The IBC is a five-day event that includes both band and solo/duo blues music competition, youth and international showcases and seminars . Typically, over 250 (band, solo/duo and youth) acts from 40 states and two dozen countries participate in the four rounds in Memphis. Significantly, the acts cannot enter directly, but are sponsored by one of our 200 affiliated organizations that are so critical to nurturing Blues culture in their own region.


The 31st (2015) International Blues Challenge will be held January 20-24, 2015 in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee in the Beale Street Historic District.

The 31st International Blues Challenge will begin Tuesday night (Jan 20) with the International Showcase. Wednesday and Thursday night (January 21-22) quarter finals will be conducted. Youth Showcase and Semi Finals will be held Friday evening (Jan 23). Saturday (Jan 24) IBC will conclude with Finals in the beautiful Orpheum Theatre .


The 31st International Blues Challenge is sponsored by ArtsMemphis, Beale Street Merchants Association, BMI, Category 5 amps, Catfood Records, Consulate General of Canada – Atlanta, Gibson Guitars, Jontaar Creative Studios, Lee Oskar Harmonicas, Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, Reactor Watch, St. Blues Guitars, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and Tennessee Arts Commission.

Media sponsors include Beale Street Caravan, Big City Rhythm and Blues, Blues Festival Guide, Downtowner, Elwood’s Bluesmobile, Living Blues, Memphis Flyer, Music on the Couch and Offbeat.