Burper King

A Burp a Day keeps the Doctor AWAY !!
Paul Hunn - King of the Belches

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On June 21st 2011, I will be attending this years legendary "Ruttosound" event in Italy. 
This is a big part of an annual beer festival held in the the village of Reggiolo.
Part of the festival is dedicated to what is known as "Ruttosound", a popular event attended by around 20,000 people.
There is a stage on which numerous burpers of the highest calibre, both male and female, compete for various prizes in categories including loudest, longest, talking and freestyle.
I don't yet know if I'm competing or just simply demonstrating to the adoring Italian public.
After consultation with Stefano Morselli the organiser of the event, I will be welcome to compete in any category. Obviously i cant turn down the opportunity to take on the Italian elite in the Rutto di Potenza (Loudest Burp) category.

With regards to the other three categories Rutto Parlato, (Talking whilst burping without stopping for breath) Rutto Lungo (Longest Burp) and Freestyle (Who Knows????), whilst not claiming to be an expert in these I might just be tempted to have a go for a laugh.


I have been training hard for a couple of weeks now in the run up to Ruttosound, but whilst I have been hindered by a rotten cold and bad sore throat (Typical, Excuses already !, ED), I would expect to perform to my maximum when it counts. I have also done some research into the event in the meantime and I can see that I will have some fairly stiff opposition, these guys look pretty good.


On my trip to Italy, I shall be accompanied by my good friend Simon Chambers, otherwise known as Barrel due to his footballing prowess (And Considerable Girth, ED). We leave Stansted early Tuesday morning for Bologna, where we shall spend some of the day before making our way by train to Reggiolo for the event.
So this is what Happened

Its 5am Tuesday, 21st June 2011, and after a restless night contemplating what might lie ahead its time for Barrel and I to set off for Stansted. We catch our flight no problem and arrive in Bologna ahead of schedule, we then take a taxi to Bologna central which was about 6 km away. Our plan was to spend a while as typical tourists exploring this wonderful town with me letting a few rip as we went about our business. We must have walked many miles in the stifling heat whilst carrying our bags and it was starting to take its toll. We decided to have an early lunch and a couple of beers. This would be my pre match meal as I would not eat again until after the evenings festivities, this is because I keep my stomach as empty as possible when performing.

Now you can’t go to Italy without trying a proper pizza can you? When in Rome, oh no we are actually in Bologna. I was surprised at how difficult it was to find a decent restaurant to sample the aforementioned pizza, but when we did it sure was worth it. After lunch we decided to take a leisurely stroll back to Bologna train station and make our way to Reggiolo where the event was being held. This required us catching two graffiti strewn trains, they seem to like a bit of graffiti in Italy which is a shame, the first to Modena and the second to Gonzaga about a couple of miles from the picturesque village of Reggiolo. Stefano very kindly picked us up from the station and dropped us at our hotel with the instruction that I check in at the event no later than 8.30pm. It was a real relief to get rid of our bags. We went for a quick stroll and whilst there wasn’t a great deal to see it was very pleasant, Barrel and I were just wondering what they had done to deserve 20,000 odd people descending on them for a burping contest. After a visit to the local supermarket, curiously called Gonad, to purchase a few beers we strolled back to the hotel for some shuteye to recharge ready for the evening. Much needed that was, it had been a long day, just time for a shower, to get dressed and a quick beer to calm the nerves and off we go.

Upon arrival at the event. I was instantly recognised by many of the other contestants and audience. I found this amusing as I had never personally met these fellow burpees before, they must have recognised me from my website and various other online sources. Straight away I could tell that the competition was going to be well contested, these guys confirmed what I had found during my research, they were very talented.

After lapping up the unexpected welcome. it was time to check in for the event and participate in a couple of press interviews. The crowd was now building and the sheer scale of the event was starting to dawn on me, I just never imagined this, what an amazing event and so professionally organised. The time had come for the event to start, Stefano, the organiser and compere would firstly remind us all what the event was about, ie raising money for the local oncohematology centre in memory of Marco Ferrari and everybody watched a short film and joined in a thunderous round of applause for Cesare Pasini, a previous Ruttosound competitor who sadly died in a car crash.

After the obituaries each competitor was called on stage one at a time and introduced to the now substantial crowd, after a brief demonstration we each received a warm welcome from the adoring Italian audience.

The first event was the Rutto di Potenza (Loudest burp), each competitor was allowed two attempts to burp as loudly as possible directly into a decibel metre/microphone. I managed a respectable 127db and 123db which on this occasion was only good enough to finish a slightly disappointing 5th. The competition was tough and although only 5th there was not much in it only about 4 decibels so I wasn't far off. The superb Rutt Mysterio was first with 131db.

The next event was Rutto Lungo (Longest burp) Now this was an event that I did not intend entering, but thought I might as well give it a go as I was here and the experience might stand me in good stead in the future. Now this was going to be difficult as I had never even attempted this burping discipline before and just for good measure I was to follow the legendary Rutt Mysterio who currently holds the Guinness World Record in this event at an amazing 1 minute 13 seconds. Up went Rutt and he smashed his record 129.90 seconds, wow that was amazing, how does he do that? the next best was a mere 32.81 seconds. Well done that man. Anyway my turn next, i managed a comparatively measly 15.46 seconds which was good enough for 12th place. Not a bad first effort I suppose it could have been worse.

The third event was Rutto Parlato (Talking), Now i had seen these guys warming up before the event and they were brilliant at this, they must practice hard to reach this level
. The rules of this event are that you must say a sentence without stopping for breath and a panel award points as they see fit. Each contestant gets two attempts at this. I had decided to keep it simple as I don't pretend to be an expert at burp talking, for my first attempt I would say "I am The Burperking from London"  for this I received 33 points.

For my second attempt, I was reliably informed that if I was to say a certain sentence in Italian that I would be guaranteed a noisy but favourable response from the crowd. I just about pulled it off and received the promised response. It was only afterwards that they told me what I had just said. It made me laugh but I shall not repeat it here as this is a child friendly site, I shall leave it to your imaginations. For this the jury awarded me 39 points, meaning I finished a very respectable 4th in the Rutto Parlato. This category was won by Riccardo Costa. See my 'great' performance below.

The final category was freestyle for which I had absolutely no idea what to expect. It consisted mainly of people trying to sing whilst burping. One guy came out dressed in a white seventies style suit sporting a massive afro wig dancing about to that Barbra Streisland song burping the chorus, very funny. Of course not to be out done up stepped that man again Rutt Mysterio with guitar in hand he whipped the crowd up into a frenzy playing and burping as he went to their delight. He again top scored. I was not going to enter this event but a couple of the other contestants asked me to join them just for fun. I could not score points in this event unless I free styled alone.

I don't think it was ever in doubt that Rutt Mysterio would win in fact he has won several years running, I have to say he thoroughly deserved to win and is a real talent in the burping world.

I personally finished a respectable 10th overall, had I entered the freestyle I’m told I would have been higher. I was personally fairly pleased with that as it was my first Ruttosound, although obviously there is room for improvement. Hopefully with a bit of training in the Rutto Parlato and Rutto Lungo, I should improve. With regards to freestyle I will have to apply my mind to that, any ideas welcomed.

I would love to enter Ruttosound again in 2012, hopefully Stefano was happy with my contribution and will be kind enough to invite me back next year.           

I met some great people from the burping community whilst in Reggiolo, they made me feel very welcome and were a great help with the language barrier, it would be good to stay in touch and meet again at some point.