News & Politics

Meet the Kensington Couple Who Broke a Guinness Record Attending Concerts

Matthew and Tijan Brown went to an astounding 135 shows in 2023—without leaving the DMV.

Photograph courtesy Matthew and Tijan Brown.

They were about 20 concerts in when they realized they could break a world record.

Matthew and Tijan Brown, who live in Kensington, are now—according to the Guinness Book of World Records—officially the couple who has attended the most concerts in one year. The Browns went to 135 shows in 2023, all of them local.

“Being married 14 years, you gotta keep things spicy,” Tijan Brown laughed. “Historically, we see 10, 20 concerts a year. But with Covid, we had a backlog. And we thought, well, is there a record for this?”

The Browns saw a veritable Who’s Who of the music industry—everyone from Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks to up-and-comers such as the Italian rock band ​​Måneskin, who won the Eurovision contest in 2021. To optimize their numbers, they started the year by attending symphonies, as many acts don’t tour in the winter, Tijan said. “So we had a little bit of culture.”

All in all, the Browns went to 22 different venues across the region, from FedEx Field (for Beyoncé) to the 450-capacity Atlantis. The furthest north they traveled for a show was Baltimore; the furthest south was Wolf Trap—their favorite outdoor venue, Matthew said, thanks to the picnics and fireflies.

Along the way, they befriended staff at the venues; as part of Guinness’s rules, record-seekers must have a signed “witness statement” from a venue manager to confirm they actually attended the concert.

“I think the managers at first were a little bit skeptical as to what we were doing, but they became friends; we were eager to see them, and they were eager to see us,” Tijan said. “I’m a native Washingtonian, so one of the best things about this is that we could participate in this way in our community.”

Their favorites? Queen with Adam Lambert, Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band, Pitbull, and Sam Smith. Their least favorite? They didn’t have one. “Even the ones where the sound crew didn’t quite have the sound dialed in correctly,” Matthew said. “We still just really enjoyed being there.”

Of course, attending that many concerts comes with a price tag; $18,407.24, or $68.17 per ticket, per Guinness’s estimates. So, the couple cut back on international vacations. “Money comes and money goes,” Matthew said. “But 30, 40, 50 years from now, we’ll be talking about all the fun we had.”

As for their 2024 plans, they’ve already got tickets to see John Legend a second time, plus Green Day and Paula Abdul.

Arya Hodjat
Editorial Fellow