Video by TheBluesFoundation
If you’ve been dying to bust onto the blues music scene or you're just a true blue fan of the genre, then the 36th annual International Blues Challenge is a must-attend event. The challenge is a worldwide search for undiscovered talent in blues and is ultimately a contest to bring out the best of the best.

Sponsored by The Blues Foundation, this year’s event is scheduled from January 28 to February 1 on Beale Street. Rounds of the competition take place at a variety of venues along this street, with the finalists convening at the Orpheum Theater for the last day of this intense challenge.

The competition is a significant event within the blues community; aspiring musicians from around the world come to compete in the IBC. Each affiliate of The Blues Foundation has the opportunity to send a solo, duo or band to represent their branch of the organization.

Judges for the IBC have years of experience in the industry. They've worked in all areas of the music industry including producing, performing, songwriting, and of course, blues music appreciation. The Blues Foundation uses its' own established criteria for evaluating the contestants over the course of the five-day challenge.

You know you’ll be seeing quality performances and acts when you attend the IBC. Each affiliated organization that sends an artist to represent them at the challenge is required to hold a preliminary competition to determine who will be competing for the top spot. While not every affiliated association determines their entrants the exact same way, there is a selection process to narrow down the top choices.

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