On Failing to Break a World Record

posted in: Bucket List | 3

One of those slightly more unusual things that has been sat on my bucket list for several years is to hold a Guiness World Record. I’ve never had any clue what record it might be, but in my head I have images of Roy Castle and a television studio and an audience cheering and this song…

Sorry for the earworm but you know what I mean. Like I say, I have never had any idea what I would be a record breaker in. But an opportunity came along earlier in the year with the Soundlincs B15 project, an opportunity to play my trombone with a whole load of other musicians up at the Lincolnshire Showground as well as take part in a record attempt.

The record Soundlincs were aiming for was for the most people popping bubble wrap at the same time. With 1,000 people expected at the Epic Centre for the event it was a sure thing that this record would be ours, and I would get to tick something off my big list. My mum came along with me to join in too, and we had a really good day playing various arrangements of Lost Lady Found, an old Lincolnshire folk song, and then performing the full hour-long piece at the end of the day of rehearsals.

Soundlincs B15 at Lincolnshire Showground

Soundlincs B15 at Lincolnshire Showground

Unfortunately just an hour or two into rehearsals it became clear that we were quite a bit short on numbers to break that world record. The majority of those who had signed up to the day hadn’t turned up – had the nice weather got in the way? The publicity machine kicked into gear and we got extra people up to the Showground to join in and even grabbed anyone we could find working on-site to join in too. We collected our armful of bubble wrap and were given our wristband that showed we had been counted, and took our places in the Epic Centre.

I can tell you, while popping bubble wrap is an excellent way to de-stress, popping it alongside 300-or-so other people for a few minutes continuously, is something else entirely. So loud! Ear piercing! And it was really hard to keep going too – my fingers and thumbs really ached. Who’d have thought popping bubble wrap would give you a headache and a workout?! The minutes (four, I think it was) seemed to last forever as marshals wandered around checking we were all popping all the time.

Soundlincs B15 World Record Attempt

Me with my Bubble Wrap

The lovely lady from Guinness World Records stood on the podium and announced… unfortunately you’ve not beaten the world record. I wanted to shout “booo” but no-one else did so I kept my mouth shut. How disappointing. All that hard work on the part of the organisers, all that publicity, all those people who signed up but didn’t turn up, my aching thumbs and all that noise!!! Apparently we were just a handful of people short due to a School in America beating the record in the previous few days. Such a shame!

I really enjoyed the day, but came away feeling I should never think things on my list are going to be easy! Actually, since our failed attempt, there has been another successful attempt. So even if we had broken it on 3rd May, our glory would have only lasted a few days. From the website:

The most people popping bubble wrap simultaneously is 647 and was achieved by Riverside Primary School (Australia) in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia, on 16 May 2014.

Trombone and Bubble Wrap

So it’s back to the drawing board. My first attempt at breaking a world record failed. It was a really fun thing to be a part of and I’m glad I in, but it’s a challenge not beaten and so now I need a new idea.

I guess Roy is right… dedication’s what you need. Any suggestions? I want one of those certificates!!

3 Responses

  1. soundLINCS

    Great blog post Zoe, we love all your photos from B15! We’ve got our thinking caps on for another attempt too…

  2. Teresa

    Great blog! Hope you come up with something – if come up with any sound or musical ideas – let us at soundLINCS know… Here’s the link to the film of the Bubble Wrap attempt – turn the volume down first!

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