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Just for the Record Part Three

Author: Matt Solo aka DJ Promo
Saturday, 15 April 2006
In June 2006, DJ Promo, who played at famous UK superclub Ministry of Sound and a host of international venues will attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the longest DJ session in history. His mission: to smash the existing record of 84 hours by a full 16 hours, raising the bar to a new total of 100 hours live, continuous mixing. That's four-and-a-half days at the decks, without sleep or, more importantly, illegal stimulants, and all to raise vital funds for charity. This is his story.

Chapter Three: I Have A Dream

Having launched The Drum Is God! in 2004, I was at Beat magazine's HQ to discuss the campaign for the event's 2005 comeback with Ronnit Sternfein, Managing Editor. Over lunch, I told her I wanted to have a go at breaking the record. She mentioned Band In The Bubble, where Regurgitator spent an entire month recording an album inside a giant plastic box: could the concept be adapted to a DJ- We even joked about staging it in the same location, Fed Square. The seeds had been sown.

I left Beat laughing but with my brain in hyperdrive. The following few months were spent researching the existing record and how best to break it. In November 2004, I sent my application off to Guinness World Records. On December 16th came the reply: my application had been accepted. There was no turning back.

It's been a long time since that e-mail appeared in my inbox. After a false start caused by lack of support, I put the project on a back-burner and re-launched The Drum Is God!. In my spare time, I began pulling together a formal proposal for the record attempt. It was flimsy, but it was a start.

During a jaunt back home to England in 2005, I decided it was time to give it a definite go. As soon as I touched down in Melbourne again, I stopped drinking alcohol and started detoxing my body in preparation for some sort of physical training regime. That regime commenced with an offer of sponsorship from Hunts Fitness Club, Fitzroy, in October 2005. By that stage, I'd already shed 10kg: partly from changing my diet, mostly from giving up alcohol.

The first bodies we needed official approval from were our chosen beneficiaries (The Big Issue, which helps homeless people take steps towards self-reliance; and Challenge, which supports children living with cancer) and Federation Square, where we wanted to stage the attempt. Simple though it sounds, this part of the process was actually deeply frustrating: deciding to do something like this is relatively easy, but translating it into reality involves overcoming all sorts of bureaucratic obstacles. Thankfully, all were in favour.

Tasks two and three comprised producing a rock-solid, professional event proposal and then securing public liability insurance - a process that took weeks in total. The hunt for insurance presented a conundrum we were to come across time and again: we needed public liability insurance before Fed Square could confirm a date, but we needed a confirmed date before we could get public liability insurance.

The next major task was to create a risk analysis and management plan, which would later be vetted by Fed Square's event management team. From humble beginnings as a blank Excel document, this eventually blossomed into a 40-page behemoth. Not only did the goal of setting a new world record seem miles away, it was also buried beneath a paperwork Everest.

Ever the gracious hosts, Fed Square introduced us to Transport, the bar that neighbours our intended site. The idea was that we could strike some sort of contra deal whereby Transport (which has a liquor licence, whereas we do not) would host our media launch, after party and VIP suite in return for a slice of the publicity. Initial reception seemed favourable. Game on!

To be continued...
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