The Phare circus show which took place during the Covid-19 pandemic on March 7, 2021, lasted 24 hours, 10 minutes, and 30 seconds. It included 90 professionals performing acts and 31 performances from Phare’s 20-year circus history, such as acrobatics, magic, dance, theatre, clowning, music, contortion, singing puppetry, breakdancing, live painting, unicycling, fire acts, and more.

The event was watched by live audiences in shifts, with more than a thousand taking turns.

The conditions for the circus show were strict, such as performers must be paid professionals, acts must not be repeated, and independent witnesses must be present throughout. The performers took to the stage in shifts, grabbing short naps between acts.

The record attempt was sponsored by local mobile provider Cellcard and run in partnership with sister organisation Phare, The Cambodian Circus.

Almost a million people watched online and the event raised more than $150,000, helping the organisation survive the 50% drop in income it faced because of the pandemic.

Now, after more than one year, Guinness has confirmed that Phare won the world record and is “Officially Amazing”.

The announcement was made during a live multimedia event attended by the Ministry of Culture and other VIP guests including Foreign Ambassadors on Thursday, November 17.

This is the sixth record set by a Cambodian organisation in history. Other world records in the kingdom include the longest woven scarf, the biggest sticky bun, the longest alphabet in the world, and – of course – the largest religious structure at Angkor Wat.

“This is a special day for us. Many people told us that the 24-hour circus provided inspiration at a dark time.

“We still face huge financial challenges at a time when tourism hasn’t bounced fully back and the world economy is struggling, but hopefully this record will grab the attention of people who might donate to us to help us keep going,” said Khuon Det, co-founder of Phare Ponleu Selpak.

Heng Dara, a Phare performer, acrobat, and clown said, “it was an incredible experience to be on stage knowing that the whole world was watching Cambodia set this record”.

“I was sharing the stage with my older brother and all the other circus performers. I grew up with. I want them to continue performing for children like me. That’s why I urge everyone to donate to keep our school and circus alive,” he added.

To celebrate the record, Battambang-based Phare Ponleu Selpak is organising an online fundraiser on December 11. It will be an hour-long musical circus adventure and multimedia event open to all.

According to