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Washington Blues Society  Local Competitions for

2020 International Blues Challenge

Washington Blues Society Contacts:

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

The Washington Blues Society’s local competitions for the 2020 International Blues Challenge in Memphis have been set! It’s time for bands and solo/duo acts to make their plans to compete. One band and one solo/duo act will represent the Washington Blues Society (WBS) in Memphis at the world’s largest gathering of blues musicians in January of 2020 on Memphis’ fabled Beale Street.

We are working with Blues Societies across the state to hold semi-finals across the state to make it easier for blues acts to participate.

We will hold semi-finals on: Monday, May 27th in Snohomish, WA at Collector’s Choice Restaurant; Sunday, June 2nd in Tacoma, WA at the Airport Tavern; Sunday, June 9th in Anacortes, WA at the Rock Fish Taproom; Sunday, June 16th in Cashmere, WA at Club Crow;  and Sunday, June 30th in Spokane, WA -bridge press cellars

The finalists will compete Sunday, August 25th in Everett, WA. If we receive 10+ applicants for any event, our Board may select applicants via lottery at the May 2019 Board meeting.

We are working with the Inland Empire Blues Society (IEBS) and South Sound Blues Assoc. to hold semi-finals across the state to make it easier for blues acts to participate.

IBC Finals (set times TBA) 


Brian Butler


John Greyhound Maxwell

Blue Moon Marquee

Robert & Randy


Slide Pocket

Randy Oxford Blues 

Rafael Tranquilino 

CD Woodbury

Bobby Patterson Band

Wild cards

T-Town Aces-Band

Flying Blind-Solo/Duo


The finalists will compete on Sunday, August 25. in Everett WA on the waterfront stage at Port Gardner Landing, 1700 W. Marine View Dr., Everett, 98201. (directions)


****If we receive more than 10 applicants for either event, our Board may select applicants via a lottery at the May 2019 Board meeting.*** 

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 resides in WA, OR, ID, MT, BC or ALB, may enter, and the act must include at least one who is a member of the WBS. Membership can be established at IBC entry, using the membership form in the WBS Bluesletter or online at Please note: membership in WWBS for acts competing in Wenatchee or membership in IEBS for acts competing in Spokane is required in place of the WBS membership requirement. The contest entry application may be downloaded from wvvw.wablues.orq, or in the April and May edition of the WBS Bluesletter, or the Inland Empire’s Blues Notes, and 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 2019 and one fundraiser in 2020 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, but we cannot guarantee an “all-expense paid” trip. Band entry fee is $30; solo duo entry fee is $15.

All proceeds will help with expenses for Memphis. The WBS will help winners in fundraising, but cannot guarantee that all expenses for Memphis will be covered.

Judges will evaluate each act using the Blues Foundation scoring criteria ( and rules (www.blues.orq/ibc/rules.php). Acts may not be affiliated with the WBS Board or act upon the application.

IBC rules also prohibit any act from competing three consecutive years at the IBC

The application is an initial statement of interest and not a binding agreement between the applicant and the WBS.

Make your plans to enter now!


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, 2018, and October 31, 2019, are eligible for consideration as The 2020 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.

The CD may not include a board member or officer of the sponsoring Affiliated organization.
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, FEB 2, 2020 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 their album 

Submissions MUST be received by The Washington Blues Society no later than October  8, 2019, at the October Blues bash or by mail at the following address: Washington Blues Society Best CD -4003 Friday Ave Everett WA 98201. 

official rules :