David James Young Scores World Record For Most Gigs Attended In A Single Year

20 May 2024 | 3:08 pm | Ellie Robinson

TheMusic.com.au's very own DJY went to an ear-busting 365 shows across 2023.

David James Young

David James Young (Lachlan Callender via Instagram)

Beloved Australian music journalist (and TheMusic.com.au's very own) David James Young has officially been honoured with the Guinness World Record for the most concerts attended in one year.

Young started vying for the title in May of last year, after fellow journalist Jackson Langford let him know the record had been set by an American who attended 86 concerts in 2022. “That felt way too low for a world record,” he commented at the time, noting: “Soon enough, I was being tagged in the article or having it sent to me a few times a day. At first I laughed it off, but then I genuinely wondered what the process would be like. Eventually, after some umming and ahhing, I decided to go for it.”

By the end of 2023, Young had attended an ear-busting 365 live music performances, 257 of which were eligible to be counted for the record. In an Instagram post ranking his 100 favourites, he declared the single best show of 2023 to be Fiddlehead’s August 25 show at the Crowbar in Sydney (Eora), followed closely by Turnstile’s February 16 show at the Enmore Theatre, the show Fontaines D.C. played at the Roundhouse on February 1, and the 2023 Laneway Festival.

“I didn't have time to do descriptions for each show,” Young said, “but they're all on here largely for the same reason: They made me excited to be experiencing the thing that I love the most in real time and in a direct, tangible manner. They invigorated, excited and stirred something within. Whether I was laughing, crying, screaming, dancing or some unholy concoction of all of them, these were the shows that went the distance in their own way.”

Young confirmed he’d been successful in his application over the weekend, having received an email from the Guinness World Records team last Friday (May 17). “I’ve reread it probably two dozen times and it still doesn’t feel real,” he wrote.

In an interview with ABC News Breakfast, Young mentioned that only 257 of the shows he attended were eligible for the record because of the Guinness World Records’ strict guidelines. For example, smaller shows wouldn’t count if the venue couldn’t hold at least 200 punters, nor would music festivals or any show Young attended in a working capacity (such as reviewing).

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Asked about his motivations for the endeavour, Young said: “I think for me, it was about looking at the alternative timeline. Like, ‘Well I could go to this and I could experience this and I could find out what it was like,’ or I could sit at home going, ‘Ah, I should’ve gone to that.’ Because if I go and it’s great, then I’ve had this incredible experience. If I go and it sucks, then at least I remember and I’ve got a good story out of it.”