Monday, March 05, 2007
Flying into the record books
Cruising at an altitude of 35,000 feet and the inflight entertainment onboard the Boeing 757 was of a very different kind. It was loud, bright … and live.
In 15F I had a great view of not a flight attendant standing in the aisle showing us how to inflate a life jacket, but Jay Kay from Jamiroquai belting out "feels just like it should" into a microphone.
Having taken out the first three rows of economy seats by the exit, there was just enough space for the rest of the band -- a full drum kit, keyboard, two guitarists and a percussionist. The three backing singers unfortunately had to stand behind the curtain in business class.
It was strange. One hundred and fifty-seven of us were on a plane but it didn’t feel like it at all.
The overhead cabins remained open with bright flashing disco lights and two loud speakers were wedged between the floor and the ceiling.
The only time we were reminded that we were on a plane flying from Munich to Athens was a bit of turbulence in between Jay Kay’s signature moves!
With chair dancing in full swing and photographers taking it in turn to crawl down the aisle to the front, the world record for the "highest gig ever" was broken -– beating the piano and flute performance on top of Mount Everest.
The Sony Ericsson "gig in the sky" event also broke five more world records: The fastest ever gig; the highest concert recording, the fastest concert recording, the highest concert on an aircraft and fastest concert on an aircraft.
The Guiness Book of Records adjudicator was onboard who confirmed the six new records, presenting the certificate to Jamiroquai.
The only thing left to do was to land and celebrate. And we did -- as soon as we stepped off the plane.
As we walked up the jetway, we approached a blanket of smoke.
Boarding gate A38 of Athens International Airport had been converted into a concert venue with a free bar and food where 500 competition winners awaited Jamiroquai to hit the stage.
It was an exciting event to be a part of, experiencing a one-off gig in the sky. And no need to scoff at the unnecessary carbon emissions emitted to break a record -- the carbon footprints were offset for every single passenger onboard, making it the first carbon-neutral world record. Oh … so that makes it seven world records, not six!
-- From Ayesha Durgahee, CNN Associate Producer
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