|Date||April 24, 2021|
|Venue||Air Park, Lincoln, Nebraska, United States|
|Organised by||Josh Swain|
The Josh fight was a viral internet meme, mock fight, and charity fundraiser at Air Park in Lincoln, Nebraska, on April 24, 2021. The event was originally conceived by a civil engineering student named Josh Swain from Tucson, Arizona on April 24, 2020. It gained popularity after a screenshot of a Facebook Messenger group chat involving several users named Josh Swain spread widely on the internet.
Swain encouraged participants of the chat to meet at a set of coordinates and compete for the right to use the name Josh. The event, though initially intended as a joke, drew a crowd of nearly a thousand on the day of the event. Despite the title, the gathering was lighthearted and there was no actual violence involved. The Wall Street Journal wrote that the event became a "global news phenomenon."
On April 24, 2020, several Facebook Messenger users named Josh Swain were added to a group chat that read,
– You're probably wondering why I've gathered you all here today[.]
– Because we all share the same names....?
– Precisely, 4/24/2021, 12:00 PM, meet at these coordinates, () we fight, whoever wins gets to keep the name, everyone else has to change their name, you have a year to prepare, good luck[.]
Swain explained the idea for the event was conceived out of boredom from the COVID-19 lockdowns and out of frustration from being unable to receive an exclusive handle on social media due to the high frequency of people who shared his name, but did not expect the invitation to go viral.
Swain posted a screenshot of the conversation on Twitter the same day. The tweet received 64 thousand likes and 21 thousand retweets within two weeks. Although Swain said the tweet was, "entirely a joke," the conversation became a meme on social media. Days before the event, Swain took to Reddit in order to announce a fundraiser for the event to benefit the Children's Hospital & Medical Center (CH&MC) Foundation in Omaha, along with a request for non-perishables to start a food drive for the Food Bank of Lincoln. In the same post, Swain also encouraged attendees to bring pool noodles as mock weapons for the planned fight.
Swain picked Lincoln, Nebraska as a site for the event due to its central location within the United States, with the specific, randomly picked coordinates being located on private property. The property owner, however, did not agree to host 'such a ridiculous event', and as such the fight was relocated to Air Park approximately 2.6 miles (4.2 km) away.
On the chosen day, nearly a thousand people, including at least 50 named Josh, congregated at Air Park. Attendees came from as far as New York, Washington, and Texas, with some dressed in superhero and Star Wars costumes. Others came suited with DIY costumes, consisting of body armor fashioned from soda 6-pack boxes, fast food packaging, and other objects brought in from home.
Three 'fights' were held – one game of rock paper scissors for those named Josh Swain, a second with pool noodles for all attendees named Josh, and a third and final all-in battle for anyone in possession of a pool noodle willing to participate. Only two of the individuals in attendance were named "Josh Swain" – Josh Swain, the event's creator, beat a rival 38-year-old Josh Swain from Omaha in the rock paper scissors event. A local four-year-old boy named Josh Vinson Jr., dubbed 'Little Josh', who had been treated at Children's Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha for seizures when he was two years old, was declared the overall winner. Vinson Jr. was crowned with a paper crown from Burger King as well as a replica AEW World Championship belt. Vinson Jr.'s father, Josh Vinson Sr., said afterward that his son had "had the time of his life."
The gathering raised US$14,355 for the Children's Hospital & Medical Center—far past its initial goal of US$1,000—and collected over 200 pounds (90 kg) of food for the nearby food bank. The CH&MC has since shown appreciation for the fundraiser on social media.
Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2021-05-04 based on https://en.wikipedia.org/?curid=67491117