Scotsman breaks world record for bagpipe playing

A SCOTSMAN has set a new Guinness World Record after playing the bagpipes for over 24 hours.

Rikki Evans as he completes his attempt to break a Guinness World Record by playing bagpipes for 24 hours as part of Piping Live! Picture: John Devlin
Rikki Evans as he completes his attempt to break a Guinness World Record by playing bagpipes for 24 hours as part of Piping Live! Picture: John Devlin

Rikki Evans, 29, was relieved to catch his breath after he played a whopping 1,200 tunes on the woodwind instrument.

The police controller, from Aberdeen, began his challenge on Wednesday morning in Glasgow and finished on Thursday around 1pm.

And although Guinness allowed him to take five minute breaks every hour, in total he played for a whopping 24 hours 10 minutes and 42 seconds.

The attempt is still to become official, but it is likely he will be recognised as the only human in history to play the bagpipes for over 24 hours.

Rikki repeated a medley of 208 songs six times and raised money for a number of charities in the process.

Speaking at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow, Rikki said he was “really pleased” by the outcome of the “crazy” endurance event.

He said: “I’m really pleased I managed to get through it all. I’m a little bit shattered. It’s crazy.

“I’m actually not as tired as I thought I would be when it came to the end, but my performance towards the finish was a bit ropey by my standards.

“It was a steady progress I would say. It didn’t feel very different from about eight hours right through to 24 hours.

“When I’m holding the pipes, it’s various things that start to ache, like my back and throat muscles, but nothing that a little bit of throat spray can’t fix.

“I actually feel a bit better now I’ve finished and my cheeks are fine, it’s a funny thing but my cheeks don’t ache so bad, it’s really the throat muscles.”

The police controller, from Aberdeen, said caffeine pills, the momentum and support from family and friends had kept him going.

He said: “All the support, my family and friends coming out, it’s been pretty fantastic.

“Everyone has been so supportive, my mum, my dad and my brothers and my fiancee, Suzanne.

“If Guinness acknowledge this as a world record in a few months time, then if someone wants to come along and challenge it, it’ll be a bit of an honour.”

In total his family estimate they have raised more than £5,700 for a number of UK charities through the 24-hour pipe-a-thon.

Mum, Maj Evans, 55, who taught Rikki the pipes, said she was “really proud” of him for giving it his all.

She said: “I’m so proud of him, I always knew he was going to do it all the way through from the start until the end.

“The only thing I was worried about was the technology failing and the fact because it was so hot he was sweating into his eyes and he couldn’t see the counter so he had to count in his head for some parts.

“He’ll be after a good rest now, but we’re all very proud of him.”

A recording of the attempt will now be submitted to Guinness, who will determine over the next few weeks if Rikki is to be given the honorary title of World Record Holder.

He said he wanted to complete the challenge at the Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival in memory of famed piper Gordon Duncan.

The festival is the world’s biggest week of piping and traditional music and will run through to Sunday.

It will see 50,000 music fans and 8,000 performers flock to Glasgow from more than 26 different countries to enjoy over 200 events.

Further donations can be made here.