US Air Guitar, the official governing body of competitive air guitar in America, just announced the US Air Guitar Championships 2017 Tour, which kicks off April 20th in Queens, NY. Traveling to over 20 cities coast-to-coast, US Air Guitar hosts live competitions where amateurs transform into rock stars while taking a shot at going pro and becoming the next US Air Guitar Champion.
Competitions are part rock concert and part comedy show – with occasional glitter bombs
or confetti cannons – but for die-hard competitors and fans of US Air Guitar, the 2017 Tour is all business: on the heels of a United States victory at last year’s World
Championship in Finland, newcomers have been sharpening their chops this offseason in hopes of becoming the next Airistotle, CindAIRella, or Dianne Cletus. Competitors are encouraged to sign-up early here.
Photo credit Air Guitar World Championships
Over 20 Cities – National Finals in Washington, DC
US Air Guitar will scour the country in search of the nation’s best air guitarist, stopping in nearly two dozen cities before crowning the US Air Guitar Champion in Washington, DC on Saturday, August 5th. In addition to playing some of the country’s most iconic rock venues and dive bars, festival competitions will also be held at the Portfest and Toad Suck Daze in Arkansas, in addition to our showcase and competition at the Wayne’s World 25th Anniversary Festival. Excellent!
Photo credit: Pat Paulsen
2017 US Air Guitar Tour Dates – This Isn’t Your Mom’s Basement
4/20 – Queens, NY
4/28 – Lawrence, KS – The Bottleneck
5/4 – Manhattan, NY – Duke’s Original Roadhouse
5/6 – Conway, AR – Toad Suck Daze Festival
5/6 – Custer, SD – The Frontier Grill
5/11 – Aurora, IL – Wayne’s World 25th Anniversary Festival
5/12 – Boston, MA – Hard Rock Cafe
5/12 – Austin, TX – Full Circle Bar
5/19 – Seattle, WA – Lo-Fi Performance Gallery
5/20 – Nashville, TN – The Family Wash/Garage Coffee
5/20 – Sacramento, CA – Starlite Lounge
5/20 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Blue Lagoon
5/26 – Denver, CO – Three Kings Tavern
6/3 – Des Moines, IA – Doc’s Lounge
6/8 – San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw Stop
6/10 – Newport, AR – Portfest Festival
6/10 – San Diego, CA – The Merrow
6/16 – Portland, OR – Paris Theatre
6/23 – Houston, TX – Avant Garden
6/24 – Chicago, IL – Subterranean
7/7 – Brooklyn, NY – Knitting Factory
7/15 – Kansas City, MO – recordBar
7/22 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
Photo credit: Pat Paulsen
Competitors to Watch This Season
In 2016, we sent an unprecedented number of US Air Guitarists to the world stage in Finland, winning four of the top six spots despite fierce competition from Russia (2nd), Taiwan (5th–tie), Japan (6th), and others. This summer, USAG powerhouse and 2016 World Champion Airistotle gets a bye to the world stage to defend his title. So this year, look out for Mom Jeans Jeannie (Chicago), Rockward Silence (KC), Sonic Bitch (KC) Six String Sal (Denver), Sahexy (Portland), Jolly Green Shredding Machine (San Diego), and Sweetness (Santa Cruz). All competitors are available for interview through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Past celebrity judges include legends of rock and comedy, including: Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), Ben Fong-Torres (Rolling Stone), Flight of the Conchords, identical twin comedians and sportscasters The Sklar Brothers, comedians Kristen Schaal and Aidy Bryant (SNL), author Malcolm Gladwell (Tipping Point, David and Goliath), and many more.
Photo credit: Pat Paulsen
About the US Air Guitar Championships
Founded in 2003, US Air Guitar is the official Air Guitar Association of the United States and is responsible for operating the US Air Guitar Championships and other official local and private events. US Air Guitar is devoted to taking our nation’s unofficial pastime out of the bedroom and putting it up on the world stage. US Air Guitar is an official member of the World Air Guitar Association. Entering its fifteenth year in the US and its twenty-second year worldwide, official national championships currently are held in up to 24 countries around the globe including the USA, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom, with new countries participating every year. The 2017 Air Guitar World Championships will take place this August 25th in Oulu, Finland.
“It is for good reason that competitive air guitar is widely considered the purest form of human entertainment. By making the heart of the matter invisible—by objectifying nothing—air guitar derives its legitimacy not from some received expectation of cultural value, but rather from the mere presence of the people gathered to bear witness. The competitors, the judges and the crowd are the only proof that this event even exists. And as a result, its meaning is purely subjective. Every air guitar is an empty vessel, resistant to banal interpretation. And thus, impossible to destroy.”
–Kriston Rucker, co-commissioner, US Air Guitar