Half a million dominoes came down at an atmospheric German Domino Record 2017 event under the motto: “World of Art – Experiencing Domino-Entertainment”. The showcase, which took place in front of a bustling crowd in Nidda, Germany, was the largest chain reaction in the world this year. After two years, the series continued in what would prove to be the most technically elaborate show the team at Sinners Domino Entertainment had ever produced. More than 80 spotlights and, for the first time, pyrotechnic effects staged the chain reaction for a spectacular record show.
Despite the presence of over 700 spectators, you could have heard a pin drop for a moment. It was at 9.50pm that the event’s main sponsor, Rainer Lapp, brought the first domino down. Only a few seconds later, the first world record of the night had been achieved: 80,432 toppled in the ‘Largest Domino Circle’ category, the bar of which had been set in America only the previous year with 76,017 dominoes. Pyro-fountains and streamers shoot into the air. But one effect is misaligned and knocks another: The audience holds its breath fearing a premature end to the record show. Scheduled intervention and quick thinking, however, rectifies the issue within a few minutes and the continuation of the chain reaction is salvaged. Shortly after, the second world record is broken, namely that of the ‘largest 2D domino pyramid’, reaching a height of 3.024 metres and incorporating 8,001 dominoes. This was the first time such a structure had reached a height of over 3 metres; the previous record from 2015 stood at 2.88 metres, made up of 7,260 dominoes. Under hail rain, records referee Olaf Kuchenbecker from the German Records Institute and notary Richard Trunk then confirmed compliance with all regulations, making the new record official.
Pyrotechnic effects spectacularly accompanied the dominoes, such as at the re-creation of Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Liisa’ on a 3.5-meter-high screen and at the fall of a three-metre-tall, 30,000 domino Chinese temple. During the planning stage, the use of newly-developed software integrated into a computer programme had proved instrumental in the 3D-mapping, piece by piece, of the domino structure. The ‘Builders Challenge’ was also a resounding success: Justin Kühn closes a connecting line in the middle of a domino labyrinth under high pressure and clears the way for a wall of dominoes to fall behind him. Mission accomplished, Kühn then accidentally knocks about 30 dominoes with his foot when leaving the labyrinth, but with some fortune, they fall in the right direction.
Patrick Sinner, director of Sinners Domino Entertainment, said of the show: “What happened this evening in Nidda can hardly be described. A packed-out hall provided a whirlwind atmosphere which saw two world records broken and all dominoes falling as planned. No script-writer could have thought up something so dramatic”.
CDU General Secretary Dr. Peter Tauber, Nidda’s Mayor Hans-Peter Seum (independent), and his Kefenrod counterpart Rudolf Kessler (CDU) commend and congratulate the work of the 18-member team for a delicate, yet dramatic and suspenseful show of high entertainment value.
Sinners Domino Entertainment would like to thank the sponsors REWE Rainer Lapp, Goliath Toys GmbH, construction company Wolfgang Sperling & Partner, butchery and catering service Heiko Nagel, and the storage operations company Hans Gerlach. Further thanks go to the company Deko Studio Schwab and the bakery Naumann for their support.
With half a million dominoes, Sinners Domino Entertainment is hosting the German Domino Record in Bündigen for the first time under the motto “The Year in Domino - A Festival of Colours”. For 14 days, a fifteen-member team is working on what is currently Germany’s biggest domino show. At 22.00 hours, Rainer Lapp, representative of the main sponsor REWE, is visibly nervous for the show’s commencement. Understandably so, for one single error could make achieving the record impossible.
The initiated domino chain directly leads to a spectacular record attempt: a four-colour domino circle measuring almost seven metres in diameter forms the centre of the gigantic chain reaction that stretches across the entirety of the 1,200 square metre Wilhelm Lückert Hall in Bündigen. The circle portrays the four main colours of each season, each displayed individually in their respective colour palettes. The spring is represented by green, the summer yellow, the autumn red and the winter predominantly by white. This first world record is broken when a polystyrene ball falls into the middle of the circle to trigger the collapse of the 54,321 dominoes in just five seconds; the audience is immediately enthused.
As a special feature, each section sees the dominoes having to bypass new obstacles. For example, in the summer motif, there are 10,489 dominoes in a pool of water. The project is successful with the dominoes falling in slow motion, nevertheless setting the second record of the evening.
Justin Kühn, however, who has been a builder in Sinner’s team since 2012, is less fortunate with the autumnal motif. A swivelling wooden beam fails to connect with its intended target and leaves 15,000 dominoes untoppled. For a moment, the German Domino Record seemed in jeopardy, especially since shortly before the start of the chain reaction a disaster had almost occurred; Santa Claus in the winter-themed construction falls too early through its mock-fireplace and sets 5,000 dominoes in motion prematurely. Only a makeshift repair ensures the falling track reaches the next image.
