Yoko Ono’s Human Peace Sign Fails to Break World Record

It fell short by about 3,800 people.

Yoko Ono's attempt at the largest peace sign formed with humans.
Photo via Pitchfork.

Musician and artist Yoko Ono aimed to set a world record for number of humans forming a peace sign in New York’s Central Park Tuesday morning, but the effort has reportedly fallen flat. The event was organized to honor what would have been the 75th birthday of her late husband, Beatles’ frontman John Lennon, on October 9.

The largest peace sign ever, at 5,814 people, was formed in 2009 at a festival in Ithaca, New York. That gathering was organized by high school sophomore and peace activist Trevor Dougherty, according to the World Record Academy, which adds that the previous record was 2,500.

That suggests that the 2,000 or so who showed up at the East Meadow yesterday, according to various reports, put Ono’s well-intentioned effort at about third-highest. Ono asked those in attendance to support a partner in the effort, the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, a mobile recording studio that allows students to create musical and video projects.

On Friday, Ono is headed to Reykjavik, Iceland, for an annual event at the Imagine Peace Tower, a tower of light that “emanates wisdom, healing and joy,” and was inaugurated by the artist in 2007. She visits each year on Lennon’s birthday.

Apparently her renewed visibility as a result of her recent retrospective at New York’s Museum of Modern Art didn’t quite suffice to draw enough bodies to support her spectacle for peace. That’s also despite performances by musicians including the Kinks’ Ray Davies.

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