Britain's biggest band has rocked into the record books belting out a Buddy Holly classic and simultaneously marking the music legend's 77th birthday.

A total of 2,267 guitarists performed the Holly favourite Rave On at a beach in Lyme Regis, Dorset, as part of the successful record attempt.

Jubilant organisers hailed the spectacle as a massive success, estimating that it attracted a crowd of 7,000 music fans, and vowed to make it an annual event.

Loading article content

The extravaganza was carried out with the blessing of the 1950s singing legend's widow, Maria Elena Holly, who sent a message of support from America.

Her rock and roll pioneering husband was born on September 7, 1936, and would have turned 77 today.

He died in a plane crash in February 1959 while on tour.

The Guitars On The Beach event was the brainchild of Lyme Regis local Geoff Baker, former press officer for ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney.

Asked by local traders to dream up something to attract more visitors to the resort he came up with the plan to form Britain's biggest band.

He was also inspired to stage the event after discovering there was no existing record in Britain despite stiff international competition.

The Germans set an initial record in 2002 when 1,802 guitarists came together to play Deep Purple's Smoke On The Water.

That record held until 2009 when 1,857 guitarists played a specially written song together in Luckenbach, Texas.

In the same year in Wroclaw, Poland, a record claim was made for 6,346 guitarists all playing Jimi Hendrix's Hey Joe.

"We set the record for Britain's biggest ever band and beat the American's as well. It was a magnificent effort by everybody," said Mr Baker.

He said that the event attracted people from across the UK and from Europe and North America as well.

"We had a guy from Germany, someone from Canada, a woman from America and obviously all over Britain including Scotland, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Luton and London."

He said that the threat of bad weather meant the event was put forward by 15 minutes which meant some missed out on the record attempt.

As a result after setting the record the whole event was re-enacted to allow those who missed out to take part in the musical extravaganza.

A message of support sent by Buddy Holly's widow Maria, in which she describes the attempt as "a fantastic and unusual event" was read out to the crowd.

Mr Baker said she wrote: "Please accept my gratitude and love and also give my love and good wishes to everyone participating. Continue to Rave On with Buddy Holly."

He added that support for the event was so great it could become an annual late summer fixture in Lyme Regis.

"If there is popular demand for it and you can do it, why not. It seems that the demand is there and it was great fun."