Cracking the Guinness World Record – The ‘everyday’ back story

Rupert Picardo

Rupert Picardo

Director, d'frens

In June 2018, I had the opportunity to be a part of a Guinness World Record attempt (and yes, we made it). I wasn’t making a big thing about the experience as there was so much to do in preparation and it didn’t really soak in until the day of the event. Everyone I knew – family, friends, colleagues, business partners – seemed to think it was a big thing. I got wishes and greets from people I hadn’t heard from in ages. That’s when it really started to hit me. Attempting a world record is a HUGE achievement. This began to motivate me more. In retrospect, it really shouldn’t have been surprising. Standing in front of 12,000 people I could see how excited everyone was. The energy was infectious. I knew we would break the record. We had done everything possible to be ready for this moment and we were super confident.

The record attempted and set was for the largest ensemble of body percussionists in the world. We shattered the record by having almost 160% more people than the previous record, perform body percussion for a continuous six minutes.

Yes, we do dream big. But to make that dream come true, there’s a lot of planning, preparation, and execution involved. While we are thrilled to say that the total practice time was just 68 minutes spread over three sessions on three separate days, the actual time spent on this was in excess of 170 person hours. The brainstorming, the workout, the trials, the making of videos for training, the time spent to understand what the parameters and criteria for adjudication and the endless hours of making alternate plans for various “what-if” situations. The in-house practice alone stretched for hours and hours. And none of this takes into account the time spent thinking about it. What’s amazing about the experience is that at d’frens we spend all this time on every custom project. Yes, we attempted a world record and literally smashed it out of the park, but even if this event was a non world record attempt, I’m pretty certain that our effort would not be less or the motivation diminished.

It’s humbling to be a part of something as big as a world record, but it’s far more motivating to think that we do this all the time – with or without an official record. I’d say – bring them on, we’re ready!

PS: Video is coming up. Check back in a couple of days. Meanwhile, read through a detailed case study.