Jay Rawlings’ World Record attempt at Glastonbury Festival 2024

Otto of Otto & Astrid performing at Glastonbury 2024. Photo: Charles Gervais, Both Hemispheres Photography.

Jay Rawling is attempting to reclaim his world record in the Circus Big Top. The challenge is to balance the most toilet rolls on his head – the current world record is 101. Jay plans to smash the record with a staggering 151 toilet rolls.

All the rolls must be balanced on a single roll on Jay’s head for a full 30 seconds for the record to count. If even one roll falls off, the record won’t count. High stakes – especially the clean-up mission if 151 toilet rolls land on the Circus Big Top stage and scatter. Would there be time to gather them all for another attempt, I wonder to myself. This could be a one-and-done attempt at the record. The stakes, then, are high.

Jay has to get the toilet rolls on his head himself too. He lifts the 150 rolls, piled on a flat board, onto his head before picking up the final roll and manages to quickly raise the board, place the final roll on his head and replace board of rolls on top of it. He finds his balance, lets go and the count is on.

The tension in the Big Top is palpable as Jay keeps the rolls steady, and, with audience support, he makes it halfway before we count him down from ten to one – and he’s done it. He sends the rolls to the ground (and they scatter as he fist bumps the air)- the proud owner a new world record to his name.

‘I’ve never seen someone break a world record before,’ I hear someone nearby say as the rolls are distributed to the audience – balancing toilet rolls at a festival does seem appropriate. I don’t think I’ve seen one before either. That’s Glastonbury.

Jay Rawlings’ World Record attempt took place on Thursday 27 June in the Circus Big Top at Glastonbury Festival 2024, running from 26 to 30 June