Pillow fight flash mob

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A pillow fight that took place in Lausanne, Switzerland, in front of the courthouse

A pillow fight flash mob is a social phenomenon of flash mobbing and shares many characteristics of a culture jam.

The flash mob version of massive pillow fights is distinguished by the fact that nearly all of the promotion is Internet-based. These events occur around the world, some taking the name Pillow Fight Club, a reference to Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk in which anyone could join and fight as long as they fought by the rules.[1] Both the London and Vancouver Pillow Fight Club's rules reflect that described in the book and feature film.[1]

The trend owes much to uses of modern communications technologies, including decentralised personal networking, known as smartmobbing.[citation needed] Word of the events spreads primarily via digital means, usually on the internet via email, chat rooms and text messaging which result in seemingly spontaneous mass gatherings.[1][2] Pillows are sometimes hidden and at the exact pre-arranged time or the sound of a whistle, the pillow fighters pull out their pillows and commence pillow fighting. The pillow fights can last from a few minutes to several hours.[1]

Pillow Fight Day[edit]

The largest pillow fight flash mob was the Worldwide Pillow Fight Day (or International Pillow Fight Day[3]) that took place on March 22, 2008. Over 25 cities around the globe participated in the first "international flash mob", which was the world's largest flash mob to date.[4][1] According to The Wall Street Journal, more than 5,000 participated in New York City, overtaking London's 2006 Silent Disco gathering[5][6][7] as the largest recorded flash mob.[2][8] Word spread via social networking sites, including Facebook, Myspace, private blogs, public forums, personal websites, as well as by word of mouth, text messaging, and email. Participating cities included Atlanta, Beirut, Boston, Budapest, Chicago, Copenhagen, Dublin, Houston, Huntsville, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York City, Paris, Pécs, San Francisco,[9][10] Shanghai, Stockholm, Sydney, Székesfehérvár, Szombathely, Vancouver, Washington, D.C., and Zurich.[11][12]

International Pillow Fight Day 2014


While ordinary pillow fights have existed for a long time, these events are massive in scale, occur in public and are promoted primarily via the internet. Many massive pillow fights have been organized in an effort to break Guinness World Records, but the current record is a pillow fight among 3,706 by the BBC at a Children in Need event in Minehead, Somerset, England in 2008.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e Fitzgerald, Sean D. (21 March 2008). "International Pillow Fight Day: Let the feathers fly!". National Post. Retrieved 19 May 2008.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b Athavaley, Anjali (15 April 2008). "Students Unleash A Pillow Fight On Manhattan". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 May 2008.
  3. ^ "International Pillow Fight Day 2017 – April 1st in cities around the world". pillowfightday.com. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  4. ^ Pastorino, Ellen E.; Doyle-Portillo, Susann M. (1 January 2011). "What is Psychology?". Cengage Learning. Retrieved 1 April 2017 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ 7:24pm, 11 October 2006 www.mobile-clubbing.com
  6. ^ "Mob rule: The phenomenon of flash mobbing". independent.co.uk. 30 August 2008. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  7. ^ Mitchell, James (11 October 2006). "Liverpool Street mobile-clubbing.com flashmob, October 11th". Retrieved 1 April 2017 – via YouTube.
  8. ^ Janet Montealvo, Flash Mobs and Smart Mobs; University of Texas at Dallas
  9. ^ "Hundreds Pummel Each Other With Pillows In San Francisco". cbslocal.com. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  10. ^ "Pillow Fight 2017 - San Francisco, CA at Justin Herman Plaza". sfstation.com. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  11. ^ McMartin, Pete (12 July 2008). "Waterfight in Stanley Park, but are flash mobs starting to lose their edge?". Canwest Publishing Inc. Archived from the original on 14 July 2008. Retrieved 14 July 2008.
  12. ^ "World Wide Pillow Fight Day". Newmindspace. Retrieved 19 May 2008.
  13. ^ "New pillow fight record achieved". BBC News. 14 November 2008. Retrieved 18 January 2011.