The 2017 Columbus Blues Challenge

Sunday, June 11

King Avenue 5 (945 King Avenue, Columbus)

The Columbus Blues Alliance is an affiliate of the Blues Foundation, which produces the annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. The IBC is an international event held to find the blues music industry’s next big acts. All Blues Foundation affiliates have the right to send representatives to the IBC, provided they stage a local Challenge to select their representatives.

We produce the Columbus Blues Challenge to select the acts that will represent the Columbus Blues Alliance at the following year’s IBC. Three categories of acts (Band, Solo/Duo, & Youth) are given 25 minutes to put on their best show for a panel of independent judges. Each act is scored, based on the same criteria used by the Blues Foundation at the IBC.

The winners are the highest scoring act in each category and will become Columbus’ representatives at the following year’s IBC. Prize money will also be awarded to the Band and Solo/Duo winners: $1,000 for Band, and $200/person for Solo/Duo. Youth is a non-competitive category and does not receive a prize payout, but is eligible to receive money from IBC fundraisers. Each winner may also receive an offer to perform at the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival.

Prize monies are funded by membership dues of the participating artists, and event admission. 100% of any money raised for this event goes to our IBC representatives!


  • $10 for members (of the Columbus Blues Alliance, the Blues Foundation or its affiliates)
  • $15 for non-members

All performers must be members of the Columbus Blues Alliance.

Memberships are $20/person, or free for anyone under 21 years of age

There are no entry fees for the Columbus Blues Challenge.

Print and fill out the 2017 Challenge Application. Mail the completed application, along with any Membership Forms & dues to the Columbus Blues Alliance at the following address:


Challenge Director

c/o Columbus Blues Alliance

1391 W 5th Ave, Suite 301

Columbus, Ohio 43212


Click here for there Challenge Application

Click here for Membership Information

  • All applications are due on or before May 27, 2017.
  • All memberships will be verified before your application is accepted.
  • Memberships are available online, but can also be printed and mailed.
  • Applications & Membership Forms should be mailed together to avoid delays.

The deadline to receive applications is May 27, 2017. Applications will be accepted in the order they are received, until the schedule is full. The number of available performance slots for all categories is TBD.

The order of performance will be drawn randomly on May 28, 2017. Performance times will be established then as well. The lineup will published on this page by May 30, 2017.

Who Can Enter?

Best Self-Produced CD Award