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We did it! The Guinness Record: 374 People Inside a Bubble

We did it! The Guinness Record: 374 People Inside a Bubble

I want to tell you about the most important record for me: 374 people inside a soap bubble. My little dream has come true.
It came to me a long time ago, when I started doing bubble shows.
What does any aspiring bubble show artist (Shaping the Bubble Show Artist's Image) bubbles do? He/she watches the video shows with professional artists, including Fan Yang's. What he did, inspired me for many years. First, I thought that the record number of people inside a soap bubble was just a fantasy. I was wondering how this could be accomplished?

The information on the number of people inside a bubble was constantly changing, then new records began to appear. For me, such a record was still something out of this planet.
I was very lucky that there is such a person as my husband Alexei who's always there for me. It was he who helped me to fulfill my dream. He convinced me that we could and should do it.
A little bit about the history of the record
The first record for the largest number of people inside a soap bubble was registered on April 7, 2004. Fan Young put the world's first The Most People Inside a Bubble record. Then, in California there were only 8 people inside the bubble. This was enough to get into the Guinness Book of Records.
On May 18, 2005 in New York, he broke his own record his bubble had already 18 people.
2006 was a prolific year for similar records. First, on March 30, 2006 the British bubble show artist, Sam Heath, beat Fan Young's record with the result of 19 people.

On May 25, in Madrid, Fan Yang took the lead with the result of 22 people.
In October 2006, the bubbler traveled to Paris and put 24 volunteers into his bubble.
In September 2006, another Briton, James Percy, put 25 volunteers inside the bubble. On December 16, Ana Yang, the wife of Fan Yang, in Beijing exceeded her counterpart's record exactly by one person.

In 2007, Fan Young conquered New York yet again with a new record – 42 people inside the soap bubble.
50 people inside the soap bubble – November 2007 record from Sam Heath.
94 people got inside the soap bubble of the artist nicknamed Mac Donaldi. This bubble artist from Algeria set the record in September 2009 in Germany.

After a rather long pause, in 2012 Fan Yang returned with a new record – 181 people inside the bubble. In Vancouver, the artist created the bubble of 50 meters in length and 4 meters in height.
The next record came from Poland. There, Yakub Bochenek, on December 2, 2012 put 193 people inside his soap bubble.

Matei Kodesh from Czech Republic continued the work of his counterparts. First, in 2014 he placed 214 volunteers inside his bubble, and then, in January 2017 he broke his record with the result of 275 people. Along with the people inside the special soap screen there was also a SUV Škoda Kodiaq. The record was set after 10 attempts.
In the photos, you can see that one and the same record was set with the help of different bubbles. A bubble can consist of many sections, or maybe of a single film. This confusion made us seriously think about the design during the preparation for our record.

Of course, a sectional bubble is much easier to make, but here is the question: "Do we really want to get into the Guinness Book of Records no matter how?". We decided that we will play fair.
Preparations for the record
The preparation process was long. For about a year we thought about how to set a record. To begin with, we put a modest record – the tallest soap bubble.
We blew a 10-meter bubble. You can say that it was a rehearsal. There were no special problems with that record, everything went smoothly.
As for the second record for the largest number of people inside the bubble, there were some problems. And, mostly, they related to the rules set by the Guinness Book of Records.

They include a lot of technical conditions that must be met. Otherwise, the record is simply not ruled valid. The list of Guinness includes requirements for the premises, the methodology for participants account, the restrictions on the participants' height, the backdrop for the bubble, the procedure of shooting photos and videos, the availability of competent witnesses and a special fenced area, the presence of media… And a lot of other small things that must be provided in advance.

Of course, to meet all the requirements and do everything at the highest level, it took a whole team of people who were not indifferent to my bubble activities.
We reviewed all previous records and saw that the designs of all record holders were made of straight parts and had the shape of a rectangle. It seemed strange to us, because a bubble is round by nature. So, we decided to take a chance and for the first time in the history of bubbles made a round 10-meter hoop.

At first we assumed that it would be a circle consisting of multiple straight sections, but one of our contractors undertook to make rounded sections for the hoop. After everything had turned out, they decided to make a completely round tray made of a set of rounded sections. This technology is complex, it could not be implemented without modern electronics and lasers.
After we had found the site, the rehearsals began. The weight of the hoop is the most important requirement for the design, because I am a girl and I cannot handle heavy weights. At the same time, the 10-meter hoop should have a certain strength reserve so that it doesn't break and fall on a crowd of people.

The first hoop broke right after it was first lifted. We, of course, were upset and had to start it all over again. After 2 weeks we received a new structure, which suited us just fine.
Then, there were problems with the detergent: the bubble just did not stand still. For ourselves, we set the bar for the lifetime of the film of 7 seconds. This is quite a lot for a bubble with a diameter of 10 meters. But the stakes were too high, and we had to be confident in our bubble. I did not want to be disgraced before the media people and the crowd of people who came to see such a big bubble.
Later it turned out that the issue was not in the detergent but in the structure itself. We used the same detergent formula that I normally use for my bubble shows. As for the structure design we had to conduct tons of tests and spend numerous days crawling around it. Finally, the bubble began to stand the way we wanted it.

There was even a period of 5 days before the record attempt, when we were ready to abandon this venture. Too many things did not work out as planned. The main source of anxiety was, of course, the bubble and the people. The bubble should be guaranteed to stand in its place, and the people should be in the right number.
We had to work hard to make sure that enough people arrived. It may seem that if you address the volunteers in social networks, they will rush to look at the weird 10-meter bubble. Of course, this is far from the reality.

