TOKYO – Japanese musicians overcame fatigue and a major earthquake to set the record for the world's longest concert on Saturday, playing 184 hours non-stop in a program that ranged from The Beatles' classics to Japanese traditional harp music.
Over 900 musicians aged 6 to 89 took turns performing in the 9-day marathon — with breaks of no more than 5 minutes between acts — at a small railway station in Hikone city, western Japan, according to organizer Kuniko Teramura, 51.
An official from the Guinness Book of World Records was on hand to certify the record at 10 a.m. Saturday, she said.
"The longest concert by multiple artists was achieved by Kuniko Teramura and friends at Toriimoto Station ... from 23-31 March 2007," read a copy of the certificate obtained by The Associated Press.
The previous record for longest concert was set in Canada five years ago and lasted 182 hours, according to the Guinness Web site.
On Sunday, a magnitude 6.9 quake in northwestern Japan jolted the stage — but didn't stop a determined pianist from ploughing on with her tune, said Hiroshi Mizutani, 51, another organizer.
A break in the performance would have ruined the challenge, because musicians were not allowed to stop playing less than two minutes into a song, said Mizutani, whose Oldies band played three times during the concert.
"This pianist was amazing. The whole place was shaking quite badly but she went right on playing," Mizutani said. "Even an earthquake couldn't stop us."