Huge guitar ensemble aims to break world record with performance of David Bowie’s Heroes

(Image credit: Future)

Hundreds of guitarists are set to assemble to play David Bowie’s Heroes in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest guitar ensemble.

The Great Guitar Challenge will take place on 22 July at Ealing Blues Festival 2018, and feature Laurence Knight, lead singer of renowned tribute band The Bowie Experience.

The current world record stands at 368, achieved by Sky Group in January 2013 - this year’s event intends to recruit 450 guitarists to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research.

Organiser Dave Pile is a lifelong guitar player who lost his mother, June, to a brain tumour in March 2013. He says, “My idea to break a world record came about two years after losing my mum to a brain tumour. I’ve been raising money for Brain Tumour Research over the last year or so but this latest venture is proving to be the toughest!

“I chose the David Bowie song because the hook ‘we can be Heroes’ is an apt reference to all the people that are signing up to help with the challenge. Together we can make a difference to research into brain tumours.”

Blackstar Amplification is supporting the effort, and will provide every participant with a Fly 3 micro amp to use and keep.

Guitarists can register for the event via Eventbrite; the ticket price includes a donation to Brain Tumour Research and entitles participants to a new Blackstar Fly 3 micro amp, a T-shirt to mark the event and a free day’s entry to the Ealing Blues Festival.

For more info, head over to the Great Guitar Challenge.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.

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