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Air Guitar Championship won by Japan's Nagura for third time

August 26, 2023

Nanami Nagura is now air guitar's most decorated player, championship organizers said. The organization, based in Oulu in central Finland, said that it aimed to "promote world peace" through its annual air guitar event.

Nanami 'Seven Seas' Naguri performing at Air Guitar World Championships
Nanami 'Seven Seas' Nagura has acheived a third victory in Finland's Air Guitar ChampinoshipsImage: Eeva Riihelä/Lehtikuva/dpa/picture alliance

Nanami "Seven Seas" Nagura has won the Air Guitar World Championships in Finland.

This is Nagura's third air guitar title.

The Japanese performer is now the most decorated air guitar player in the 28 years the competition has been held, organizers said.

Second place went to Aapo "the Angus" Rautio from Finland. The host nation's competitor won the event the first five consecutive years it was held, but Finland has never been able to claim the top spot since.

Last year's winner Kirill "Guitarantula" Blumenkrants, now representing France but formerly a winner as a Russian competitor in 2015 as well, finished third.

A total of 18 people competed in the 2023 championship in Oulu.

Nanami 'Seven Seas' Nagura performing at Air Guitar World Championships in Oulu, Finland
Three-time winner Nagura also won the competition in 2018 and 2014Image: Eeva Riihelä/Lehtikuva/dpa/picture alliance

What are the Air Guitar Championships?

Air guitar refers to simulating the playing of a guitar without holding an instrument. Competitors perform to music at the competition.

The championship has been held each year since 1996 — with the exception of 2020 when COVID stopped the event — and was founded in the central Finnish city of Oulu.

"Air guitar playing is not instrumental sports or arts, nor does it require any special venues or skills, so it is accessible to all," organizers said in a statement. "Air guitar can be grasped regardless of gender, age, ethnic background, sexual orientation and social status."

The organization said that it aimed to "promote world peace" through air guitar.

The Air Guitar Championships are part of the broader Oulu August Festivals, which includes a number of cultural events.

This report was written in part with material from the German Press Agency (dpa).

Edited by: Mark Hallam

Correction: An earlier version of this story had a misspelling of Nanami Nagura and Aapo Rautio's names. The article has been updated with the correct spelling.