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Over a thousand play along to Springsteen's 'No Surrender' in small Catalan village

Largest crowd of musicians to all perform at once come together in Vilanova del Bellpuig


12 July 2017 12:19 AM


Alan Ruiz Terol

Bruce Springsteen fans know no limit when it comes to showing off their love for The Boss. Over a thousand musicians --1,004 to be precise-- gathered on Saturday July 9 in the tiny Catalan village of Vilanova de Bellpuig to play and sing along to the Bruce Springsteen hit, “No Surrender”.

According to the organizers, the crowd outnumbered those of similar events held in recent years in other European towns. The event promoter, Josep Maria Pons, came up with the idea after watching a Youtube video in which 1,001 people played a Foo Fighters song in the Italian city of Cesena. However, last Saturday’s gathering sets a new record for the largest crowd of musicians playing the same song together.

Bringing over a thousand musicians in one place --including drummers, guitarists, bass and keyboard players, and singers-- is no easy task. Doing it in Vilanova del Bellpuig, a town of only 1,200 inhabitants located more than an hour-and-a-half away from Barcelona, makes it seem nearly impossible.

  • "I thought we would not make it. But the truth is that after the second try it already went perfectly, in my opinion. I’m very, very happy”

    No Surrender Festival promoter, Josep Maria Pons

However, the event was a major success. People came from all over Catalonia, but also from other parts of Spain and even from countries overseas. Musicians started arriving at 7am, with a first rehearsal at 11am. In the afternoon all the instruments were recorded separately and at 7pm everyone played the song together and recorded a music video.

Speaking during the event, Pons was overwhelmed. “After seeing the rehearsals, I can finally say it… I thought we would not make it. But the truth is that after the second try it already went perfectly, in my opinion. I’m very, very happy,” he said.

The organizers, who called the event the No Surrender Festival, said they are not planning to repeat it.

The video of the song will now be uploaded to Youtube and sent to Bruce Springsteen himself. According to the organizers, the artist was aware of the event and was even invited.

Now an anthem chanted in Springsteen’s concerts, “No Surrender” was first included on the 1984 album “Born in the U.S.A.” In 2004, it was used by John Kerry as the theme song of his campaign to become U.S. president, which he lost to George W. Bush. Despite the song’s motto, Kerry never ran again.