Flash Mobs and Outdoor Concerts: Good In Theory, But…

The NewWSO has been asked by several venues and several of its own members if we can perform an outdoor concert or execute a “flash mob” like the famous YouTube video of an ensemble emerging from the woodwork to play Beethoven’s Ode to Joy”┬áto an adoring crowd.

While these ideas seem good in theory, the execution is another matter. Without excellent sound reinforcement (and in the case of a slick YouTube video/commercial, professional camera work), outdoor performances might be a great experience for the audience as background music to a nice day in the park.

For the players, however, wind, weather, insects, and other things that come with playing in the great outdoors might be something to think carefully about before trying it. For these reasons, NewWSO has thus far not attempted any outdoor gigs. It doesn’t mean we won’t in the future, but sound reinforcement and shelter will be key components.

Last week the New York Times ran an article about the Chamber Society of Lincoln Center’s first ever outdoor concert at the Naumberg Bandshell in Central Park. Interesting note: iPads were used by some of the ensemble a solution to the wind problem. Now if only iPads could repel those pesky mosquitoes!


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