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?
Lexile

Who can play the wildest on an instrument that no one can see? A record 30 air guitarists from a dozen countries jammed on a stage in northern Finland to answer just that question.
 
The 20th Air Guitar World Championships included 30 "dark horses", or competitors, hoping to advance to the final. They joined seven national champions who automatically qualified.
 
The competition 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's 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, London architect Zac Monro, 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's a great crowd and it's 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'd 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 in 2014.
 
"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's 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, 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's 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."

Filed Under:  
Assigned 140 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What is the craziest thing about an air guitar competition?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (110)
  • jackr-2-bar
    9/08/2015 - 01:22 p.m.

    The craziest thing about an air guitar competition is that there actually is an air guitar competition.

  • TaylorSeifert-Ste
    9/08/2015 - 01:33 p.m.

    I find it very interesting that playing the air guitar can feel so accomplishing to people that they get very involved in it and the competitions held for it. It would be very fun to do that here in Newport, giving people a chance have fun outside of all the common activities we have.

  • georgiam-haw
    9/08/2015 - 01:37 p.m.

    The thought of it is just very, very crazy. Most people would think of it as a joke but when they find out that it is real, they would probably want to see it.

  • ShawnaWeiser-Ste
    9/08/2015 - 02:44 p.m.

    This probably the most outrageous thing I have ever heard of. I honestly see no point in the matter of competing for who does the best air guitar. AN absolute ridiculous opinion, I believe.

  • John0724-YYCA
    9/08/2015 - 09:33 p.m.

    I am not a real fan of guitars but I think that it is going to be surprising because the champions of guitars from the past are all gathering together and are going to battle. I think that this is going to be fun.

  • eastwood,john-cas
    9/08/2015 - 10:35 p.m.

    The craziest thing about an air guitar competition is that so many people play the air guitar and consider it a competition but yet there's nothing there. I feel that air guitar is just crazy and strange. The fact that there's a world championship for air guitar is funny because I feel that there's no need for them.

  • sierrab-ste
    9/09/2015 - 09:16 a.m.

    I think it'd be fun to do silly type competitions like this. I really would not expect that many people to join and compete in this competition though. At least every ones having a good time and the competition has stayed alive for years. Our town should do something like that. An air guitar competition wouldn't go well here, but something else that would be fun.

  • elizabeths-1-gra
    9/09/2015 - 10:46 a.m.

    The craziest thing about a air guitar competition is that there is no guitar and tat they are playing all the chords and strumming but there is no guitar. I think that someone that plays air guitar would be cool, but not as cool as someone who plays the real guitar. I play th guitar and I think that it would be sorta fun to go up on stage and play guitar, without the guitar!

  • alexb-1-gra
    9/09/2015 - 10:50 a.m.

    the craziest thing about a air guitar competition is no one can actually see your guitar. It's impossible!!!

  • bradleym-gra
    9/09/2015 - 10:50 a.m.

    for someone so young win something so big it's crazy. people do it and there not embarrassed.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT