Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The US Air Guitar Championships Announce 2013 Season

Nat Hays/PlusOneMusic

New Format Brings More Cities and Highest Caliber Talent Ever Postseason Events Include Special Performances By World Champions Nordic Thunder and Hot Lixx Hulahan NATIONAL FINALS August 17 At House Of Blues in Los Angeles SEMIFINALS In Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Washington DC QUALIFIERS Held In Over Twenty Cities Across America World Champion Nordic Thunders Stars in Dr. Pepper TV Commercial

Shaping up to be our biggest year on record, US Air Guitar announces a new three-tiered elimination format to shoulder the nation’s overwhelming demand for competitive air guitar. From St Petersburg to Santa Cruz and everywhere in between, dozens of OFFICIAL QUAILFIER COMPETITONS held in over twenty cities across America will separate the air wheat from the air chaff. Only the finest and freshest will advance from their respective Qualifier into one of four U.S. SEMIFINALS, where the production value of each event promises to meet the level of talent.

"As more and more cities have demanded representation in official air guitar competition, we have implemented a new ‘bracket’ system for the first time in the history of US Air Guitar. This tiered approach allows us to license more recognized Qualifiers in more places than ever, and ensures an even higher level of talent at the Semis. We are confident this is a big win for the performers, the fans-and especially-our nation, which will be defending its record-breaking 4th world title in Finland this August. Now that March Madness is over, we can all turn our attentions to June, July and August Mayhem." – Kriston Rucker. Co-Commissioner. US Air Guitar.


Boston, Brooklyn, Denver, Des Moines, Houston, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Nashville, Portland, San Diego, Santa Cruz, St. Louis, St. Petersburg (FL), and Tucson, with more to come.



San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Washington, DC.

Host and judges for each Qualifier are picked by local Organizers. Formats for Qualifiers may vary at the discretion of local Organizers. Other cities who are interested in hosting Qualifiers can do so by contacting US Air Guitar.


Date Event City and Venue/Tickets
Tue July 2 Northeast Semifinals New York City @ Bowery Ballroom
Fri July 9 Mid-Atlantic Semifinals Washington, DC DC @ 9:30 Club
Sat July 27 Midwest Semifinals Chicago @ Metro
Sat Aug 3 Western Semifinals San Francisco @ The Independent
Thu Aug 15 Dark Horse Wildcard Playoffs Undisclosed Secret Show
Sat Aug 17 US Air Guitar National Finals Los Angeles @ House of Blues

  • Details for the four U.S. SEMIFINALS and NATIONAL FINALS are below. With this season’s bumper crop of talented newcomers, it will be a youth versus veterans showdown to the bitter end. All competitors mentioned are available for immediate interview.
  • At the Northeast Semifinals (New York City), look on as young AIRISTOTLE– who is the returning U.S. Champion and thus won’t be competing until he defends his title in the Nationals– sizes up the competition. It will be a classic New York vs. Boston rivalry, as tri-city veterans of the sport RICKY STINKFINGERS, SHREDDY MERCURY, MATHROMANCER, G TSO $, AIR JESUS go up against Boston’s powerhouse shredders DANNY TANNER TANTRUM and ROCKUPINE. And is if that wasn’t enough, Kansas City will also be feeding in the finesse of 2-time champ MEAN MELIN and PETER “STIFF” DICKENS.
  • At the Mid-Atlantic Semifinals (Washington DC), pundits are watching the two-time reigning DC ChampTOMMY FRETELESS, 2013 DC Qualifier winner THE MARQUIS long time prospect DOUG THE THUNDER STROOCK, and the young up-and-comer like BABERHAM LINCOLN to see if they are worth of filling the shoes of DC’s Godfather of Air Guitar, LANCE THE SHRED (Shred will not be competing, and instead has put together a special half-time performance for this event).
  • At the Midwest Semifinals (Chicago), local resident and current Air Guitar World Champion NORDIC THUNDER (who gets an automatic berth in the World Championships in Finland to defend his title) will be cheering for the young and adorable female sensation ROCKIE RHODES and prospect MIDNIGHTMANIAXE, while booing his co-arch-enemies DRY ICE and OLD GLORY. But the stakes here are high, as whoever wants passage to the Finals will have to compete against the defending Chicago Champion and current Queen of Air Guitar (who actually happens to be a lady), WHITE FLAME.
  • At the Western Semifinals, San Francisco will see the best air guitarists from the Northwest to Southern California and then over to Arizona. Watch out for Portland’s brand of caliente in TONY TAPATIO, LA’s version of American patriot SIX STRING GENERAL, San Diego’s newly-made-over, freshly streamlined LIEUTENANT FACEMELTER, and Tucson’s VLAD D.M. WAILER (all of which are past Regional Champions in their respective cities). But the visitors will have to bring their A-Game in if they want to knock out the local talent, as the Bay Area’s brand of air guitar is like no other. Leading the local charge will be San Francisco’s 3-time champ COLD STEEL RENEGADE, reigning champ SETH LEIBOWITZ, and the Santa Cruz king DIRTY AIRY.
Three winners from each Semifinals will advance to the 2013 US Air Guitar National Finals. Several cities placed their bids to host the 2013 National Finals. This year, HOUSE OF BLUES LOS ANGELES has proudly earned the honor to host what is predicted to be the greatest spectacle of all human history.

