The 2018 Columbus Blues Challenge

Sunday, April 29

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., held to find the blues music industry’s next big acts. Foundation affiliates may send representatives to the IBC by staging a local challenge to determine their representatives.

We produce the Columbus Blues Challenge to determine the acts that will represent Columbus at the following year’s IBC in three categories: Band, Solo/Duo, & Youth. Acts are given 25 minutes to perform for a panel of independent judges. Acts are scored based on criteria used by the Blues Foundation’s at the IBC, with the highest scoring act in each category becoming Columbus’ representatives.

Prize money will be awarded to the highest-scoring Band ($1,000) and Solo/Duo winners ($200/person). Youth is a non-competitive category and does not receive a prize, but may receive money from IBC fundraisers. Winners may receive an offer to perform at the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival.

Prize monies are funded by membership dues of the participating acts, and event admission. ALL money raised for this event goes to our representatives!


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

There are NO entry fees for the Columbus Blues Challenge.

All performers MUST be members of the Columbus Blues Alliance.

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

Click here for Membership Information

Mail the completed Challenge Application 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


2018 Challenge Application

  • All applications are due on or before April 21, 2018.
  • 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.
  • Applications will be reviewed and accepted in the order they are received, until the schedule is full.
  • 12 total performance slots are available for all categories, combined.
  • A drawing to determine order of performance and performance times will be made by the Executive Committee on April 22, 2018.

Who Can Enter?



Best Self-Produced CD Award