"Somewhere between musical performance, physical exercise and comedy act, it's hard to define the art of air guitar playing. But some of its practitioners take it very seriously indeed. The 2014 Air Guitar World Championship has just lowered its curtain in the Finnish city of Oulu, and the latest world champion is a 19-year old girl from Japan.
The Air Guitar World Championships, a four-day event that culminates in a Grand Finale in Oulu. Thousands of people – both locals and tourists – gather in the city centre to witness the spectacle. National Air Guitar Champions, along with eight candidates from the qualifying round, battle it out for the main prize – a handmade electric guitar.
'Air guitar is something to be loved, there are a lot of people having an opinion about air guitar and air guitar playing, a lot of time they are thinking that air guitar is a stupid thing to do but I think people should come over here at least go look at a contest and watch some air guitar players because for to me it is really awesome and liberating,' said an air guitarist named Michael Heffels.
'I think air guitar means freedom of movements, freedom of expression, it's a great way to have fun and it's also about world peace because you can't kill someone with an air guitar in your hand,' said an air guitarist named Marquina Iliev.
The sixteen contestants in the final are from nine different countries. In the end, a happy Nanami 'Seven Seas' Nagura walks away with the title and the guitar. She is the 19th world champion, with reigning United States champion Matt 'Airistotle' Burns finishing in second place.
'I love all, I love air-guitar, I'm glad that I came to Finland and I'm glad that I fought the air-guitar world championship and won,' said Nanami Nagura, the 2014 Air Guitar World Champion.
According to the organisers, the purpose of the Air Guitar World Championships is to promote world peace. They say that 'if all the people in the world played Air Guitar, wars would end, climate change stop and all bad things disappear'. That statement may sound comical, but this competition proves that there's nothing absurd about dreaming big..."
CCTV 1 September
LEHTIKUVA / Vesa Ranta