Frank Turner tries to break the world record for most concerts performed in different cities in 24 hours

The first time I heard Frank Turner live was at the Space in Hamden, Connecticut, USA (a venue I literally helped to build) in 2008. The English folk-punk singer was the opening act for some other artists I was interested in. During the show, he informed the 50-person crowd that it was in fact the 518th show he'd performed as a solo artist.

Fast-forward 16 years, and Turner — who literally keeps track of and numbers every single concert he plays — is coming on Show #3000 (I've seen him many times since then). He's also headlined Wembley Stadium, and, more recently, achieved a #1 record in the UK (a fact which, as a 40-something punk rocker, he has confessed to having complicated feelings about). Last year, he even went as far as to perform in all 50 American states in just 50 days.

But none of that is quite enough for Turner. No, to celebrate the release of his tenth full-length album this week, he's attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the most concerts performed over 24 hours in different cities. Turner's plans for the weekend cover 500 miles through the United Kingdom (cue the Proclaimers). Via Kerrang:

May 4

12:30pm Liverpool, Jacaranda – instore
2:30pm Huddersfield, Parish – outstore for Vinyl Tap
4pm Leeds, Boom – outstore for Crash
6pm Sheffield, The Foundry – outstore for Bear Tree
7:30pm Chesterfield, Gasoline – outstore for Tailbird
9pm Nottingham, Saltbox – outstore for Rough Trade
10:30pm Birmingham, RMBL – outstore for Eclipse Records

May 5

12am Leamington Spa, Temperance – outstore for Head
2am Leighton Buzzard, Crooked Crow Bar – outstore for Black Circle Records
4am London, Underworld – outstore for Rough Trade
6am Kingston, Banquet Records
7:30am Aldershot, West End Centre – outstore for 101 Collectors
9am Portsmouth, Staggeringly Good Brewery – outstore for Pie & Vinyl
10:30am Winchester – The Railway – outstore for Pie & Vinyl
12pm Southampton, The Brook – outstore for Vinilio

I tried to map the entire journey using Google Maps, but there were too many entries. But even just leaving off at Leighton Buzzard, that's about 10 hours of driving time, let alone performance time.

Turner typically has a strict criteria* for what constitutes a "concert." I can't find an official source for it right now, but if memory serves me right, he has to perform for at least 20 minutes, in front of an audience (so radio promo appearances don't always count).

The current holder of the Guinness Record for Most concerts headlined in 24 hours (multiple cities) is Hunter Hayes, a 32-year-old American country song whom I've never personally heard of but who has apparently done some tour dates with Taylor Swift, which is presumably impressive. Hayes performed 10 concerts in 24 hours throughout the northeastern US:

  • New York City (Good Morning America)
  • Boston (Paradise Rock Club)
  • Worcester, Mass. (Palladium Upstairs)
  • Providence, Rhode Island (Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel)
  • New London, Connecticut (Garde Arts Center)
  • New Haven, Connecticut (Toad's Place)
  • Stamford, Connecticut (Palace Theatre)
  • South Orange, New Jersey (South Orange Performing Arts Center)
  • Asbury Park, New Jersey (The Stone Pony)
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Trocadero)

(If I were Hunter Hayes, I would have probably started in either Philadelphia or Boston, but hey, that's just me.)

Turner's absurd scheme is also fundraiser for Music Venue Trust, which helps keep small, independent venues afloat. Best of luck to him. Though I suppose it's a fitting goal for someone whose debut album was called "Sleep is for the Week" — because certainly, he's going to need it.

*Similarly, Turner enforces certain rules at his concerts, which I always appreciate:

  1. Don't be a dick
  2. Look after each other
  3. Sing along if you know the words

**I'd also like to point out that, in the video at the top of this post, Turner is wearing a t-shirt made by my friend Ian Robinson, who performs under the name Black Guy Fawkes, which is possibly my favorite band name, ever.