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The Blues Foundation Affiliate

DCBS Battle of the Bands & International Blues 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 DC Blues Society is an affiliate(*) of The Blues Foundation.

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 (The DC Blues Society Battle of the Bands and Solo/Duo 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.

In addition to the Battle of the Bands and the Solo/Duo Competition, there are categories for Youth Acts and Self-produced CD.

The DC Blues Society Battle of the Bands

2017 DCBS Battle of the Bands Winner!

Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 DCBS Battle of the Bands, Lady D & The Rogue Johnsen Trio! They will now go on to represent the DC Blues Society at the 2018 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.

The DC Blues Society Battle of the Bands winner will compete at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN and more!

The competition will consist of a CD review competition and an all-live competition. 

WHEN: Battle of the BLUES Bands:   Saturday, August 19, 2017 (Check back later for information about next year's competition).

WHERE: American Legion- Cissel Saxon Post 41, 905 Sligo Avenue (entrance on Fenton Street), Silver Spring, MD 20910

The winners are paid to perform at the 2017 FREE College Park Blues Festival (an IBC Fundraiser) on Saturday, November 4, 2017 AND at the 2018 FREE Annual DC Blues Festival (Subject to Change), AND will represent the DC Blues Society at the 2018 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.

The contest is open to blues artists from DC, Maryland and Virginia. See Eligibility Criteria below for additional details.

The DC Blues Society Solo/Duo Competition

2017 DCBS Solu/Duo Competition Winner!

Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 DCBS Battle of the Bands Solo/Duo Competition, Patty Reese & Dave Chappell!. They will now go on to represent the DC Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.

The DC Blues Society Solo/Duo Competition winner will compete at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN and more!

The competition will consist of a CD review competition and an all-live competition. 

WHEN: DCBS Solo/Duo Competition:   Saturday, September 9, 2017

WHERE: American Legion- Cissel Saxon Post 41, 905 Sligo Avenue (entrance on Fenton Street), Silver Spring, MD 20910

The winners are paid to perform at the 2017 FREE College Park Blues Festival (an IBC Fundraiser) on Saturday, November 4, 2017 AND at the 2018 FREE Annual DC Blues Festival (Subject to Change), AND will represent the DC Blues Society at the 2018 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.

The contest is open to blues artists from DC, Maryland, and Virginia. See Eligibility Criteria below for additional details.

How To Enter

NOTE: This year's entry deadlines have passed. Check back later for information about next year's competition.

To enter:   print and fill out the DCBS IBC Application form (write clearly) - application form is also available in Word format 

To be eligible, you'll need to send all of the following:

  1. Filled out form with confirmation of DCBS membership(**) - identify which you're entering:   Battle of the BLUES Bands or Solo / Duo BLUES Act

  2. Confirmation that you and your band have read the Scoring Criteria / Penalties / Eligibility Criteria.

  3. At least 3 sample tunes on CD

  4. Official band name

  5. Short band bio (100 words or less)

  6. A digital color or B&W photo with a 300 dpi resolution

  7. A link to your website

Failure to send the above may forfeit eligibility. Sample tunes are required in order to qualify. Materials sent to DCBS will only be returned if a self-addressed stamped envelope is provided.

E-mail items 1-7 to: jams@dcblues.org

 

AND mail everything by the deadline to:

DC Blues Society - IBC Battles 
P.O. Box 77315
Washington, DC 20013-7315

Eligibility Criteria

 

The winner is obligated to attend the International Blues Challenge competition.

An act is limited to two consecutive appearances at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN and must then sit out at least one year before being eligible to compete again.  An act under the same name will not be allowed to compete three consecutive years.


Any artist whose name has appeared on a final Handy/Blues Music Award ballot is ineligible. (All other musicians who have had peripheral and/or professional contact through performance with a Handy/Blues Music Award nominee, including but not limited to touring band members and studio musicians, are deemed eligible for the IBC.)


An individual may not compete in more than one act in any capacity.


The competition is for BLUES Bands and BLUES Soloists/Duos.


No other entry restrictions apply. This means that management contracts, booking agent contracts, recording contracts, performance contracts (even those that include regular television or radio broadcast) and nationally distributed recordings have no bearing on eligibility.

For complete International Blues Challenge rules, scoring, and other information, visit https://blues.org/official-ibc-rules/

Scoring Criteria

 
 

SCORING SYSTEM FOR JUDGES

Here is the scoring procedure for DCBS Battle of the Bands:

  1. All categories and weightings are as previously stated. 

  2. Each judge will indicate his or her Raw Score (a whole number between 1 and 10) in each category and turn that information over to the scorekeeper. Judges will not weight scores. 

  3. The scorekeeper will multiply the Raw Score in each category by the established multiplier to get each judge's Weighted Score in each category for each act. 

