Ukulele Marathon Record Set!

By Greg Olwell

The Guinness World Record for the longest stretch of playing ukulele was shattered last weekend during an attempt in London.

Robin Evans, a 22-year-old player from the city of Farnham, Surrey, England, played for 30 hours, 2 minutes, and 8 seconds, at the Duke of Uke shop in London. Evans’ effort smashed the prior record of 25 hours, 9 minutes, 33 seconds, set last summer by American Julian Ruck. The longest official record recognized by Guinness was 25 hours, set by Australian Glenn Haworth in 2013.

Robin Evans, still looking fresh over 17 hours into his world record breaking marathon. (Photo courtesy Robin Evan and Facebook.)
Robin Evans, still looking fresh over 17 hours into his world record breaking marathon. (Photo by Rob Collins.)

Evans, who performs under the name Robin Evans, Esq. is a 22-year-old bartender who lives in Plymouth, England.


To comply with Guinness’s official regulations, Mary Agnes Krell, organizer of the event and director of the Great Northern Ukulele Festival in Great Britain, which supported the effort, stated that Evans was permitted “a five-minute break for every full hour played. Each song was required to be at least two minutes long and breaks between songs were not allowed to be more than 30 seconds so (to make sure we didn’t fall foul of the rules) we worked with 20-second breaks between songs. The longest song break of the attempt was a single 23-second break.”

His song list contained 129 songs and took about six hours to perform the complete list of covers and originals. He played through his complete list about six times throughout the effort.

Interesting Facts From Robin Evans’ Record Performance

By Mary Agnes Krell

  • Robin did not have any caffeine until after he broke the standing record (in fact, it was only after the 28th hour he had a single caffeinated drink).
  • There were more than a dozen independent witnesses working in pairs during four-hour shifts to document his effort.
  • The attempt was also recorded in HD video for the official record and it was live-streamed on Periscope by Duke of Uke (who hosted the event).
  • He performed the entire attempt as a proper gig (on a stage with lights and live audiences).
  • The few times he appeared to be flagging (in the small hours of the morning and mid-afternoon on day 2), singing along by audience members actually visibly gave him more energy and helped him continue. A Sunday afternoon bit with Christmas Carols and shaky-things had people coming in off the street to join in.
  • Robin changed his bow-tie three times during the attempt (though to be safe, he had six ties with him). Watching him tie his bow-tie without a mirror after more than 23 hours playing was quite hilarious. And yet, he succeeded!