For the first time in history, Chicago will host the US AIR GUITAR NATIONAL FINALS. On July 23rd at Metro, US Air Guitar’s nationwide search for the country’s finest professional air guitarists will culminate in what will doubtlessly become Chicago’s premiere summer event. The 2011 US Air Guitar National Finals will pit nearly two dozen handpicked winners from 18 cities across the country against one another in a battle for Air Guitar supremacy, immediate fame, and lifelong bragging rights. The winner of this event will be forever crowned the 2011 US Air Guitar Champion. The champion will go on to represent USA in a worldwide competition against over twenty national champions from around the globe at the Air Guitar World Championships in Oulu, Finland. Tickets go on sale this Friday April 8 at noon at the Metro Box Office and online at

For nearly a decade, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and DC have consistently outbid Chicago for the honor of hosting the US Air Guitar National Finals. But Chicago’s audiences and, most of all, her regional champions, have made an inarguable case for their beloved “Shy” in 2011. After hearing the announcement, Chicago’s native son and three-time champion NORDIC THUNDER (Justin Howard) proclaimed he would emerge from retirement with the hope of winning the Championship Belt in his hometown. NBC quickly picked up the story, which airs during the “Dance Friday” segment on The Morning News on May 6th.

Chicago will also be hosting opening day of the US AIR GUITAR REGIONAL COMPETITIONS on May 12 at the DOUBLE DOOR. Cities who will be hosting Official Regional Competitions and sending winners to the Finals in Chicago include Denver, Kansas City, Austin, Milwaukee, Kalamazoo, Minneapolis, DC, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and San Diego. Visit for real-time blogging from each event, awesome merch, and the news that matters most.

2008 US and World Air Guitar champion HOT LIXX HULAHAN will return to judge the competitions, and Author of To Air is Human and star of the hit documentary Air Guitar Nation, BJÖRN TÜROQUE has returned to host another year of the Regional Competitions and the National Finals. Mr. Türoque will later head to Finland, where he has hosted the World Air Guitar Championships for the past three years. Upon accepting our invitation, the air guitar wunderkind released this statement: “Chicago? Lots of ‘air puns.’ We better not blow.”

“Chicago has always been one of our favorite stops on the competition circuit, and has even produced our reigning National Champion, Romeo DanceCheetah. So it was with unmitigated delight that we accepted the Windy City’s airtight bid and agreed to bring our nation’s top virtual event to her number one second city.”

–The Office of the Co-Commissionership of the United States Air Guitar Championships

“We’ve supported US Air Guitar since 2007 and with this being our fifth year of having an event at Metro, we’re stoked to have the US Finals land in Chicago and in our venue, for the first time. Metro has seen some amazing regional and local shredders but to have THE cream of the national crop perform on our stage is an honor we proudly accept with great humility.”

– Chris Baronner, Señor Talent Buyer for Metro


Each US Regional 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.” All guitars must be invisible. In each city, the jury is a panel of independent judges that is hand picked by US Air Guitar. The results of the jury cannot be protested.

One winner from each city will be flown to Chicago, IL on July 23rd to compete in the US Air Guitar Finals for the crown of US Air Guitar Champion. The 2011 US Champ will then be sent to Oulu, Finland on August 24th 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, official Regional events, and specialized championships. 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 ninth year in the US and its sixteenth year world-wide, official national championships currently are held in 24 countries around the globe including the USA, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland, United Kingdom, South Africa, with more countries participating every year. The 2011 Air Guitar World Championships will take place this August 24th-28th in Oulu, Finland.

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR PRESS: Host Björn Türoque, Judge/2009 US & World Champion Hot Lixx Hulahan, 2010 US Champion Romeo DanceCheetah, 2007 and 2009 US Champion William Ocean, Co-Commissioners Kriston Rucker and Cedric Devitt, plus local champions and competitors in each market.

Saturday, July 23: ON SALE NOW:
$21 / 18 & Over / Doors: 8PM / Show: 9PM
Metro Box Office
Internet sales at

About Metro
Metro is one of the country’s most renowned independent concert venues. Established in July 1982, Metro has become a playground for new and developing local artists as well as showcasing the best cutting edge bands from around the globe for twenty-five years. For more information, visit

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