Global Pillow Fights: Apocalypse Down (a BB big photo gallery)


(REUTERS/Susana Vera) Revelers take part in a pillow fight outside Madrid's Royal Palace February 14, 2011. The pillow fight was a flash mob event organised by "MadridMobs" with the only rules being to have fun and clean up after yourself. By the way, if you want to invite someone to a "pillow fight" in Madrid, the phrase is "guerra de almohadas." Here's more about pillow fight flash mobs, and apparently there is a very large global smackdown planned for April, 2011. Oh, and here is a splendid flickr set of yesterday's pillow fight in San Francisco, plus video, by Boing Boing reader Bhautik Joshi.


More photos from around the world, this year and in pillow fight fests of years past, below.



People fight with pillows during the second International Pillow Fighting Day in the center of Budapest, on March 22, 2008. (REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh)

Revelers enjoy a massive pillow fight during the second International Pillow Fighting Day in Union Square, New York March 22, 2008. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)


Around 400 people fight with pillows during a world record attempt in pillow fighting in Stuttgart April 8, 2006. The participants failed to make a new world record for the most people taking part simultaneously in a pillow fight. (REUTERS/Michaela Rehle)


Revelers take part in an outdoor urban pillow fight in Toronto, in 2008. (Mark Blinch / Reuters)


Pillow fighters battle in Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome April 27, 2008. Hundreds of people turned up to join the massive pillow fight. (REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)


People fight with pillows during the second International Pillow Fighting Day in the centre of Budapest March 22, 2008. (REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh)


Participants take part in a pillow fight event during water festival at Port Dickson, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of Kuala Lumpur April 16, 2006. (REUTERS/Zainal Abd Halim)


Students from South Africa's University of the Witwatersrand attempt to break the world record for the biggest pillow fight. Students from South Africa's University of the Witwatersrand attempt to break the world record for the biggest pillow fight at the University grounds in Johannesburg September 28,2004. They fell well short of the current record of 2500, with only 806 showing up for the event. (REUTERS/ Juda Ngwenya)


Pillow fighters battle in Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome April 27, 2008. Hundreds of people turned up to join the massive pillow fight. (REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)


Revelers enjoy a massive pillow fight during the second International Pillow Fighting Day in Union Square, New York March 22, 2008. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

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  1. Pillow fights – awesome.
    People who didn’t clean up – assholes.
    The SF Embarcadero and the foot of market really looked like shit after they got through with it last year.

    1. if they pony up.

      Anyone get a head-count on those who stayed behind to fill up their spent pillowcases with used feathers afterward? You know… the ones who cleaned up after themselves and everyone else?

      Am I overly pessimistic to assume it was an order of magnitude less than those who just showed up to smack pillows and then bail, leaving the mess behind?

  2. We’re heading for our third Pillow Fight Day here in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. We’ve cleaned up after ourselves every year – and last year, the Council offered to finish the job for us!

    Check out 2010’s photos – that’s us at the bottom, finishing the clean-up job. http://www.thehospages.com/pictures/misc/2010-04-03-pillowfight/index.php

    We’re getting ready this year too, i’ve designed a few shirts for it! http://tinyurl.com/4remol8

    Heads up should go to the Urban Playground Movement to push this initiative, at http://www.pillowfightday.com/

    What I’m missing on this post is a little explanation of why the Pillow Fight happens: it’s a form of activism to reclaim the urban space for the citizens, in a non-branded, proactive, fun way. In Amsterdam there are already too many regulations; it seems excessive we should apply for permits to swirl pillows around, or that only corporations should have the money (and permits) to organize fun, public events.

    Time to reclaim the streets! Pillow fights on April 2, 2011!! :D

  3. Pillows for Puppies coordinated 30 volunteers who stayed until 10:30pm cleaning the plaza, along with dozens of helpers who were happy to fill a bag with fluff before heading home. We filled 150 big trash bags with the stuffing from burst pillows and left much less work for the city employees. We left a very light smattering of feathers, rather than the usual 4-6 inches of fluff, feathers, and empty pillowcases. Next year we’re bringing power washers of our own – that’s all there was left to do!

    Our volunteers reduced the clean up cost for the city from $35,000 in 2010 to $3,500 in 2011, according to Gloria Chan of the DPW. This ninety percent reduction is due to our amazing volunteers and the participation of pillow fighters in cleaning up after themselves when offered trash bags and loving encouragement to pick up.

    This event is going to be much less of a burden on the city as it becomes habit for the participants to self-regulate the event by cleaning up. Pillows for Puppies will be there to help.

    See our website for some great pictures of the hard work we did cleaning up:
    http://pillowsforpuppies.tumblr.com/

    1. Well, big moby thumbs-up to Pillows for Puppies! You guys are doing the Lord’s work, as it were.

      Bit of a bummer that “self-regulation” in the form of cleaning up after oneself still needs to be instilled in so many people, but those of you who volunteer your time and efforts (and potential backaches) doing this work deserve our thanks and admiration.

  4. My previous post got eaten and never published, so.. a recap, and see if this one also dies:
    – In Amsterdam we always clean after ourselves, there are photos to prove it! (if this post doesn’t get deleted i’ll post a link to the pics)
    – Last year the Council decided to help and gave the place a good water-wash after we picked up all the feathers
    – Check out more info about Urban Playground and the idea behind Pillow Fights (www.pillowfightday.com)
    – It’s about taking back the public space, being able to have fun without brands getting into the act. It’s about citizens being proactive instead of passive, and NOT having to apply for permits to swing a pillow in the street.
    – New one coming this way – 2nd of April! Get involved!

    1. Weird. It shows up in the system as published. I’ve just unpublished and republished to see if it will show up.

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