  4. The Weighted Scores from each category for an act are added together to determine the acts’ Total Weighted Score for each judge. 

  5. Any penalty points will then be deducted to obtain the act's Net Weighted Score.

  6. The band with the highest Net Weighted Score wins.

  • Each band will have thirty (30) minutes to perform their selections and up to 7 (seven) minutes to set-up. (See Penalty section.) 

  • In case of a tie, the band that has the highest weighted score in the Blues Content category will be declared the winner. If a tie remains, the scorekeeper shall calculate the sum of all Total Weighted Scores from all judges for the tied acts. The band with the higher sum of Total Weighted Scores wins.

  • Visit the International Blues Challenge website for more information on the IBC.

The following scoring criteria reflect, in large part, the Blues Foundation recommendations as they apply to the International Blues Challenge. Categories include Talent, Blues Content, Stage Presence and Originality.

  1. Blues Content (weight of 4):
    Everyone has his or her own interpretation of what is and is not Blues. Thus, any given three-judge panel will include members with varying opinions of Blues, covering the spectrum of Blues whenever possible, from the most traditional to soul/blues and rock/blues. Bands should pick material carefully. At the Memphis semi-finals and finals, the judges are Blues professionals, not a bar crowd, and are likely to be unimpressed with song selections that are uninspired. (Call this - with all due respect to Sir Mack Rice and Wilson Pickett - the "no Mustang Sally rule.") 

  2. Originality (weight of 3):  
    Original work is encouraged. Cover tunes are allowed but playing the recorded rendition lick by lick is discouraged and will not be looked upon favorably by the judges and will be reflected in scoring.

  3. Vocals (weight of 2):
    The act's vocal skills.

  4. Instrumental Talent (weight of 2): 
    This category is self-explanatory - the act's vocal and/or instrumental skills. 

  5. Stage Presence (weight of 2): 
    Over the years, the quality of talent has risen so dramatically that the IBC no longer considers this an "amateur" competition. Most contestants have performed on stage enough to know that they are not simply playing music, but putting on a show. This category rates how "sellable" an act may be.

Band Sets
Each band will have thirty (30) minutes to perform their selections. There will be a 7-minute changeover period between sets. If a band exceeds the 30-minute performance time or the 7-minute changeover a penalty may apply. (See Penalty section.)

Weighted Scoring
To reflect the relative importance of each category in the success of a band, a band's score in each category is weighted. Raw scores for Blues Content are multiplied by four. Talent is multiplied by three. And Originality and Stage Presence are multiplied by two. The total in each category represents the Weighted Score for that category. Total possible weighted score is 110. DCBS will not use the IBC ranking calculations. The band with the highest sum of Net Weighted Scores is the winner.

Penalty Points 
A Band is penalized one point from its Total Weighted Score (see below) for each ten seconds that it runs overtime. There is no penalty for using less than the allotted time. The same penalty also applies to exceeding the 7-minute changeover period. [If the preceding band takes more than five minutes to clear the stage, the oncoming band will not be penalized.]    

International Blues Challenge CD Nominations

 

Let In The Sun, by Patty Reese, has been nominated by The DC Blues Society for the best self-produced CD award at the International Blues Challenge! 

Do you want to nominate someone for the Best Self-Produced CD? Submit a CD and a letter explaining why DCBS should nominate the CD.

DUEThis year's entry deadlines have already passed. Check back later for information about next year's competition.

REQUIREMENT:  The person submitting the CD or a member of the band must be a DCBS member.

WHAT TO SEND:

  1. Letter with Contact Information

  2. CD

WHERE TO SEND IT: 

DCBS - CD Nominations 
P.O. Box 77315 
Washington, DC 20013 

Read the: Basic Rules & Nomination Procedure

International Blues Challenge Youth Nominations

 

Submit the following Youth Act information and a letter explaining why DCBS should nominate the Youth Act.

DUE: This year's entry deadlines have already passed. Check back later for information about next year's competition.

REQUIREMENT: One member of the Youth Act must be a DCBS member.

WHAT TO SEND:

  1. Letter with your Contact Information

  2. Biography

  3. Photo

  4. CD

WHERE TO SEND IT: 

DCBS - Youth Nominations 
P.O. Box 77315 
Washington, DC 20013 

NOTE: Youth Acts will be selected to perform during the Youth Showcase (at the International Blues Challenge) but will not compete. A Youth Act is any act in which all performing members are under the age of 21 at the time of the International Blues Challenge.

* The DC Blues Society is a Blues Foundation affiliate. The International Blues Challenge (IBC) is restricted to acts sponsored by a Blues Foundation affiliate.

** At least one member of your band or duo (or you, if you are a solo act) must be a member of The DC Blues Society to compete in these events. If you you are not a DCBS member, or no one in your band is a DCBS member, please visit our MEMBERSHIP page for information on how to become a DCBS member.