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Rock out at U.S. Air Guitar Championship in Lakewood next week

May 4, 2018 GMT

Rock out at U.S. Air Guitar Championship in Lakewood next week

LAKEWOOD, Ohio – Air guitar requires no musical instrument, but there’s plenty of skill involved in the activity.

Pretending to shred a guitar solo has been a real competitive event since 2003, thanks to the Air Guitar World Championships. The competition has pitted competitors against each other from all around the world with fast-paced guitar strumming and plenty of stage flair.

The result? Hilarious, over-the-top performances of all kinds.

Northeast Ohioans will have their chance to show off their air guitar skills on May 11 at the Winchester Tavern, 12112 Madison Ave., Lakewood.

Competitors must sign up ahead of time online; tickets to compete cost $15. The event is also open to the public, with tickets that cost $5-8.

The winner of the qualifying event can continue to the U.S. Air Guitar competition in New York City. Then, winners continue to the Air Guitar World Championships in Oulu, Finland with the prize of free airfare and two nights of lodging.

The competition’s scoring involves a few different criteria: technical merit, stage presence and “airness”—or, the art form of air guitar. It consists of two rounds.

In the first round, air guitarists can choose whatever 60-second song they’d like to perform to wow judges. Then, they will be given a 60-song song chosen by event organizers, which the competitors will listen to once and then perform onstage. The average score between the two rounds determines the winner.

The Air Guitar Championships at the Winchester Tavern will be hosted by Jerrod “Dick Diesel” Dewey, a Northeast Ohio native and three-time Washington D.C. air guitar champion.

Currently, the show will feature performances by air guitarists Leigh “AirLeigh Legal” Melendez, Lloyd “Stonehenge” Weema, Justin “Thrashcan Willie” Dewey, Charles “Rockstache” Williamson, Ryan “Harvey Wahlbanger” Wahl and Anthony “Toy Boy Roy Piccolo” Ferrari. Signups are still open.

Nicole “Mom Jeans Jeanie” Sevcik won the U.S. Air Guitar Championship in 2017 and performed at the Finland World Championship.

“It’s like the feeling you get when you’re having a dinner party and trying a new recipe,” she said. “Some people might hate it, some folks might just love it and cry for more. I live to keep serving up that face-melting hot dish of rock and roll that they keep asking for seconds of.”

Watch Sevcik’s performance at the World Air Guitar Championships below.