Rockin’ 1000: The World Largest Rock Band

A little over a year ago, 1,000 musicians in Italy banded together as the Rockin’ 1001 and performed Foo Fighters’ song Learn To Fly in a park in Cesena, Italy. The video went viral – 32 million views - and led to Foo Fighters going to Cesena to do a show. This summer, the project, known, now 1,200-strong and including over 1000 drummers, guitarists, singers, keyboardists, string and 30 bagpipe players, did a second show at Cesena's Orogel Stadium, performing a set of rock classics to a crowd of 14,000. The highlight of the show was an epic rendition David Bowie's Rebel Rebel, and the video is making tsunami waves worldwide.

Founder Fabio Zaffagnini believes the Rockin’ 1000 concert is a symbol of how music can bring the world together – a transformative revolution. The project started 2 years ago with his dream of starting a literally massive band that would cover the history of rock ‘n’ roll. In 2015 his dream became a reality. Along with the Italian recruits, musicians from Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand and points further traveled to Italy to join the project. Each musician was provided with their own space along with the necessary tutorials, sheet music, and of course headphones, rehearsing collectively morning until evening for three days. Having come at their own expense, they were provided with food and lodgings, with a team of 200 volunteers helping take care of their needs. Most of the Rockin’ 1000 were just normal gigging musicians who had never played in the kind of arena usually reserved for rock stars.

The first concert was organized as a video recording without the musicians being amplified, but the second, being for the public, was indeed amplified to terrific effect – as you can see in the video below. Currently, Zaffagnini is producing on an album of this last concert, slated for September release, as well as a DVD of the entire show. Also in the works is a documentary telling the story of the project from its inception. Beyond that, Zaffagnini says they’d love to perform outside of Italy. “We would love to add musicians and bring music to as many places as possible.” Judging by the concert video and audience reaction, that dream seems very likely to manifest as well.