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16 days, 16 charities, one record-breaking concert for Stouffville

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Reposted from: Stouffville Sun-Tribune

Article By Ali Raza

Epidemic Music Group and the Earl of Whitchurch lead town’s effort to break the Guinness World Record

Gord Downie serves as an inspiration to an upcoming charity concert in Stouffville that aims to break records.

Starting March 17, Stouffville will attempt the Guinness World Record for the longest concert by multiple artists. The event will run 16 days straight — 24 hours a day — to beat the current record holder in the U.S.

The attempt coincides with Canada’s 150th celebrations, and is a charity event inspired by the Tragically Hip’s lead singer Gord Downie. It’s organized by Epidemic Music Group and the Earl of Whitchurch — the concert’s venue.

“I can’t think of many things in my life I’ve seen that inspired me more,” said Epidemic Music Group lead producer Kevin Ker. “We have a huge obstacle, but it pales in comparison to what he did on national television for the entire country.”

Each day will see funds raised for a different charity. Of the 16 charities, those confirmed are The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjac Fund, Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer, Markham Stouffville Hospital, North Toronto Cat Rescue, Sick Kids Hospital, 360 Kids, Artscan Circle, Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, Evergreen Hospice, The Family Navigation Project and Songs4Steffi.

The event is fuelled by more than 100 volunteers, and expects 400 bands and performers. Guinness has strict guidelines to the record attempt that Ker says is among the biggest challenge.

There can be no more than five minutes between acts and no more than 30 seconds between songs; the same song cannot be played more than once in a four-hour period; and static video of the entire 16-day effort — with no cuts or pauses — must be submitted.

To tackle the video challenge, Ker has hired a security surveillance company to record the attempt.

“It’s a multi-level thing. We’re setting the record for Canada on the 150th, benefitting charities. It’s a big one, I can imagine people will show up,” Ker said when asked if any big-name bands or performers were attending.

“I can safely say there will be some surprising names being a part of this and coming to Stouffville,” he added.

Earl owner George Bigelow sees challenging logistics on his end.

“I’m consuming a lot of coffee,” Bigelow joked. “We started it with doing the world’s longest open mic, figuring it’d be four or five days, but now it’s snowballed to where it is now.”

The event has received coverage from media across Canada, and people involved are from communities all over.

Bigelow is not worried about providing food and drink to the many anticipated guests. He’s trying to extend the pub’s liquor licence to end at 4 a.m. instead of 2 a.m.

“I’ve reached out to small coffee shops in town and see during the overnight hours and sell some coffee and muffins, stuff like that, to people that are there overnight,” Bigelow said.

Each day, visitors can pay the recommended donation of $5 to that day’s charity. Additional funds will be collected through various games, raffles and draws. Donors can go to to donate to a charity of choice.

For more information:

• on the event, visit or

• on volunteering, contact Shaen Armstrong at

• on performing, contact Mike Burns at

• on donating, visit


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