UPDATE: The 20(?) Day-Long World Record-Beating Concert Has Begun

The area around the Earl of Whitchurch pub (6204 Main Street in Stouffville, Ontario) will be extra busy over the next 16 18 20(?) days as organizer try to break the world record for the longest continuous concert ever staged. The goal? To raise money for some of Gord Downie’s favourite charities.

UPDATE: The attempt has been extended when news came down that an event in Michigan is already nine days into their world record attempt.

The Guinness Book of World Record rules are firm:

  • The music must continue with no breaks (30 seconds are allowed between songs and there can be no more than five minutes between acts, but that’s it).
  • Each song must be at least 2 minutes in length.
  • The same song cannot be played twice in a four-hour period.
  • Each performer gets one hour on the stage.
  • A continuous static time-stamped video feed must be broadcast to prove that there are no stoppages.
  • There must be a minimum of ten conscious patrons in the bar watching the show at all times.

The current record–372 hours and 10 minutes–is held by the Ri Ra Irish pub, which is inside the massive Mandalay Bay casino and hotel complex in Las Vegas, a place that runs 24/7. That could prove to be the most challenging part of this whole endeavor–especially since the pub closes down between 3 am and the morning rush. What are spectators going to do during those hours? Drinking will be against the law, so they have to come up with something.

Some 400-ish performers have committed to join in. Organizer Kevin Ker of Epidemic Music Group says that label politics prevent him from naming some of them, but he’s hopeful that some big names will take part. Fingers crossed.

Sixteen charities–one for every day of the record–will benefit from any money raised. They range from the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research and Sick Kids hospital to North Toronto Cat Rescue.

If you can’t make it to the Earl of Whitchurch but want to contribute financially, go here. The music began Friday night (March 17) with proceeds going to the Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation.


The full schedule (as it now stands, anyway) can be found here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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