It is almost time for the biggest event of the year. Every competition, every practice session, every new move, all those blood, sweat and tears were all for this – the Roadhouse World Finals. Taking place at one of London’s longest serving and most prestigious cocktail bars, The Roadhouse in Covent Garden, the Roadhouse Grand Final 2018 is shaping up to be a good one!
Now in its 18th year at the Roadhouse, this competition has a lot of history and every year brings something different. Could this in fact be the last year we see the Grand Finals at the current venue of the Roadhouse, we hope not of course. One thing that will make this year very interesting is the new prize rules. Taking it back to the old school, it is winner takes all. That means a whopping £10,000 for this year’s winner and nothing for second place. Also featuring the Tandem World Finals for the first time where the Top 3 from the July Roadhouse Tandem competition will battle it out, the winner of the Tandem comp will get £1000. With this new prize fund, the Roadhouse Grand Finals continue to be the most prestigious and highest paying flair competition in the world.
What to expect from the competition and the competitors
Deniss Trifanovs has been on a bit of a winning streak this year and his inclusion in the running order at the Roadhouse Grand Finals is bound to be a hot topic. Having come 2nd in last years finals it will be interesting to see if he can go one better this year. As well as welcoming the new prize fund and the world tandem competition, this year also has the largest diversity of bartenders taking part – with our largest number of bartenders from the Americas and Asia as well as our largest number of female flair bartenders! The girls have been going from strength to strength, this year could be the year when we see our first Top 6 female flair bartender…
As well as many of the usual faces, last years champion Marek Posluszny will be returning as well as former champion Alexander Shtifanov who we haven’t had a chance to see a lot of this year – so it will be interesting to see what they bring to the battle! We certainly expect to see Deniss sitting pretty atop the WFA Grand Slam leaderboard, although the battle is still on for the places below him and a Silver or Bronze WFA shaker:
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The small and intimate stage of the Roadhouse, with the crowd mere centimetres away presents a challenge for the flair bartenders that they do not experience anywhere else. It is great for the audience who get that up close and personal feel with the flair bartenders, not missing a single flick or stall. On the other side of the coin, it can present a lot of pressure for the flair bartenders themselves, albeit that the top flair bartenders are able to deal with this sort of pressure.
The unique make up of this London venue introduces a level of adversity for the competitors that can only be superseded by their immense concentration and pure brilliance. As a result, The Roadhouse is seen to be the place where some of the most daring and complicated moves are attempted. It is unlikely that you will see these anywhere else, or at least you will see these at The Roadhouse first.
The Roadhouse is the longest running flair bartending competition in the world. It represents the pinnacle of flair bartending and attracts the best professional flair bartenders from all over the globe; who come not only seeking prestige and the title of WFA flair bartending world champion but also to claim the whopping £10,000 prize fund. In the end it will come down to skill and showmanship, not long now to see who has what it takes…
Taking place on Saturday the 24th of November and Sunday the 25th, you can get your tickets here.