A music lovers dream come true; the longest concert ever will be held just an hour away from Toronto in Stouffville, Ontario next weekend!
Starting on Friday, March 17th at the Earl of Whitchurch pub in Stouffville (6204 Main Street), organizers like Kevin Ker will attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the “Longest Concert by Multiple Performers”. So far, their competition is a pub in Las Vegas where a concert series was performed lasting 15.5 days (372 hours and 10 minutes) in 2014.
Ker’s goal however, is to put on a show with 400+ performers, lasting 24hrs a day, 16.5 days, and possibly more; “If we get to 16 days and we have momentum and some gas in the tank we’d like to go two or three more days”. Not only would it be really cool to have a concert lasting over 2.5 weeks, but holding the record would also be a pretty awesome feat; “We really want to cement the record. There are a bunch of other places in the world that are…going for the record around the same time, so we definitely want to put in the extra effort”.
Kevin Ker works for Epidemic Music Group and explains the idea came to him about six months ago while relaxing at home. Kevin was thinking about the record for the longest running open mic and if anyone had tried it yet. Realizing no one had, he applied to Guinness World Records.
After a couple of weeks, Ker received a letter in the mail stating his application had been approved. Forgetting he had actually applied, he was not approved for the longest running open mic, rather the longest continuous concert by multiple performers.
There is no actual record to be given for the longest running open mic, but the rules for Ker’s event must still also abide to strict Guinness Record Rules;
1. There cannot be more than 30 seconds between songs
2. There cannot be more than 5 minutes between bands
3. There must be at least 10 audience members present at all times (They must also be awake!)
Although these regulations may sound a bit intimidating, Ker and his team are prepared for anything; “Our committee, including myself, we’re all musicians. We’re actually going to have two guitars available on the wall and I might have a ukulele strapped to my back for the entire 16 days. If anything goes wrong…we’re prepared to jump up and start playing immediately”.
Sounds like the perfect people to be running this type of event.
Another great thing about this event is that proceeds will go to the 16 charities involved, including the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research.
After the application was approved, Ker says the process moved quite quickly, and before even giving a formal announcement of the event, he already had over 200 bands registered for a slot to play. The support for the show has been overwhelming; “The number of bands and volunteers coming forward is astronomical” said Ker. Once realizing how big it was becoming, the team decided to add a special community component involving charities. 12 slots have currently been taken while four remain open.
The charities are given a day in the spotlight each, including their own special line-up of musicians. The line-ups have yet to be announced, but sources say there has been interest by some big names in Canadian music.
As well as raising awareness and funds for charity, Ker sees the event as something monumental; “This is truly a David and Goliath moment in history, our community is strong and our determination is immeasurable. This is truly a proud Canadian moment”.
For more information on the event and to get your tickets, go to the Facebook page.
This really is a great event for a great cause. If you are a music lover and can make it up to Stouffville next weekend, I think this is definitely a part of history you want to be involved in.