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Huck’s Beer Buzz in conjunction with the Blue Ridge Blues Society in Roanoke is sponsoring a Blues Challenge to send a band and a solo/duo act to Memphis in January.

The competition will be from 12:30 to 5:30 on Saturday November 12th at the Rising Silo Brewery on Glade Road in Blacksburg.

The competitors will start at 1PM and we must be done by 5:30. Depending on the number of entries, the sets will be 20 minutes and limited to 8 acts. 

There will be a $25 entry fee and $100 awarded to the winner of each category. We will be putting out a tip jar for the winners and will start a crowd source fund raiser now to help defray the costs. The tips and crowd source will be weighted 66% for the bands and 34% for the solo/duo.

Anyone who knows Blues minded persons or companies who would like to contribute, or bands who would like to participate, have them contact Huck at

Competitors should read through the rules and other information below and be clear on the scoring criteria and other requirements of the contest.

May the best band (or solo/duo) win!


Winners go to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN, January 31-February 4, 2017. Over 250 acts from around the world vie for top honors during this week in Memphis, TN.

We will provide professional backline equipment for competitors for ease of transition between acts and to assure a level playing field for all performers and will provide overall sound and sound engineer.

PLEASE, do not ask to use your “signature sound” amplifier, you must use one of the provided amplifiers. (please see the rules for what equipment is allowable) Keyboard and harmonica players may bring their own Amps.


Scoring Criteria 
The Blues Foundation recommends that all Affiliated Organizations in their competition use our established scoring criteria. Categories include Talent Vocal, Blues Content, Stage Presence and Originality.

  1. Blues Content: 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. Vocals: The acts vocal skills.
    3. Talent: The acts instrumental skills.
    4. 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.
    5. Stage Presence: Over the years, the quality of talent has risen so dramatically that we no longer consider 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” a band may be.

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 is multiplied by four, Talent and vocals 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 weig

Penalty Points

An ACT will be 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.
At the producing organization’s discretion, a policy of penalty for excessive time loading-in and out will also be applied.
The weighted multipliers will be Blues content (4); talent and vocals (3); originality (2) and stage presence (2).


Act Check-in
To avoid point deductions, plan your travel to Memphis carefully. Each COMPETING act must check in between 12 noon – 2:30 pm February 1, 2017 at (To Be Determined) Beale Street. You will receive your credentials as well as your venue assignment at check-in. Attendance of Act Orientation at 2:45 pm February 1, 2017 at (To Be Determined) Beale Street, is required. Orientation will review contest rules, introduce key people, and seek to resolve any questions or special problems that contestants may have. Any competitor failing to check in by the beginning of ACT Orientation without special arrangement will be disqualified.

Huck Was Here!

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