WE DID IT! Guinness world record for largest samba band

Posted on the 4th March 2014

1,675 children, aged 7 to 16, from 27 London schools took over the iconic Royal Albert Hall on 3rd March 2014 to bang the drum for street children’s rights and smash the official World Record for the World’s Largest Samba Band.

Watch the video of how we did it here!

The Guinness World Record attempt required 30 adjudicators to ensure all Guinness World Record rules were adhered to. The announcement was made to the children shortly after the World Record attempt. The attempt smashed the previous World Record, which was set by 1,038 people in São Paolo, Brazil in 2001.

Street Child World Cup Chief Executive John Wroe said:

“Today over 1,600 school children have made a stand and banged their drums for the rights of street children across the world. Their message was loud and clear: no child should have to live on the streets.”

The World Record!
The World Record!

The performance marked the UK launch of the second Street Child World Cup (SCWC) that kicks off in three weeks in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Up to 250 street-connected boys and girls from 19 countries on five continents will come together to play football and challenge the negative perceptions and treatment of street children everywhere.

David Beckham, OBE said“I look forward to Brazil in 2014 when street children from around the world will play football and represent the millions of children who still live or work on our streets.“ 

Running parallel to the world famous Rio Carnival, the samba-drumming school children turned the Royal Albert Hall into a cauldron of vibrant colour and sound as they reveled in the carnival atmosphere. Hosted by former BBC presenter Andy Akinwolere and Sky Sports News’ Hayley McQueen, the event featured an exclusive performance of the official SCWC anthem, “I Am Somebody” by Hospital Records artists London Elektricity, Diane Charlemagne and S.P.Y.

The groundbreaking event would not have been possible without the expert tuition provided by world-music workshop provider Inspire-works and the support of the Royal Albert Hall, whose management and staff had not only provided London’s most spectacular venue but also their in-house and creative expertise. As a charity, the Royal Albert Hall strives to develop its education offer as part of its extensive public benefit remit.  Not just providing a venue for some of the world’s most popular artists, its education and outreach programme reaches 100,000 young people each year and aims to support cultural life of the country for future generations making the Hall more accessible to all.

Caroline McNamara, Senior Education Consultant at the Royal Albert Hall, said “We were so proud to support this great cause as part of our education and outreach work and what an achievement to break a World Record in the process. We were delighted to welcome all the schools involved for what was an unforgettable event”

The performance was the culmination of weeks of hard work by the pupils who have been taking part in a 10-week intensive samba course with Inspire-works facilitators to prepare for the attempt on the world record. Inspire-works had specially written the teaching material with Trinity College London, one of the world’s leading providers of music assessments, and the children will also obtain their “Discover” Arts Award for taking part.

15 facilitators led the drumming, performing as a samba bateria or percussion band and were be joined by dancers from the London School of Samba. Stewards throughout the venue ensured that the World Record guidelines were adhered to and every child watched the Inspire-works facilitators closely and playing in time!

Mike Simpson, Musical Director at Inspire-works, said “We were delighted to support the Street Child World Cup by facilitating the World’s Largest Samba Band at the Royal Albert Hall and using music as a platform to inform as many people as possible about the vision and aims of Street Child World Cup. It was incredible to unite 1,500 London school children together to make as much noise as possible for street children’s rights!”

Help bang the drum for street children’s rights and TEXT SCWC14 and the amount to 70070 to donate to Street Child World Cup and make a difference today.


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