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You might not consider Stouffville, Ontario the cultural destination for live music, but after the Guinness World Record for Longest Concert by Multiple Artists is broken at a bar in the small city, that could change.
With the help of just under 400 bands and 100 volunteers, Epidemic Music Group is setting out to break the record for Longest Concert by Multiple Artists by playing 24 hours of live music for 16 days straight. We repeat: 16 days straight.
At first, Epidemic Music Group lead producer Kevin Ker wanted to break the record for bragging rights alone, but then it grew into something “far greater” once they started incorporating charities and looking at the idea of celebrating the feat alongside Canada’s 150.
The record currently belongs to Las Vegas.
“Stealing the record from the States is pretty exciting,” Ker said. “[Las Vegas] is a 24-hour city and we’re taking it to a small town in Canada. In essence, it shows the strength of the small community.”
If the attempt is successful, the planning committee has plans to celebrate the achievement alongside Stouffville’s annual Strawberry Festival, which runs from June 30-July 2.
“That’s the big Stouffville event—they close the whole street down street down,” he said. “I think we’re going to do something special on Canada Day to celebrate. It makes sense and ties everything together.”
The prospect of playing over 380 hours of live music is already daunting, but there are even more stipulations that can derail the record attempt: No more than five minutes between acts, no more than 30 seconds between songs, the same song must not be played more than once in a four-hour period are just a few of the restrictions.
But Ker says most of them are attainable. He anticipates the most challenging part of pulling the feat off will be having 10 people in the crowd awake at all times.
Among the 400 acts coming out to play, Ker singled out Dave Lawlor (who has played with Canadian band Glass Tiger) and indie rock band Wildlife as two sets to look forward to. But he also told us to stay tuned for more exciting performer announcements to come: “There’s some pretty awesome names that I can’t say just yet.”
To keep things interesting, the planning committee has incorporated giveaways, raffles and competitions into the event. And if that’s still not enough to get you out, Ker says you should attend simply for the novelty of the experience.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said. “How often to get to roll into a bar at 4am, watch a band and be part of a world record?”
What: Longest Concert by Multiple Artists Guinness Record Attempt by Epidemic Music Group
When: Starts Friday, March 17, and will run round-the-clock for 16 days (or longer)
How Much: $5 per person is the suggested donation, but 100 per cent of funds raised go directly to charity.