Concert record attempt aspires to revitalize local music scene

Courtesy of Get Foxy Productions

Two hundred people packed The Tackle Box Wednesday night to witness history in the making when Blooze on the Rocks took the stage to kick off the first of 30 consecutive days and nights of live music.

More than 250 bands will play toward the goal of not only beating the current Guinness World Record for the longest concert by multiple artists, but doubling it.

“I thought that doubling it would give us the degree of media attention we would want,” said Julian Ruck, local musician and creator of Chico Breaks the Record! “And it provides us a buffer zone. If we screw up in the next two weeks we can start over and still break it.”

With the current record at 15 days and 12 hours, Ruck’s brainchild demands attention, and that’s entirely its purpose because the local music scene is suffering.

“What I’ve noticed is support for local musicians has diminished,” Ruck said. “Fewer venues, less compensation, and I started getting really frustrated about it. The city pulled funding on certain gigs and events. Like Taste of Chico no longer pays bands like they used to. So I was like, ‘OK, what can we do about this?’”

Fed up with talented musicians having to travel elsewhere in order to be compensated for playing, Ruck decided to find ways to make people want to come to Chico.

“I filmed a documentary with a few of my friends called ‘I Play in Chico,'” he said. “At the same time, I started pursuing the idea of having a big concert. True story, it was like three in the morning, and I’m sitting in my underwear Googling ideas.”

That early morning Google session in October is what started the ball down the hill and got it rolling.

“I looked up what the world’s longest concert is, and I saw 15 days and12 hours,” he said. “I thought, ‘We can beat that. That’s beatable. We have enough talent to do that.’”

“Guinness” is a buzz word for people, Ruck said, and attracts interest that otherwise wouldn’t be piqued. But the purpose of the event is to garner attention for local music regardless of whether the ambitious attempt is successful.

“The (record) attempt is the bait,” Ruck said. “To get all these bands together to do one big show, even if we falter, at the end of the month we’ve still won. We still did a thing that was really awesome.”

Amanda Rhine can be reached at [email protected] or @am_rhine on Twitter.