This past Friday, August 22, while the rest of the civilized world was watching the Olympics, shredders from around the world had their head bangin’ attention fixed on the 13th annual Air Guitar World Championships Grand Final held in Oulu, Finland.
After a two year Air Guitar reign, Ochi "Dainoji" Yosuke of Japan was overwhelmingly crushed by Craig "Hot Lixx Hulahan" Billmeier, who hails from Alameda, California.
Hot Lixx scored highest on the First and Second Rounds, defeating his strongest opponent, Andel "John Sniffler" Soreen of the Netherlands, who took second place. Canadian Cole "Johnny Utah" Manson came in third.
In addition to the instant international recognition and the fame and glory, Hot Lixx Hulahan was awarded a Finnish hand-made Flying Finn electric guitar. He also received a laptop backpack by Golla.
For the 13th time the jury was chaired by Juha Torvinen, the Finnish guitar legend. Also on the panel were the 2005 Air Guitar World Champion, Michael "The Destroyer" Heffels; Amanda Griffiths, who is doing her PhD on the air guitar culture; and the Air Guitar contest organizers, Rita Cadillac and Mark DiPietro.
Of course, after the competition the night doesn’t end until, as tradition goes, Air Guitarists summon the whole world to go forth and play Air Guitar to “Rockin' in the Free World." According to Air Guitar Ideology, all evil, bad and unspeakable things on this planet will vanish if everybody, even for a moment, plays the Air Guitar.
The event attracted around 1000 people.