The Mile High Blues Society presents
The Denver Blues Challenge
for the Blues Foundation IBC to be held in Memphis, Tennessee
January 28, 2020 through February 1, 2020
36th International Blues Challenge
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN
and will be open through May 31, 2019.
The online registration form can be found
PRELIMINARY ROUNDS will be in July/August.
We've held these dates for:
SUNDAY JULY 14 - Confirmed date we will use based on musician & venue availability.
SUNDAY JULY 21
SUNDAY JULY 28
SUNDAY AUGUST 4 - Confirmed date we will use based on musician & venue availability.
SUNDAY AUGUST 18 at HERMAN'S HIDEAWAY
The following Business Members of MHBS have offered to help us by hosting MHBS IBC Events at their venues. We will use as many venues and dates as necessary to meet the scheduling needs of the venues and the musicians.
Oskar Blues - Homemade Liquids and Solids - Longmont
PRELIMINARY ROUND - 25 MINUTES
FINAL ROUND - 20 MINUTES
The Preliminary Round dates used will be determined by the number of registrations!
The 36th Annual International Blues Challenge will be in Memphis, Tennessee January 28 through February 1, 2020
Thank you for supporting live blues!
JOIN the MHBS
There are three categories in which acts may compete – (1) Band Competition, (2) Solo / Duo Competition and (3) Youth Showcase.
MHBS will follow the Blues Foundation's rules as closely as possible. The exceptions MHBS has to the Blues Foundation rules is we allow CURRENT MHBS MEMBERS to VOTE for their favorite band, solo/duo, and youth showcase act during the competition (preliminary and finals)
Another exceptions is MHBS has two rounds - Preliminary and Finals. We do not have 'quarter-finals'.
Also please note, the weighting of categories.
REMEMBER - the acts are competing against the SCORE SHEET - not each other or other acts!
Be completely aware of the scoring criteria and what each category covers!
An act is limited to three consecutive appearances at the IBC, i.e. there must be a break of at least one year after competing in three back-to back IBCs. If you complete in more than one category with MHBS and WIN more than one category you MUST select which category you are going to compete in Memphis with. That decision must be made at the time the Finalist winners are announced.
Any act, band, or solo/duo, that has won first place at the IBC in Memphis may not enter a challenge in that same category in the future. An individual musician who has won the IBC as a solo performer may not re-enter as part of a duo, nor can a member of an IBC winning duo then enter as a solo performer.
An act or individual must never have received a Blues Music Award nomination and an act may not participate in the Memphis IBC in three consecutive years.
Scoring Categories and Definitions:
Blues Content: The sound and feel of the music should be true to any of blues sub-categories: traditional blues, country blues, soul blues, blues rock and/or contemporary blues. Judges will be listening for inspired and original song selections or new takes on blues standards. Creative reach is encouraged.
Originality: Original work is encouraged. Cover tunes are allowed but playing the recorded rendition lick by lick is discouraged, will not be looked upon favorably by the judges, and will be reflected in scoring.
Vocals: The act’s vocal skills to include concepts of tone, musicality, meaning, and expression.
Instrumental Talent: Ability level on all instruments featured within the act.
Stage Presence: The ability to command the attention of the audience by the impressiveness of one’s manner and appearance on stage. Judges will consider how an act connects with and engages the audience in the music. Proper use of microphones and amplification will be considered.
Acts must indicate if their songs are their own original material (this can be done at the start of the set or before each song as appropriate) and/or identify the covers that they are playing and acknowledge the originator.
Basic Scoring Calculation:
Judges will score acts on a 10 point scale, with 10 points being the highest score received and 1 point being the lowest.
The following weights will be used in calculating final scores:
Raw scores for Blues Content will be multiplied by four
Raw scores for Originality will be multiplied by three
Raw scores for Talent will be multiplied by two
Raw scores for Vocals will be multiplied by two
Raw scores for Stage Presence will be multiplied by two
The maximum Total Weighted Score an act may receive from the judges is 130.
Each judge will account for 30% of the total vote each, totaling 90%.
TEN PERCENT (10%) OF THE SCORE WILL BE FROM BALLOTS CAST BY FANS, WHO ARE CURRENT MHBS MEMBERS, ATTENDING THE DENVER BLUES CHALLENGE. IT IS IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO GET AS MANY OF YOUR FANS TO THE SHOW AS POSSIBLE. To become a MHBS Member you can sign up on the JOIN! link on our website or click HERE.
An act will be penalized one point from its Total Weighted Score for each of the following:
Missing act check-in or act registration on the day of the event
Excessive time loading-in before and/or loading out after a competition performance - each act is allotted 5 minutes to set up and 5 minutes to tear down and be off of the stage.
Failing to acknowledge that a song is a cover and/or not giving credit to its originator
Each ten seconds that it runs overtime during a competition performance.
Finishing 3 or more minutes before its allotted performance time expires.
Showing up late and/or missing performance order drawing at Preliminary or Finals
Showing up late and/or not being ready to perform on time.
BLUES CHALLENGE FORMAT
During the Preliminary round, the sets will be 25 minutes long, with 10 minutes between sets. During the Final round, sets will be 20 minutes long, with 10 minutes between sets. Five minutes to tear down - Five minutes to set up. Penalty points may be deducted if you exceed the allocated five minutes.
STAGING AND EQUIPMENT
The Mile High Blues Society will provide backline and sound. The setup on stage will include a drum kit with snare drum, amplifiers, and microphones. Drummers should bring their own snare, cymbals and kick pedals (Yes, you will need your cymbals, you might want to bring your own snare too) and Harmonica players CAN (but are not required) bring their own harp amp. Keyboard players must bring their own keyboards and keyboard amps. Effects racks and other auxiliary equipment are permitted.
Competitors are prohibited from bringing their own amplifiers (keyboard and harmonica amps being the only exceptions.) Please bring a DI (if you use one) every effort will be made to provide suitable equipment.
The Mile High Blues Society reserves the right to approve or restrict any and all equipment an entrant wishes to bring on stage.
Microphones will be provided. Competitors are welcome to use their own microphone if they wish.
ORDER OF APPEARANCE
The performance ORDER for each act will be randomly drawn at the performance venue an hour before the start of each event, on the day of the event. A representative from EACH act MUST be present during the drawing.
From the Blues Foundation
About the Challenge
The 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 Affilated 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.