From Amanda Mochan in California
Last Thursday I traveled to Highland, California for a record attempt for the largest air guitar ensemble.
The attempt took place at San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino's annual Rock n' Roll Bingo event, held in conjunction with local rock station KCAL-FM.
The previous record was 1,883 participants, set in Australia in 2009. The largest air guitar ensemble is one of Guinness World Record's most popular record categories, and has been broken ten times, twice in the United States. The rock n' roll bingo players were determined to bring the record back to America for the third time.
Before doors opened, I walked through the counting method to ensure that every participant was accurately recorded. As bingo players entered the enclosed room, their drivers licenses were scanned and a computer program kept an up-to-date count of the people who had checked in. At the door, players received a numbered guitar pick along with a free air guitar.
Once players entered, they were treated to a performance by the Ozzy Osbourne tribute band Mr. Crowley, followed by three rounds of bingo. The crowd was in great spirits, as each bingo game carried a cash prize, and DJs from KCAL were on hand to keep energy levels up.
After the third game, the record attempt officially kicked off with a short lesson in the art of air guitar, led by professional air guitarist Bjorn Turoque.
Bjorn has competed in and hosted numerous air guitar competitions, the most recent of which was the World Air Guitar Championships in Finland.
According to Guinness World Records guidelines, participants must perform three recognizable air guitar moves, so Bjorn led the crowd through the 'windmill' (holding the guitar with your left hand while strumming/windmilling with your right arm), the 'finger tap' (tapping the neck of the guitar with your right fingers), and the ever-popular 'tongue of fury' (lifting up the guitar and playing it with your tongue).
Once the participants were schooled in these moves, the official attempt began. Bjorn led the crowd through a rendition of "Crazy Train" as played by Mr. Crowley. The energy was electric, and the crowd really let their inner rock stars loose.
After deducting the few people that did not participate, I was able to confirm a new world record of 2,377 participants - over a 25% increase on the previous record!
Congratulations go out to San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino, KCAL-FM, Bjorn Turoque, and most importantly, the players who participated and made the record attempt a success. Rock on!