London man reclaims record for world’s highest gig

Waking off-stage after a successful performance you may remark upon feeling “on top of the world”, but for one London-based musician, that natural high came from an all together different source last week.

In order to regain his world record for the world’s highest gig, 40-year-old guitarist, Oz Bayldon, climbed to the summit of Mera Peak in the Himalayas to perform a 40-minute set to 14 people on Wednesday at an astonishing altitude of 21,825ft (6,654m).

Mr Bayldon couldn’t rely on a tour bus to get him to the venue and had to endure a gruelling two-week trek across the Earth’s highest mountain range to reclaim a record he had originally set in 2005.

With the help of eight follower musical mountaineers, the equipment required to stage the event was carried to the mountain’s top including three guitars, an iPad and a small battery-powered speaker.

Tickets were available at £10 each, although turn out was limited due to the poor transport links to and from the show. The audience numbers were certainly less than Mr Bayldon is used to, being the manager at The White Lion in Streatham, south London. His high altitude efforts did however raise £35,000 for his charity, Music4Children, that helps orphans in Nepal.

Speaking after his impressive tour to central Asia, the record breaker admitted the trek was “the hardest thing I’d ever done. I feel like a 90-year-old with asthma crawling up a steep hill”.

He has no regrets however: “I didn’t hesitate to plan this trip when I heard my record had been beaten.

“I see this as my title and there was no way I was going to let someone else have it that easily.

“I don’t want to think about it now but if I have to do it all again, I will.”

While there was no room in the group’s backpacks for staging, lights or a smoke machine, the performance did benefit from the unique and beautiful backdrop Mount Everest. For those seeking to better Mr Bayldon’s efforts, busking the world’s highest peak could be one of settling the record once and for all.

What do you think of Oz Bayldon’s efforts? Do you know of any other feats of extreme musical endurance?

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