With a goal of raising $15,000 for men’s mental health, Australian Glen Donnely became the world’s first nude violin playing skydiver on his 30th birthday. On August 29, 2017, he set the unofficial record by jumping from 15,000 feet in a tandem jump in nothing but his birthday suit. The event took place over Coffs Harbor in New South Wales, Australia.
According to BBC, Donnely is a classically trained musician who studied at Royal Academy of Music in London. Hoping to raise $1 for every foot of the jump, he played two numbers on the way down, “Happy Birthday” to celebrate his day and “The Lark Ascending” by Vaughan Williams. He had the violin strapped to him in three places to make sure it was a safe jump.
Donnely is an activist to raise awareness for men’s health issues. A professional musician, suffered from body dysmorphic disorder, a condition that causes people to have persistent preoccupation with perceived defects in their appearance. It can cause emotional distress and difficulty functioning in everyday life. The condition even caused him to stop playing with the London Symphony Orchestra in 2013. Since then he has been recovering and helping others learn about the disorder. To educated people about body issues, he started a social media campaign called “Nude Movement”. Money raised will be split between this and two other charities.
In addition to becoming the World’s First Nude Violin Playing Skydiver, Donnely had also hoped to get the Guinness World Record for Highest Musical Performance in Free Fall. Guinness refused to consider his application.