International Blues Challenge Info

International Blues Challenge Info2024-05-11T14:22:13-07:00

Please save the date for IBC Week  – Jan  7-12 -2025
We look forward to seeing you in Memphis !

Washington Blues Society

Proud recipient of the “Keeping The Blues Alive” award

Washington Blues Society  Local Competitions for

 International Blues Challenge

Washington Blues Society Contacts:

Tony Frederickson, President (206) 612-6055
Rick Bowen, Vice President (425) 422-5062


2025 International Blues Competition (IBC) Contest

Two Categories: Bands (Three Piece and Larger) and Solo/Duo Acts

Please complete this application if you want to compete in the Washington Blues Society contest to send a band or a solo/duo act to the IBC in Memphis in January 7-12, 2025. We are working with multiple Blues Societies across the state to hold semi-finals to make it easier for blues acts to participate.

DOWNLOAD  CONTESTANT APPLICATION HERE :: 2025 IBC Entry Form and Instuction Sheet (1)

OR Find the Application on the Back Page of the MAY 2024 Blues Letter

Applications are to be sent to

or mailed to


PO Box 70604

Seattle WA 98127


Entry Fee Payable by Check or Pay Pal =  or Venmo = @Washingtonblues-Society

***if we receive 10+ applicants for any event, our Board may select applicants via lottery on May 31st. AND options for relocation will be sent.

This form is an initial statement of interest, and not binding.

Judges will evaluate acts using the Blues Foundation rules and score sheet.

More info for competitors here:

You will need your instruments!

Please bring a DI if you use one.
Backline equipment provided by The Blues Society will be high quality, professional gear that you should be familiar with.

BASS AMP and Drum kit -and PA System
The use of wireless systems will depend upon the venue, soundperson, and time constraints.
Midi and looping devices to enhance performances are not barred from the competition but are frowned on by the judges, as this competition is about LIVE music performance!
Drummers will need to bring cymbals. You may want to bring your snare, and pedal as well.
Harp players are allowed to bring a harp amp, but this is not required as we will have a guitar amp available for use.
Keyboard players may bring their own keys, but this is not required as an 88 keyed and weighted keyboard will be provided upon request.

The use of pedals, stomp boxes and other auxiliary equipment is allowed. We will not allow you to use your own bass amp during any round of the competition.

Thank you in advance for NOT calling The Blues Soicety to ask for an exception to this rule, as we will not allow any exceptions.


May Competition

Junkyard -Spokane Valley May 26 

June competions

CCR Snohomish (6/2) 

Aurora Borealis ,Seattle (6/9) 

Purdy’s Pub, Sumner (6/23)

Vancouver. WA TBA  (6/30)

The  Blues Society provides PA , Drum Kit and Bass Amp for all contestants to use.

If we receive 10+ applicants for any event, our Board may select applicants via lottery on May 31st.

The entry form is an initial statement of interest, and not

Judges will evaluate acts using the Blues Foundation score sheet (

The 2024 international Blues Challenge Finals

Sunday AUG 4th at Conway Muse. 

NOON Start Time – All Ages Welcome




Each competition will follow the rules of the Blues Foundation. Each set will be limited to 25 minutes, and each competitor will be allowed one 15-minute set change.

Any blues act that in resides in WA, OR, ID, MT, BC or ALB, may enter, IF the act includes at least one member who is a Blues Society member of an associated Greater Pacific Northwest Blues Society must be verified as part of the IBC entry.

The contest entry application  must include the non-refundable entry fee, which pays for the backline and a PA system.

Each winner will be required to perform at a minimum of two fundraisers in 2024 and one fundraiser in 2025 at no charge.

Proceeds from these events and fees, will be deposited into a WBS fund to help defray expenses to get each winning act to and from Memphis plus Hotel and Fod per diam .. but we cannot guarantee an “all-expense paid” trip.



Best Self-Produced CD Contest

The Best Self-Produced CD, given out at the International Blues Challenge, as part of our mission to celebrate blues recording and to ensure the future of this uniquely American art form.

Best Self-Produced Official Rules:
Entries for the Best Self-Produced CD are permitted by Blues Foundation Affiliated Organizations only.
Each Affiliate is permitted one entry.
The CD entered may be recorded and performed by an act other than is entered in the current year’s International Blues Challenge.
Compilations are not eligible.

Only CDs released between November 1, 2023, and October 31, 2024, are eligible for consideration as The 2024 Best Self-Produced CD.

While the foundation encourages competition at the Affiliate level to determine the CD it will sponsor for Best Self-Produced CD, it does not require one. As an Affiliate, The Washington Blues Society conducts a competition to determine who it will sponsor, overseen by the executive board.

A performer who has previously been nominated for a Blues Music Award (formerly the W.C. Handy Blues Award) shall not be eligible for this competition. A CD issued in the name of an otherwise eligible performer which also includes the contributions of a Blues Music Award nominee may be ineligible, depending on the extent of the contribution. Please contact The Blues Foundation directly to confirm eligibility.
A CD on a record label that has been previously nominated for a Blues Music Award (formerly the W.C. Handy Blues Award) shall not be eligible for this competition.
WBS Judging will take place in October. Judges will remain anonymous in order to protect them from outside influences and represent a cross-section of professionals from the blues radio and print industry. The final results will be announced at the finals of the International Blues Challenge on Saturday, of IBC week held at the historic Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, TN.

Evaluation Criteria:
Judges will evaluate each submitted CD on the following characteristics. The criteria considered are listed in order of importance.

(1) Blues Content
(2) Musical Performance
(3) Audio Quality and Production Value of the Recording
(4) Professionalism and Visual Appearance of Cover Art and Design
(5) Credits and Liner Note Information.


How to Submit:

submit 4 copies of the album by Sept 30, 2024 



PO BOX 70604

Seattle WA 98127

official rules :


2025 IBC Entry Form and Instuction Sheet (1)

Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons (Washington Blues Society) solo/duo winners 2017

The WIRED! Band (Washington Blues Society) Band winner 2012




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