Something remarkable’s happened in the bubble world... 100 of the World’s top soap bubble experts came together for 5 days in September 2018 for ‘Daze 5’ bubble conference hosted by Dr. Zigs bubbles in North Wales. 'A bubble conference' I hear you say? Yes, such a thing actually exists!
It’s at times like this when it feels such an honour to work with bubbles - I’ll be entering my 30thyear of making bubbles in June 2019 so this for me is the perfect celebration!
This event began with a bubble festival including a day of Guinness World Record attempts which I was honoured to co-ordinate, host and even attempt 2 new records myself! I successfully broke my 11th and 12th Guinness World Records, one for the ‘Most Bounces of a Soap Bubble’ (215), and the other for ‘The Most Bubbles Blown with a Single Dip of a Single Wand’ (445), smashing the existing record of 79.
My 10thGuinness World Record was for 'The World’s Largest Bubble' (outdoor) back in 2015, so I was very happy to bring this up to date and add another two records to my name. Guinness World Records are a fantastic organisation to be involved with and I really enjoyed co-ordinating with their team on the day.
I recorded the above interview for Guinness World Records at the end of the day along with a photo-shoot for their new book - we got some awesome shots! Look out for my pic in Guinness’s new record book (coming out in September 2019) and more bubble records!
The video also covers the day’s two mass participation bubble records which took place in the grounds of Caernarfon Castle, organised by Paola Dyboski-Bryant from Dr. Zigs - “The Most People making Giant Bubbles Simultaneously” and the “Most People Making Bubbles with Garland Wands Simultaneously” now set at 318.
As well as being one of the participating bubble makers, I was also in charge of the music for this event. Music has been a passion of mine since I first discovered my singing voice at the age of 4 and some of you may know I worked as a percussionist for 10 years (in a previous incarnation I was known as Samsam Bongo-man!). I have an extensive collection of bubble songs in my collection (secretly I’ve always wanted to be on Desert Island Discs.. check out some of my collection here).
My vision was to open with Strauss’s ‘Blue Danube’ (the music on this video) but when I went to set it up, I discovered that the speakers they’d hired didn’t come with cables to connect to my laptop! No-one could find the right cables, so with time ticking, I grabbed a young guy from the castle staff and we RAN to my van where I had my own PA speakers. Driving around the castle included some pretty tricky one-way navigating and with my heart beating in my chest, I pulled up as close as we could get and walked / ran the speakers into the inner courtyard.
“7, 6, 5,,… “ the countdown had already begun as we hurriedly set the speakers up and plugged cables in but somehow the Bubble Gods smiled down on us and much to my delight, the first notes of the Blue Danube rang out exactly as the mass bubbling began.
A billion bubbles erupted from every corner of the castle.
Oh, the elation. the combined RAPTURE from everyone there,.. it's there captured in the video! Professional bubblers and members of the local community alike.. Bubble euphoria rose above us like the Northern Lights. A Bubble Borealis. It was spiritual. I left the music on shuffle, grabbed my bubble sticks and ran down to dance and join in the bubble rhapsody with my friends.
Celebrations continued long into the evening, and that night, we fell asleep delirious under the Welsh skies.
Back at the bubble conference, my own personal bubble gurus Tom Noddy, Sterling Johnson and Pep Bou performed... and many more Bubbleologists attended, some of whom i'd never met before came together for a sharing of ideas and passions, hosted at Paola Dyboski-Bryant's Dr. Zigs Welsh bubble HQ.
It sparked a new era in bubbling with each bubble artiste bringing their own style, their own flavour of performance skills to share. Workshops on street performing, hand bubbling, mixing solutions, the science of bubbles.. it was all there.
Every evening this eccentric bunch of people hung out together and played! New friendships were created and new connections made. After dinner, we would gather under the autumn moon for advanced bubble play and experimentation.
Even on a normal day the beauty and joy that bubbles inspire take my breath away, but to come together with so many people who share your passion,.. Bubbles have a unique power to bring people together in a state of unity and joy.. I mean, everyone LOVES bubbles! I literally can’t think of anything else that is as UNIVERSALLY loved.