The other motifs, however, are resounding successes. In the winter-themed construction, two children duel in a snowball fight, butterflies and hearts spread spring fever in the spring-themed construction, and the decisive goal is scored in a stadium hosting the World Cup for the summer. When the 45-square foot final image of the Sydney Opera House made of 81,810 dominoes falls, Olaf Kuchenbecker, the record judge from the German Records Institute, immediately begins counting the remaining dominoes. Together with notary Kurt Weckesser from Ortenberg, the number of dominoes built in preparation had already been determined. After an hour came the redeeming news: 472,209 dominoes have fallen and broken the previous record of 435,747 dominoes which had been held by a team in Bavaria.
Incidentally, the third world record was achieved up on the 12th August during construction: 1,055 dominoes were stacked vertically on top of each other. The pile had to stand for over one hour according to the regulations; in fact, it ended up standing for one hour, twenty-six minutes and eleven seconds.
After a year’s preparation, the dominoes finally started falling at the Wilhelm-Lückert Hall in Bündigen on Friday evening – with success! Under the motto “Enjoy Your Life – The Domino Record 2013”, the twelve-member team from Sinners Domino Entertainment designed an exciting domino course to showcase the most beautiful facets of life, which included two world record attempts.
Early on Friday afternoon, there is already reason to celebrate as 2,000 mini dominoes, roughly the same size as fingernails, all topple as planned to break the first world record of the showcase, beating the previous record of 1,585 dominoes. For good reason, the audience is excluded from this spectacle, for the slightest draft would have been enough to send the whole chain tumbling over prematurely. Other than a television crew from England’s BBC, who were filming for series on Guinness World Record attempts around the world called ‘Officially Amazing’, only the official record judge Eva Norroy had access to the spectacle. Together with notary Kurt Weckesser from Ortenberg, she confirms the validity of the world record for the British Record Office, having documented the exact number of dominoes toppled.
At 21.43, Wolfgang Naumann, managing director of sponsor Naumann Bakery, gets the second spectacle underway in front of an audience numbering 500. A pendulum attached to the hall’s ceiling swings into the centre of the world’s largest ‘domino spiral’ to trigger the second world record attempt of the evening, setting the entire course in motion, with a total of 275,000 dominoes. It takes just 30 seconds for the spiral to fall in its entirety. Eva Norroy confirmed that exactly 55,555 dominoes fell in the spiral, breaking the previous record of 50,500 from a team from Baden-Württemberg. Sinners Domino Entertainment reclaimed their title after having lost it at the end of March.
Divided into five different sections, namely ‘Enjoying Travelling’, ‘Enjoying Celebration’, ‘Enjoying Entertainment’, ‘Enjoying Sports’ and ‘Enjoying Nature’, the chain reaction was accompanied by playful effects and transitions, astonishing the audience. For example, a ball was shot into a goal and a model aeroplane flew over an entire section of dominoes. Justin Kühn, one of the team’s constructionists, also masterminded a special challenge whereby a domino bridge was built over a pool of water within 30 seconds, from which he pulled out the required stones. At the end of the event, a sunset domino panorama dazzled with more than 20 colours and 25,000 individual domino pieces.
In order to rectify the failed record attempt in January for ‘Largest Domino Wall’, Patrick Sinner’s team began working once again this week. For the first time, support was also drawn in from Austria. Bustling crowds of attendees made their presence felt as they entered the Wilhelm-Lückert Halll in Bündigen on Friday evening. Remember, the world’s longest domino wall had completely collapsed upon the audience’s entrance half a year ago. This year, however, with the support of regional energy provider OVAG, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, the event was brought to Bündigen in a space three times the size of the previous location in Kefenrod, allowing for the increased demand from visitors and the media to be met with a grandstand.
Under the motto “Falling into the Past – A Journey Around the World”, well-known historical events and symbols from various countries around the world are represented in a domino construction of 128,000 individual pieces. The Yin & Yang symbol was on display alongside a depiction of America’s ‘Black Friday’ and the fall of the Berlin Wall uniting Germany. The Colosseum in Rome was also modelled, as well as South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela and Arctic landscapes.
Notary Richard Trunk from Bündigen oversaw the world record attempts for the Guinness Book of World Records during the chain reaction’s toppling. A 30-metre-long and one-metre-tall construction brought the audience the ‘Longest Domino Wall’ and 13,486 dominoes created the ‘Largest 3D Domino Pyramid’. After Mrs. Anne Naumann from OVAG gave the impetus, it became clear that both records could well be broken on the same day. For a split second, however, the pattering of exactly 31,405 dominoes came to a standstill, fortunately continuing its way again and demonstrating the potentially catastrophic consequences of even minor errors. For example, only 48 hours before the show’s commencement, the ‘Largest 3D Pyramid’ structure had come crashing down prematurely. Only the strength of nerve of Julian Kaufmann, one of the constructionists from Sinner’s ten-member team, could manage to reconstruct the pyramid before the first guest entered the door on the night.
The next record attempt is scheduled for the summer of 2013.
