On Friday, May 1, 2009, 6,346 guitar players joined together at the “Thanks Jimi Festival” in Poland to play the Jimi Hendrix hit “Hey Joe,” more than tripling the standing record for “Largest Guitar Ensemble” of 2,052 set last year in Concord, California. The event took place in the historic center of Wroclaw, Poland (formerly Breslau) — a city which has taken on the title of “Wroclaw Guitar City” — a title that seems merited. In fact the Mayor, Rafał Dutkiewicz, was among those playing, as was Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse and festival founder and director, Leszek Cichoński. Cichoński is a well-known musician and music educator in Poland and the festival was an outgrowth of one of his educational programs and has taken place — and grown — annually since 2003.
Beyond the 6,346 guitar players, there were thousands of spectators and supporters in the Wrocław city center as well as other guitar players taking part online and in coordinated events in Sweden, the U.S., Canada and Australia (though those do not count toward the record). One of the objectives of the organizers was to establish May 1 as “World Guitar Day” and more coordinated simultaneous events are planed for next year and beyond.
On May 10, Germany will make an attempt at breaking the record in the city of Mainz.
Watch the video here:
For more on the event, visit myspace.com/thanksjimifest.