have an iPod?

No. The event is designed for folks who own an iPod or similar portable mp3 player, but those of you with portable CD players can participate as well. Simply download the track and burn it to a CD. Don’t have a burner? Ask a friend to burn it for you.

I can’t find the track on my iPod. Where is it?

The artist and album are both listed as “Mp3 Experiment Berlin”.

Should I listen to the track beforehand?


Can I listen to the track beforehand?

You really shouldn’t. Sure, there’s nothing we can do to stop you, but to really get the full experience of the event, you shouldn’t listen to it. It will spoil most of the fun. We know it’s hard to resist. Be strong.

What if I get to the event late?

Press play at 2:30 wherever you may be, and hurry up!

What if I don’t press play at exactly the right time?

That’s OK. We’re counting on everyone’s tracks being slightly off. Different mp3 players have different response speeds. It will be fun to see participants who are clearly ahead or behind. If you are significantly off, feel free to glance at a neighbor’s iPod and try to sync back up to the correct time.

What if I accidentally hit a button on my player during the experiment that stops the track?

We recommend turning on the “hold” button on your player after pressing play to prevent this from happening.

What if my player crashes or the batteries die during the experiment?

In the unfortunate event that this happens to you, we recommend you pretend like nothing is wrong and just go with the flow. There’s really no way to fix it, so why not have as much fun as you can anyway?

Can I take photos or video?

Please refrain from taking photos during the experiment. We will have photographers covering the event, and you’ll have more fun if you’re not taking photos. We take care of the documentation; you take care of the fun!

I’m coming with some friends. Should we all wear the same color t-shirt?

No. It won’t matter. You won’t be separated from them either way.

Can my top or jumpsuit have writing on it?

Sold colored tops or jumpsuits are best, but it doesn’t really matter if there is writing or designs so long as it’s clear what color it is.

Do I have to RSVP?

Nope. Bring as many friends as you like – this event is open to the public.

How do I get there exactly?

Simply have a look at the BVG traffic-net and look for Alexanderplatz. Reachable by S-Bahn and U-Bahn, buses and trams. The „Alex“ cannot be missed.

What if it rains?

Unfortunately we do not have a rain date. It will happen rain or shine at 2:30PM. You’ll have an umbrella with you anyway.

How old do you have to be?

The Mp3 Experiment is appropriate for people of all ages. If you are under 16, you should have your parent’s permission to participate.

Improv Everywhere & Charlie Todd at interfilm

Fri 07.11.08, 21:00 Uhr, Hackesche Höfe Filmtheater, Kino 3
Sat 08.11.08, 14:30 Uhr, Berlin Alexanderplatz (Area around the well)
Sun 09.11.08, 16:00 Uhr, Hackesche Höfe Filmtheater, Kino 5

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