Patrick Sinner’s team started the new year with a double world record attempt for the Guinness Book of World Records. For four days, the multipurpose hall in Kefenrod saw the building of both a 30-metre-long attempt at the ‘Longest Domino Wall’ and a 30,000 piece ‘Largest Domino Spiral’. Under the supervision of official notary Richard Trunk from Bündigen, and in front of over 400 spectators, Friday evening was the chosen time to try and break both records. The task is challenging, for each and every domino has to fall properly in accordance with international regulations; building the structure alone is not enough.
Only a short time after guests were welcomed into the hall, expressions of shock on the faces of the attendees said everything; the 30-metre-long and one-metre-high domino wall had come crashing down prematurely. The wall’s collapse did not occur singularly and thus failed to comply with the necessary regulations to break the world record, previously standing at 27 metres. “We assume that the sound from one of the speakers caused the wall to collapse. This was aided by the heat coming off the headlights. One can clearly see here that domino structures are indeed as frail and vulnerable as one might typically imagine”, said Patrick Sinner following the event.
The second world record attempt, however, for the ‘Largest Domino Spiral’, was fortunately unaffected by this hiccup. When notary Richard Trunk felled the first domino on his pedestal, the tension in the hall was palpable; would at least one record attempt work? After 10 minutes and exactly 30,000 toppled dominoes, a new world record was indeed broken. The previous record had been held by Max Poser in Berlin, a record from 2009 consisting of 28,800 dominoes.
The relief felt by both members of the construction team and the audience, naturally, was huge. “We have put all of our experience into these two record attempts, and are relieved that at least one of them came off as planned. The atmosphere here was incredibly exciting, and has created great enjoyment for everyone in attendance”, said Christian Bernges, a constructionist in Sinner’s team, following the successful world record attempt.
The event was covered by the following media outlets: HR1, HR3, HR4, FFH, Hessischer Rundfunk, magazine ‘Maintower’, Rhein-Main-TV, and the press agencies DPA and DAPD, which produce more than 100 articles daily in their newspapers and websites. The record attempt was even acknowledged by some members of the international press.
With 49, 614 out of a total of 50,000 dominoes falling in a chain reaction, Patrick Sinner and his team not only broke their own personal record of 38, 642 dominoes set in May, but also created the third largest chain reaction in Germany to date. ‘Dominoes Making TV’ was the appropriate motto this time, for the themes incorporated revolved around popular TV shows.
Even classics such as ‘Dick and Doof’ and Rudi Carell’s ‘Ongoing Band’ were included in the domino showcase of the German TV landscape on the floor of the multi-purpose hall in Kefenrod.
Willy Brandt’s well-known opening shot for German colour television was also staged with dominoes, marking one of the most significant moments in German TV history. To this end, domino constructionist Christian Bernges, like Brandt 44 years ago, pressed on a buzzer, which was mounted in a lectern, to switch the event’s video recording from black-and-white back into colour.
When the dominoes reached depictions of modern German television, the pieces earned the maximum sum of one million euros from the popular quiz show ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ and embodied the logos of the Raab productions ‘TV Total’ and ‘Schlag den Raab’. The national TV-Experiment for ‘Where is Sven?’ was additionally incorporated into the reaction, which had caused a national media stir in the summer of 2010.
The grand finale consisted of 14 domino towers, whose debris, once fallen, formed the word ‘TV’. At the same time, Tristan Betz, owner of the technology partner ‘Radio Betz’ lit a pyrotechnic spray fountain that show in dramatic style for the spectators, numbering over 200.
Exactly 42,800 dominoes were waiting to be set off in their course on Friday evening by Walter Betz, representative of partner ‘Radio Betz’. Under the motto ‘In a Second around the World’, different motifs from the digital world were depicted in domino-form, having been set up over a four-day period. “The show’s theme is in reference to the ever-easier and faster means of contacting other people from across the world within seconds; today, emails and social networks make this almost universally accessible”, said Patrick Sinner of the project’s conception. Sinner designed and constructed the individual domino motifs together with five other domino constructionists.
Examples of included domino depictions were the logos of internet giants such as Google, eBay, Facebook and YouTube, as well as CDs and USB sticks and the computer game ‘A City of Dominoes’. Another highlight of the chain reaction was the ‘Builders’ Challenge’ in which the constructionists Christian Bernges and Julian Kaufmann built a 64-centimetre domino line on top of another domino wall in only 90 seconds as the chain reaction crept ever-closer.
The pair completed their challenge successfully, but the chain reaction came to a temporary halt en route to the structure. “In order not to endanger the further progression of the chain reaction, safety measures are always in place for such occurrences”, explained Patrick Sinner regarding the connections between individual domino features. The chain reaction ended spectacularly with a silver bauble cannon’s eruption, installed by a team of event technicians from Radio Betz.
Within five minutes, a total of 38,642 of the 42,800 dominoes set up by the team had been toppled, marking a new regional record, previously standing at 37,014 dominoes.
Sinner envisages a further series of thematically-oriented domino events going forward. For the first time, such an event, accompanied by a thematic motto, was recorded for publication on the internet. According to Sinner, this should make future projects more interesting for spectators and aid accessibility of such showcases to wider audiences.
A continuation of the project is already planned for late summer.