The 16th annual Wroclaw, Poland, Guitar Guinness World Record Festival kicks off on May 1, 2018. Each year, thousands of guitar players descend on Wroclaw's beautiful Market Square to strum along to Jimi Hendrix's version of "Hey Joe," and attempt to break the Guinness World Record for Largest Guitar Orchestra.
I was honored to be part of this benevolent guitar army in 2016, when 7,356 players broke the record. Unfortunately, the festival logged "just" 6,299 players last year, and the throng failed to best its own record.
Past festivals have welcomed Steve Vai, Al Di Meola, Steve Morse, Greg Koch, Tommy Emmanuel, Marcus Miller, Hiram Bullock, and Eric Burdon to the Market Square stage to lead the crowd for the run at the record.
The big event—formerly called the Thanks Jimi Festival—is free of charge for adults and children. All you need is a guitar, and the ability to play the C/G/D/A/E chords to "Hey Joe." During past festivals, I've seen Star Wars Stormtroopers, actual nuns, and police on horseback all performing the chords and singing along with the band on the main stage.
"Guitar Guinness World Record is not only a celebration of professional guitarists, but more of a shared experience that everyone can participate in," says festival founder and renowned Polish guitarist/songwriter Leszek Cichoński. "You only need to be present in Wrocław, and bring an instrument and some enthusiasm. What matters is having fun."
The 2018 concert features the metal band Kreator, America's The Dead Daisies, Spain's Sinfonity, and three Polish bands: Perfect, Hunter, and Lao Che.
If you can't make the scene yourself, you can watch online by CLICKING HERE. The official attempt at the Guinness World Record will be at 4:00 pm Wroclaw time (you'll need to calculate your own time zone to join in at home and play along).
Check out the event's official website RIGHT HERE.
Read my report on the 2016 record-breaking year HERE.
"We hope you will join us on May 1 at at the biggest guitar festival in Europe," says Cichoński. "Please join us in the uniting vibration—Uni-Vibe—of music!"