2nd June 2005
Liverpool Street Station, London EC2M 7QH
You can never tell, except with the benefit of hindsight, how a particular popular cultural phenomenon is going to map out over a period of time. The unprecedented opportunities provided by the sudden emergence of social media produced, and still produces many innovative concepts – like the ‘flashmob’ – that could never have been conceived before.
Some events, it seems, have evidently proved to be more popular than others, and for a brief period in the mid-noughties, Mobile Clubbing seemed to epitomise the enthusiasm for mass-spontaneous gatherings that was sweeping popular youth culture. Yet, whist the main protagonists‘ other wheeze, the mass pillow fight, has now gone global, mobile clubbing burned itself out after less than a couple of years.
Today we’re in Liverpool Street for one of the earlier gatherings – when the event still had a certain amount of sub-cultural kudos: yes, there’re a few hundred people enjoying themselves here, but commuters can still comfortably get to their trains without too much grief and it’s all seen as a bit of subversive fun.
Fast forward a year or so, and now everybody seems to be in on the game, public order becomes an issue, and it’s not really that cool any more. Saatchi & Saatchi’s ‘creatively’ pinching the idea for an [‘award winning’, for some godforsaken reason] ad campaign pretty much killed it all off.