Ozark Blues Society announces its annual “Blues Challenge” competition

July 20, 2012

Our friends at the Ozark Blues Society are looking for a few good blues

On September 13, 2012, the Ozark Blues Society of Northwest Arkansas will host its Annual Blues Challenge at George’s Majestic Lounge on Dickson Street in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The society is seeking submissions from Blues bands and solo/duo artists to compete in this event. The acts will perform 20-minute sets in a randomly-chosen order which will be announced just prior to the start of the competition. Submissions will be juried so that there will be no more than a total of 16 acts in the competition. The September 13th competition will be judged by professionals in the blues music business, such as professional music media writers, music promoters, blues radio show hosts, and officers from other blues societies surrounding Northwest Arkansas.

There are no fees to enter the Blues Challenge and submissions must be received by August 17, 2012 in order to participate. Submissions should contain a band or solo/duo bio, a CD recording of the act or a website link where videos or songs are posted and, professional-looking photographs in a “jpg” format suitable for press releases and web postings. Submissions can be made directly on the Ozark Blues Society’s website or via the US Postal Service.

Details about the Blues Challenge (official rules, scoring criteria, guidelines, application form, etc.), as well as the ability to submit an entry form via the Ozark Blues Society’s website can be obtained here.  http://www.ozarkbluessociety.org/Blues_Challenge.html

Submissions to enter the challenge via the US Postal Service can be sent to the following address:  
The Ozark Blues Society of NWA, P.O. Box 2004, Bentonville AR 72712. 

Questions about submissions can also be sent by email to: webmaster@ozarkbluessociety.org

There will be two winners announced on the same night of the competition — one band and one solo/duo act. Winners will then compete at the four-day 2013 International Blues Challenge on Beale Street in Memphis on January 29 through February 2, 2013. All expenses are paid by Ozark Blues Society for the winners’ travel, lodging and daily food allowance. 

Past winners of this local challenge include Nathan A & Max RPM, Ray Bonneville, Kory Montgomery, The Eoff Brothers, The Brick Fields Band, Adam Posnak, Scott Leeper, Isayah Warford, and Buddy Shute, among others. 

Kory Montgomery and the Eoff Brothers each went on to the Top 10 Finals in Memphis.  Ray Bonneville, our local winner in the solo/duo category last year, went on to take first place in the International Blues Challenge solo/duo category in 2012.

The 2013 International Blues Challenge in Memphis will be the 29th year that Blues musicians from around the world will compete for cash, prizes, and industry recognition. This is the world’s largest gathering of Blues acts and is produced by The Blues Foundation and its Affiliated Organizations. At the 2012 competition earlier this year, 119 bands and 86 solo/duo acts entered, filling the clubs up and down Beale Street for the quarter finals on Wednesday and Thursday, the semi-finals on Friday and the finals at the Orpheum Theater on Saturday. There will be at least that many artists competing in 2013.

Here’s what some artists and attendees have had to say about their experience in Memphis at the International Blues Challenge:

Zac Harmon, the 2004 IBC winner and 2006 Blues Music Award Best New Artist, said, “Winning the International Blues Challenge is better than having a $100,000 publicity budget.”

Matt Anderson, who won first place in the 2010 solo/duo competition, said, “I pushed the whole competition thing out of my head. I didn’t want to focus on that. I decided to leave that alone and went and made a point to meet as many people as I could; made a lot of great connections.”

“This was my first year attending the International Blues Challenge and it was better than any festival I have ever attended,” said Eddie Bagwell, vice president of the Tulsa Blues Society.

What: Blues Challenge, a competition sponsored by the Ozark Blues Society of Northwest Arkansas in affiliation with the International Blues Challenge presented each year by the Blues Foundation

When: Thursday, September 13, 2012, 6pm-11:30pm

Where: Fayetteville, Arkansas at George’s Majestic Lounge, 519 W. Dickson Street


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