Boomboxes Invade Midtown

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Manhattan, NEW YORK– Hundreds perched large boomboxes on their shoulders and joined a flash mob continuing a world-wide dance party in Midtown Jan. 21.

The event began at 9pm in Union Square. People attached balloons to boomboxes and distributed them to attendees. From there, the party migrated underground.

The group flowed into the Union Square subway station and took the train to Grand Central Station. Partygoers danced around the station before authorities asked them to leave.

The DJ redirected the crowd outside, and they continued up 42nd Street to the New York Public Library, where they played music for half an hour before the NYPD silenced them.

The DJ then moved the people to nearby club and hotel Yotel, kicking off the event’s after-party early. The dancing continued well into the wee hours of the morning.

Each boombox was tuned to a special FM radio signal, which broadcasted from a transmitter in the backpack of the party’s DJ. This allowed the group to bring the music to almost any indoor building or subway tunnel.

The DJ broadcasted his music and crowd commands though a sound-mixing application on his iPhone. He controlled the set through a glove modified with buttons from a Super-Nintendo controller. The result was a massive, traveling sound system.

Decentralized Dance Party, a group of two Canadian men known simply as “Tom and Gary," ran the event. Their group started locally in Canada but has since gone international, hosting events across the U.S.

The popular Internet site Newmindspace (famous for orchestrating a massive pillow fight in Manhattan, as well as Brooklyn’s largest light saber battle) was responsible for planning the party’s time and location. They also heavily promoted the event through social networks and garnered nearly 1,500 RSVP’s on Facebook alone.

CityStudent Blogger