Who is the world’s best on air guitar? Zac Monro, London, performs at the 7th Air Guitar World Championships in Oulu, north Finland. (AP Photo/LEHTIKUVA/Jarmo Kontiainen)
Who is the world’s best on air guitar?
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Who can play the wildest on an instrument? But what if it is an instrument that no one can see? A record 30 air guitarists from a dozen countries jammed on a stage in northern Finland. They wanted to answer that question.
 
The 20th Air Guitar World Championships included 30 "dark horses", or competitors. Each hoped to advance to the final. They joined seven national champions who automatically qualified.
 
The competition was held in August. It was started as a joke by an Oulo musician. It added to the small Nordic nation's reputation as an inventor of offbeat summer events. There is also the "mosquito slapping" and "wife carrying" competitions. Air guitar has gradually spread worldwide. National events are held annually in several countries.
 
The 2002 champion was London architect Zac Monro. He returned after a break of 13 years. He sought to rekindle that "special flame that breaks the mundane." But he admitted he no longer felt a need to win.
 
"It is a great crowd. And it is just good to be here among all these people who enjoy doing this crazy thing," said Munro. The air guitarist goes by the stage name "The Magnet." All the same, he said he would like to be in the final "instead of just watching."
 
Germany's national champion is Sabrina "Lady Liberty" Schramm from Munich. She made the final. But she was still nervous. She wrung her hands as she declared she "yearns to win." She caught the competition bug when she finished ninth in Oulu. That was last year.
 
"I was brought up on rock music. I just love it," she said. "When I saw a local air guitar competition in my home town, I thought that is the most crazy thing you can do. So I just had to do it."
 
Schramm faced tough competition from Nanami "Seven Seas" Nagura from Japan. She who won last year at the age of 18. The current U.S. champion is New Yorker Matt "Airistotle" Burns.
 
Oulu's mayor was enthusiastic. He described the event as "creative craziness." It has become part of the image of Finland's northernmost city. Oulu is a high-tech hub. It provided a large workforce for Nokia before it sold its ailing smartphone division to Microsoft.
 
"It plays a vital role in our dynamic society and our ecosystem. It is a city of young people with an average age of 37, which needs this kind of innovative thinking," Matti Pennanen said. "We want to keep it going for as long as possible."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What is the craziest thing about an air guitar competition?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (30)
  • timothya-war
    9/17/2015 - 08:47 a.m.

    the craziest this about air guitar competition is there is no guitar. also it is very competitive. also its not just young people doing and it is becoming more popular.

  • loganw-war
    9/17/2015 - 08:47 a.m.

    As the topic of "air guitar" becomes more and more popular, I feel that more and more people will get into it. But saying that I also have to say, this is not something I can see anyone from my area really committing to it. And this article was not particularly something that interested me.

  • williamv-war
    9/17/2015 - 08:48 a.m.

    The craziest thing about an air guitar competition is how many people show up. There is about 30 different air guitarist from 12 different country's. The age average at the competition's is 37.

  • cassieraes-war
    9/17/2015 - 08:49 a.m.

    I do not understand the point of having an air guitar competition. It seems pointless to me and doesn't sound like very much fun. I understand that others may enjoy doing it but I do not understand the point of having a competition because of it.

  • evelyns-war
    9/17/2015 - 08:53 a.m.

    The craziest thing about air guitar competitions? not actually having a guitar. Strumming the air and rocking out is pretty crazy, especially with nothing to hold. But it could be a challenge to make it actually look like you could be playing a guitar, which is probably why its so fascinating and popular world wide.

  • phoenixr-war
    9/17/2015 - 08:54 a.m.

    The craziest thing about an air guitar competition would be the competition and how much popularity it is getting. For something that started out as a joke, this became a very popular event. According to the passage many people attended the air guitar competitions, mostly people who like rock music and bands.

  • ashlyj-war
    9/17/2015 - 08:56 a.m.

    The craziest thing about an air guitar competition is that there's no actual instrument, and yet there are national and international competitions. Also, the whole thing started out as a joke but it has spread worldwide. And the competitors don't have to be musicians- anyone could compete.

  • jacobb1-war
    9/17/2015 - 08:58 a.m.

    one of the craziest things about the air guitar competitions is that there not even holding and interment. its like there being rewarded for not doing anything. there are many people that go and she these consort and watch.

  • colton-war
    9/17/2015 - 01:00 p.m.

    This is a really cool article. How people can win doing something so simple but be so talented in it. I find it really funny the names they gave some of the competitions such as the slapping mosquito challenge. I really enjoyed this article.

  • hannah6-war
    9/17/2015 - 01:01 p.m.

    I think it is so cool how a girl had one first place playing air guitar from Germany. The competition sounds fun because it is filled with many musically talented people. I would like to go to the competition just to listen because I definitely cannot play guitar. It is also really cool how the kids who won are so young but they have to be amazing if they won.

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