Rí Rá puts the Guinness back in the Book of World Records with a 16-day band marathon attempt

Can Rí Rá set the Guinness World Record for longest continuous live-music concert? Who knows, but at least you can have some whiskey while you watch them try.
Photo: Steve Marcus
Chris Bitonti

There are countless ways to get a Guinness World Record.

You could attempt the “Most Steps Walked Down by a Dog Facing Forward Balancing a Glass of Water” (10, held by Australian Shepherd Sweet Pea since 2008) or compete for “Most Rejected Screenplay” (held by me for my soon-to-be classic, 3 Ninjas: The Musical). No matter the stunt, all record-setting roads lead to eternal glory, at least until someone bests you.

Which is undoubtedly why local Irish pub Rí Rá recently threw its hat in the ring for a daunting achievement: the record for longest continuous live-music concert. The marathon began October 1 with this simple-yet-onerous framework: 16 days straight of pub performances, with no more than 25 seconds between songs and five minutes between sets.

The taproom is packed on a recent evening with your typical mix of Strip tourists and conventioneers. While some likely arrived unaware of the record attempt, once inside it’s clear what’s at stake.

Rí Rá’s marathon lineup includes a full roster of Irish musicians, as well as local favorites like Darby O’Gill and the Little People. Members of the waitstaff even take turns at the mic, adding to overall group-effort feeling. Changeovers are quick, without much fanfare, and they consist almost entirely of unplugging one acoustic guitar for another—and ordering an additional whiskey.

The transition that I time comes in under three minutes, then they’re off again, music playing, crowd cheering on Rí Rá’s record-setting attempt, which will keep going, and going, and going, until October 17.

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