Air Guitar Hall of Famer BJÖRN TÖRQUE (star of cult classic documentary Air Guitar Nation and author of To Air is Human) will return to his post as "Master of Airemonies" and host another season of air guitar. HOT LIXX HULAHAN (2008 Air Guitar World Champion) will return as our recurrent judge. Joining him behind the gavel at various cities across the country will be all kinds of funny and famous people (hints: Daily Show and 30 Rock . . . and also SNL and Flight of the Conchords).


As part of its new "one in a billion" campaign, Dr. Pepper has tapped our very own Nordic Thunder for a spot that showcases both his Game of Thrones-worthy chops and his world-beating charm. He’s the perfect ambassador of air, and we think you should drink some soda about it.


Each competition will each consist of two rounds. In Round 1, each competitor performs to a song of their own choosing. In Round 2, the top competitors from Round 1 perform to a surprise compulsory song. In each round, contestants perform for one minute of a song and are judged on a combination of technical merit, stage presence, and “airness," on a scale of 4.0 (lowest) to 6.0 (highest). All guitars must be invisible. In each city, the jury is a panel of independent judges that are approved by US Air Guitar. The results of the jury cannot be protested.

In addition to the two-round format, local organizers of Qualifiers are entitled to add additional formats to their competition. These could include, but are not limited to, Rounds based on endurance, song format, and local character. A minimum of two people from each Qualifier will advance to the Semifinals.

The top three scorers from each Semifinal will advance to the National Finals.

For those who do not advance to National Finals, but whom US Air Guitar deems worthy of a second chance, an invitation will be extended to compete in the Dark Horse Wild Card Playoffs. A minimum of three Wildcards will advance to the National Finals.

One winner from the National Finals will crowned the US Air Guitar Champion, and will then be sent to Oulu, Finland to represent the USA in the World Championships, where he or she will compete against national champions from all around the world.

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 tenth anniversary in the US and its seventeenth year worldwide, official national championships currently are held in 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 more countries participating every year. The 2013 Air Guitar World Championships will take place this August 21nd to 24th in Oulu, Finland.

The purpose of the World Air Guitar Association is to promote world peace. According to the ideology of the Air Guitar, wars would end, climate change stop and all bad things disappear, if all the people in the world played the Air Guitar. This is why the whole universe is invited to play the Air Guitar for the world peace at the end of each competition.


US Air Guitar Official Site:

US Air Guitar Social Networks:

World Air Guitar Championships Official Website:

US Air Guitar’s hit documentary Air Guitar Nation out now on DVD

For Press Inquiries, Interview Requests With The US Air Guitar Founders And Competitors, Or For More Information Contact Nat Hays

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