  • Firstly, we did not even have anything to show, because we had not done anything yet. There was no photos or videos. We just said that that was a world record, that the bubble would stand 10 meters tall and 350 people will fit inside it.
  • Secondly, it is well known that the Russian people are notoriously inactive. Even if the event is free of charge, fun and beautiful, the people are still difficult to persuade to come.
  • Thirdly, March 2 was Thursday, a weekday. However, there were no other days available.
  • Fourthly, that was a new format for an event, especially in Omsk. It's neither a concert nor an exhibition, it's more like a massive flash mob.
We were helped by several radio stations and they spread the word about us in the news, plus we paid for radio commercials and performed a few free bubble shows from Lyudmila on our holiday. We paid for 6 news releases on the major regional TV channel. That was the news flashes that most people watch. In total, the advertising set us back 80,000 rubles. We had expected more from the advertising campaign, but no matter what, the world record was set and that is the main thing.

During the record attempt, there was a draw for five 1000-ruble children's fun center certificates, the dance class subscription, the tickets for the concert of the Spleen and KDK
You have to understand that such a crowd of people was practically uncontrollable. The hall was huge, the area under control was large. The participants of the record attempt tended to escape to the restroom right from the circle, the journalists tried to sneak where even the organizers were not allowed to go. All the arrangements, rules and fences did not mean anything to them. But we are still grateful to everyone who showed up.
People said that it was so stuffy and hot in the circle. They were to stand there for more than an hour and until they were counted and intermediate records were set.
The firsthand story from Alexei Darin
When there were about 200 participants in the circle, it seemed to me that even 300 people would not fit in the circle. I was terrified by that fact. I started to shake. Again and again I walked around the tray and realized that my calculations regarding the capacity of the site were erroneous. I approached the show host and with frantic eyes explained that we needed to stand much closer to each other to figure out how many more people would join in.

The command sounded: everyone should stand closer to the center. The people were clearly not ready to come close to each other with their bodies. I understood them, but I also needed to be understood. If the circle does not receive 300 people, then we all had gathered in vain. After that, I insisted on the first attempt of 276 people, since Matej's unconfirmed record was 275 people.
A little bit about Matej's record
I feel like this is another good story from the world of bubbles. On January 18, 2017, the Czech bubbler, Matej Kodes, placed 275 people inside the bubble along with Škoda Kodiaq car. In February, during the preparation for our record attempt, I accidentally saw a video about it.
Most of all I remember the moment when Matej with frightened eyes falls to the floor to raise the frame for the bubble. I feared we could screw up in a similar way with the structure design and fall on the floor either.
Matej, of course, did well. Something happens to him on regular basis. But Skoda removed this video from their channel. What could be the reason, I do not know. I found that video on another channel, downloaded it and uploaded it to my channel, so that no one could delete it. In the world of bubbles there are so few good photos and videos.

Well then. I stood looking like that and I understood that 300 people would not fit. Do you remember this thing from childhood, when someone says to you: "I have a million friends!" And you answer: "And I have as many friends and one more!" Same with the record, the same number of people plus one more. We lifted the bubble for 276 people, I finally exhaled with relief.

Then we raised 300 people, and then 374. Nobody knows why we stopped on this figure. Probably because everyone was exhausted, the registration procedure lasted for 1h 30 min, and the briefing was for another 40 minutes. There were more volunteers standing at the entrance, and there was still some room inside the bubble, too. Ok, we'll catch up next time.

Besides, we had big problems when people went into the bubble with their bags and backpacks. We had not foreseen this. There were a lot of students, who came right after studies. Some participants had such big backpacks that it was possible to put 1-2 more people inside the bubble instead of that one. And even ladies' purses occupy useful space inside the tray.
I had to urgently persuade people to hand over their bags to me for safekeeping. 90% of people reacted to this with understanding, the others did not go for persuasion. They could be understood. As a result, a whole mountain of other people's bags accumulated on the floor near the registration desk.

Even a bigger shock occurred when those bags had to be given back. There was a risk that someone would steal someone else's bag. The crowd rushed from the bubble to fetch the bags and the chaos began. I had to grab a microphone and urgently set the order of issuing bags. The people took their bags, approached us, listed what they had in their bags, then opened them and showed the contents.

As a result, the record attempt turned into a mass inspection of bags. It looked like an apocalypse.
Thanks for the help in setting the record!
There were people who really helped us to set the record. They are my friends from the entertainment industry, Vitaly Dolya and Vladimir Shulgin. We had a wonderful team of volunteers, 10 girls who bravely stood up to the onslaught of the crowds and events. We were helped by strangers from social networks, radio and television channels. The girls from the dance school rocked at the end of the event. Thank you all for your support and help!
Undoubtedly, for me this was an extremely significant event. The record of 374 people inside the bubble added me self-confidence. It made me believe that everything is possible.
My dream has come true; it even feels a little sad.


This record has a page on the Guinness website http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/most-people-inside-a-soap-bubble. You can always see who is the current record holder.

There is a misconception that I get money from the Guinness Book of Records. This is not true. Nobody pays anything for the records. Quite the contrary, the Guinness Book charges money for registration. For the arrival of a representative from London and the registration on the spot they ask 7,500 euros. We have so far managed to arrange a remote option.

The Guinness Book is a very large commercial organization, they have offices in London, New York, China, Japan, in the United Arab Emirates and the representatives in many other countries such as Australia, India, Latin America and Germany. There are no representatives in Russia. The London office employs about 70 people.

Two years ago, the prices were much lower. And we wanted to invite a representative to Omsk. In their return letter they politely refused, saying that they would not go to Siberia.

I hope my record will go down in history. In the meantime, you can watch a video about how it happened. Thanks again for all the help and support!
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