What comes to mind when the words“air guitar” are said? People waving their
arms imitating their favorite musicians, or an acrobatic and difficult sporting event? The competitors in the World Air Guitar Championship fall into the second group.
The World Air Guitar Championship was founded in the town of Oulu, Finland
in 1996 as a joke, but has since become a worldwide sport. Contestants compete in a national tournament before they can go to the international championships that have contestants from 10 countries. The judges rate the contestants based on three categories: accuracy of their performance, choreography and “airness”, which is how well the performer brings the energy of the air guitar. The overall goal of the person on stage is to show off both their ability to emulate someone actually playing the guitar, creativity and athleticism of the performer. The person on stage is not allowed to use any kind of real instrument on stage, so
they need to demonstrate their athleticism while on stage to impress the judges and outdo their competitors.
The International Air Guitar Championships choose a cause to bring attention to each year, and donate the money that they collect to the cause. The 2018 championships partnered with the World Wildlife Foundation
(WWF) to bring awareness to climate change.
The International Air Guitar Championship has evolved from a interesting local event to an international sporting competition that draws in people from all over the world to try to rise to the top of the world of air guitar.
By Aidan Paine-Heise, Copy Editor