The MO Blues Association “Road to Memphis” Blues Challenge

The International Blues Challenge (IBC) represents a worldwide search for the Blues Band and Solo/Duo Blues Acts ready to perform on the international stage, yet just needing that extra big break. Each Affiliate of The Blues Foundation has the right to send a band and a solo/duo act to represent its organization at the IBC.

The IBC is judged by blues professionals from across the world who have years of experience in listening to, producing, and creating blues music. The Blues Foundation has established a set of criteria by which all acts are evaluated throughout the five days of the IBC.

Affiliated organizations are required to stage a regional preliminary IBC competition, with the winner of that event representing the organization in the International Blues Challenge held annually in Memphis, TN along historic Beale Street. While Affiliated Organizations are encouraged to follow The Blues Foundation’s structure and rules during their local challenges, each organization is free to structure its preliminary rounds as it sees fit, as long as a true challenge between multiple acts takes place resulting in a single band and/or solo/duo act being identified.

The MO Blues Association is holding its local preliminary IBC competition, The Road to Memphis, on October 29, 2017. Bands seeking to participate in the competition must complete and submit an application for admission.


The MO Blues Association will accept the FIRST FIVE band applications received that meet requirement qualifications. When sufficient numbers of qualified applications are received by the MO Blues Association, the application availability period will close. No applications will be accepted after the official deadline date of  October 15, 2017.


  1. The competition is open to any MO Blues member band.  The band must be a member band, with paid membership, as of Sept. 30, 2017. MO Blues Band membership information is available on the MO Blues website,
  1. Your signature is a guarantee of performance for all dates you qualify to Do not sign if you have a conflict with any of the following dates:
  • MO Blues Challenge Final Judging – Sunday, October 29, 2017 at The Bridge (619 East Capitol Ave. Jefferson City, Missouri)
  • 34th International Blues Challenge, Memphis TN – January 16 to 20, 2018 (Tuesday-Saturday)
  1. You will be notified of your October 29 performance time as soon as the selection process is complete.  Failure to perform due to a performance conflict results in immediate disqualification of your band. Act members must remain the same for both the local and national competition performances.
    [NOTE: No substitution will be allowed without prior consent of the MO Blues board and only in the case of an emergency. MO Blues must have 24-hour notification to consider any substitution request.]
  1. If winning act is not able to perform in the International Blues Competition in Memphis January 16 to 20, 2018, travel expense is forfeited.
  1. Sound will be provided at the performance venue.
  1. Entrants accept full responsibility for all taxes and restrictions in relation to contest prizes.
  1. The Winning Band in the MO Blues local competition will be required to provide any photos, band biography or recorded material that may be required by the IBC competition in Memphis. These IBC competition materials may include:
  • an act biography and a high-resolution promotional photo in jpeg format.
  • An audio CD or cassette tape of original music.
  1. Entrants grant permission to the MO Blues Association, Inc. for use of photos, audio and video tapes for promotional purposes only.
  1. All decisions of the judges are FINAL (IBC scoring system & guidelines may be viewed at:
  1. Entries must be postmarked or emailed by October 15, 2017 – NO EXCEPTIONS!


“Click the link above to download the Application Form”