Frolic in the Park

The MP3 Experiment

On September 28 I partook in something called the MP3 Experiment Toronto. It’s an event that has been organized 4 times in different cities across North America.

This is not a paid event or advertised. The whole thing is word-of-mouth and free. All you have to do is go to a site, read the instructions, download an MP3, and show up. It is that simple.

Now, I had no idea what to expect. A friend of mine sent me a link and said let’s go. Me, being up for trying new things, said ok. I thought it looked interesting and fun so I decided to invite some other friends along. I did not get the response I expected.

I asked my 2 blogging associates. From Cory I got nothing. Nel simply scoffed at me. He thought it was a completely ludicrous, an all around a stupid idea, and a total waste of time. What? How can having fun in the park with a bunch of strangers be stupid or a waste of time? It’s something to do on a Sunday afternoon.

I also invited my brother. He is older than me and an optimist. He insisted that this was the plan of some mass murderer who simply wanted to get lots of people in one location and take them out. Nice. He also went on to inform me of ways this could be done from pinging each person off with a sniper riffle to land mines. Plus he had somewhere better to be that day. BTW I was being sarcastic when I said he was an optimist. Despite this I decided I would still partake in the event. My friend and I marched on, in our green shirts, to the park.

When we got there, there weren’t many people. There was a soccer game going on which had a group of on lookers and a few people sporadically disbursed on a hill hanging out. Some were chatting while sitting in the shade of large oak trees, some where throwing around a Frisbee or a ball, others where eating. We sat on the hill making sure not to be too close or too far from anyone.

It was strange at first. Every time a person in a green, blue, red or yellow shirt passed by we knew why they were there, they knew why we were there but no one communicated anything to one another. More people kept showing up. Some brought their pets and some brought their whole family.

2pm approached and everyone, almost collectively, pulled out their various players and put on their headphones. I was way too busy to do this myself and missed the play deadline by about 30 seconds. I was expecting someone to say start or something but when I looked over at my friend she had already begun. I pressed play on my player, listened to the fun but calm tones and was introduced to our instructor. All of a sudden people came over hills and gathered around and were ready to participate. We ended up being quite a large group.

Steve was our omniscient, his word, guide through some strange and entertaining activities in the park. Steve was a fun instructor. He was light hearted and peppered his dialogue with jokes and general nonsense. Our instructions ranged from hugging animals, stretching, twirling umbrellas, and participating in an “Epic Battle” aka a balloon fight. I know the people who were not involved were thoroughly confused by what was going on. We would burst into laughter or jump or fall down with out any indication of why.

The whole thing lasted about 45 minutes and it was just fun. As my friend said it was like her yoga class; low impact, relaxing, and refreshing. At the end of it all most people simply disbanded; going in their own direction and back into their own lives. But even though most people there will not remember the faces or names of the other participants at least they connected for just a moment.

It’s good to get out and try something new.


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