International stars and Finnish top names at the Air Guitar World Championships Jury

The roar of Air Guitars fills Oulu for the 15th time from Wednesday to Sunday next week. This
year the would-be world champions are judged by international and domestic stars in the fields of
music and culture.

The Air Guitar ecstasy culminates at the Grand Final at Oulu Marketplace on Friday 27 August.
To honor the occasion, the final will be judged by an exceptionally prestigious Jury. The AGWC
Final jury is chaired again by the guitar legend Juha Torvinen who has been part of the judging
panel from the very beginning of the contest. He is assisted by the internationally acclaimed guitar-
wizard José González from Sweden, and Andy Beta, a writer at the second-largest American music
publication Spin Magazine.

Air Guitarists from over 20 countries will be fighting for the world championship. The last finalists
are chosen at the Qualifying Round for Dark Horses at 45 Special on Thursday 26 August where
the contestants are judged by 2008 World Champion Craig "Hot Lixx Hulahan" Billmeier, director
Mika Ronkainen and dancer/choreographer Teemu Tuohimaa. Both Juries will be completed by two
additional members that are chosen by drawing lots among the AGWC Network organizers.

This year's Air Guitar World Champion will be going home with a handmade Flying Finn
electric guitar by Matti Nevalainen. The top three are awarded with Golla product prizes. Top ten
contestants will also receive surprise guitars from Oulun Kopiokeskus.

The Festival Week offers festive programme for every taste

The Air Guitar World Championships Final at Oulu Marketplace is a free-admission event with no
age limits. In addition to the best Air Guitarists in the world, the night is electrified by performances
by the rap artist Paleface, and Samuli Putro, the master of lyrical pop. The Final-frenzy will also
witness a couple of surprise performers.

Alongside the World Championships, the 15th Anniversary week is filled with special treats. The
Air Guitar week starts on Wednesday 25 August with the Anniversary Seminar. The Air Guitarists
take a head start to the contest at Festival Tent during the Oulu Night of the Arts event on Thursday
26 August. And if the air feels too thin after the week, a free screening of the documentary Air
Guitar Nation at 45 Special on Saturday 28 August will provide you with some extra oxygen. In
addition to this, the colorful history of the contest is commemorated by the People Need Air photo
exhibition that is open until 14 September at the Cultural Centre Valve gallery and at the Northern
Photographic Centre Kummigalleria.

Return to News Archive