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(Memphis, TN) – The Blues Foundation’s (BF) International Blues Challenge has posted their 2018 schedule. We’ve included a list below. The annual International Blues Challenge represents the worldwide search for those Blues Bands 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.

Here’s the partial 2018 IBC schedule (check BF website for all and links):

  • Official Opening of the IBC – International Showcase: Tues, Jan 16, 5pm – 9pm Clayborn Temple 294 Hernando Street and also continue on Beale Street 8pm
  • Roots and Blues Showcase presented by Blind Raccoon: Weds, Jan 17-18-19, 11:30am, Purple Haze Night Club, 140 Lt. General W. Lee
  • Health Fair and Screenings: Weds, Jan 17, Noon until 2:30pm, Club 152 – 2nd Floor 152 Beale Street
  • IBC Act Check-In: Weds, Jan 17, Noon until 2:30pm Tin Roof, 315 Beale Street
  • Youth Showcase Memphis Museum Bus Tour: Weds, Jan 17, 12:30pm, Blues Hall of Fame Museum 421 South Main Street
  • IBC Act Orientation: Weds, Jan 17, 2:30pm Tin Roof, 315 Beale Street
  • International Blues Challenge – Quarterfinals Round 1: Weds, Jan 17, 4:30pm, Various Clubs on Beale Street
  • Blues Networking – Speed Dating for Musicians and Industry: Thurs, Jan 18, 11am, Doubletree Hotel 185 Union Avenue
  • Affiliate Workshop – The Blues Ed Story: Affiliate Workshop for Creating a Youth Talent and Development Program: Thurs, Jan 18, 11am Club 152 – First Floor 152 Beale Street
  • Great Canadian Polar Bear Blues Showcase: Thurs, Jan 18, 11:30am, Kooky Canuck Restaurant, 87 S. 2nd Street
  • Women in Blues (WiB) Showcase: Thurs, Jan 18, 11:30am until 4pm Alfred’s 197 Beale Street
  • The Galaxie Agency Showcase: Thurs, Jan 18, 11:30am – 4:30pm, B.B. King’s Blues Club 143 Beale Street
  • The Official Documentary of the IBC – Shake ‘Em on Down: The Blues According to Fred McDowell: Thursday, January 18, 2018. 1pm, Blues City Cafe. 138 Beale Street
  • International Blues Challenge – Quarterfinals Round 2: Thurs, Jan 18, 4:30pm, Various Clubs on Beale Street
  • All Star Jam: Thurs, Jan 18-19, 11:30pm, Club 152 – First Floor, 152 Beale Street
  • International Jam: Thurs, Jan 18, 11:30pm Tin Roof, 315 Beale Street
  • Keeping the Blues Alive Awards Luncheon: Fri, Jan 19,11am, Doubletree Hotel – Grand Ballroom, 185 Union Avenue
  • Master Class Schedule: Thurs, Jan 18, 2pm, Classes and locations TBA
  • Keynote Panel of The International Blues Challenge: “AAB: Addiction, Abuse, and the Blues” Fri, Jan 18, 2:15pm, Alfred’s on Beale, 197 Beale Street
  • Youth Showcase Act Orientation: Fri, Jan 19, 2:15pm, Hard Rock Café, 126 Beale Street
  • Youth Showcases: Fri, Jan 19, 4:20pm, Various Clubs on Beale Street
  • International Blues Challenge – Semifinals: Fri, Jan 19, 5:20pm, Various Beale Street Clubs
  • Youth Jam: Fri, Jan 19, 11pm, B.B. King’s Blues Club, 143 Beale Street
  • Official Blues Foundation IBC Auction: Sat, Jan 20, Noon until 6:30pm, Orpheum Theatre Lobby, 203 South Main Street
  • International Blues Challenge Finals: Sat, Jan 20, Noon, Orpheum Theatre, 203 South Main Street

Look for more details and links and ticket info on the website.

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