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9 stops, one goal: B.C. band hopes to smash world record with one-day concert tour of Metro Vancouver

You could go watch them try to break the record
Jon Fennell (left) and Kevin Roy (right) of the band Loops, who're making a world record attempt on July 8 in Metro Vancouver.

While Canada is sometimes left off world concert tours, this summer, many Metro Vancouver cities will be part of a world record attempt involving live music.

The band Loops, made up of Jon Fennell and Kevin Roy, is going to try to break the record for most concerts played in different cities in a span of just 12 hours. That means on July 8, you could catch the pair playing in one or more of nine municipalities: Squamish, Vancouver, Abbotsford, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Richmond, Mission, Delta, and Langley.

Roy says the duo is doing it to help raise funds for the BC Children's Hospital Foundation (BCCHF).

"We're bouncing back and forth across the Lower Mainland," he says. "All these cities are equally helped by the BC Children's Hospital, everybody is equally impacted by BC Childrens, they're not just a regional hospital."

The record

The current record, set by British singer Minhee Jones in 2019, is eight. Metro Vancouver, given that it hasn't amalgamated, is a great location in which to break that record. Roy says they're going for nine, but they could consider more in the future.

However, there are some rules that make their goal challenging to achieve.

The most significant is that the shows have to be at least 50 km apart (according to Guinness World Records). They also have to be in different cities, each with a population of at least in 15,000.

Then there are rules around the shows.

Each one has to be at least 15 minutes long with no breaks over 30 seconds. There has the be a stage set up for the band to play on. And they have to have at least 10 tickets sold to each show. Loops will have 10 special souvenir tickets for each show to mark official attendance, but each venue is set up for many more audience members; tickets are by donation.

The Reason

The BCCHF holds a special place for Roy, and raising awareness and money for the specialized medical facility (regularly ranked one of the world's best children's hospitals) is what drove Loops to pursue the record.

They had the idea to challenge the record back in 2021, but Roy says the motivation wasn't there to pursue it just for the fun of it.

At the same time, Roy's family has needed the help of children's medical specialists. At 18, he lost his six-year-old brother to Kostmann Syndrome. Now his nieces are living with cystic fibrosis. In 2022, he saw how his nieces were responding to treatment at the hospital, noting a new drug they were put on found them "thriving."

That inspired Loops to return to their idea of the record and do it to raise money for the hospital

"We'd already dipped our toes in the waters of charity and we'd seen, if we do this and really put ourselves into this, it's rewarding," Roy says.

He notes that while they've applied to Guinness to have their record officially validated by the company, they aren't paying the $20,000 fee to have a representative come. Instead, all money raised through the attempt and shows will be going straight to the foundation via the band's fundraiser page.

"I'd rather just give all the money to the kids and submit all the evidence," Roy says. "We'll know we broke it."

The shows

Loops is well equipped to take on the challenge; as a two-person show with Roy on vocals and Fennell on guitar there isn't much to set up or tear down when they arrive at a venue. Normally they use a looping machine to fill out their sound, but on the day of the attempt, they'll keep it simple at most shows.

Each show will be quite different, too.

They start off at the Coastal Ford in Squamish, one of three Ford dealerships they'll play that day. Roy explains that the dealerships are ideal locations given their space, and they've been helpful in making the record attempt feasible.

"In the showroom, they're going to have an area for us with a speaker and stage set up," he describes.

On the other end of things, there's Dukes Country Pub in Chilliwack, where a full-day event has been organized around the attempt, with a motorcycle rally earlier in the day and live music before and after the Loops set. At the end of it all, the pub will send in one huge donation with all the money raised throughout the day.

Vancouverites, take note: Loops hit the stage in Gastown at the Blarney Stone at 11 a.m.

The band

Roy and Fennell founded Loops just before the pandemic in 2019, after having crossed paths the year before.

While they are based in Kamloops, neither the name nor the bandmates are from the city. The name comes from the fact they use a looping pedal a lot.

The looping pedal allows them to perform shows like a larger group; Roy says the pair is akin to the child of Lewis Capaldi and Ed Sheeran (also an avid loop pedal user).

"We can make it sound like a whole band up there," he says. "It works."

They have original material (a new single is scheduled to come out June 30), but also play covers; the record attempt isn't their first gig with a charity component.

In 2020 they streamed shows on Remembrance Day for veterans who were housebound due to the pandemic, and ran a musical advent calendar to raise money for Salvation Army since the charity wasn't able to have people on the streets collecting cash.

Where to see Loops attempt to break the world record on July 8, 2023


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