ILLINOIS CENTRAL BLUES CLUB 11th ANNUAL BLUES CHALLENGE
The Illinois Central Blues Club, “ICBC”, is announcing a “Call for Bands and Solo/Duo Acts” to compete in the 2017 Illinois Central Blues Club’s Challenge to be conducted on the Main Stage of the Old Capitol Blues & BBQ Festival held in downtown Springfield, Illinois, August 26, 2017. The Old Capitol Blues & BBQ is Springfield’s best festival and we believe that this year will be bigger and better than ever. In addition of having the chance to advance to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, acts will be playing the Main Stage at this great festival. The competition is the “opening act” for the evening’s headliners.
Approximate competition start time will be 3:00 pm. (Start time may change based on the number of acts entered in the completion. Acts should take this into account when making travel plans.)
Bands included in the Challenge will play a 25-minute competition time slot on the evening of August 26, 2017, prior to the Main Stage headliners. The ICBC reserves the right to change the format depending on the number of bands participating. Time slots will be chosen by a random drawing to be held during a participant’s meeting for at the Alamo, 115 S. 5th, Springfield, IL on a date and time to be announced to all challenge participants. The Band competition will take place on the Festival Main Stage, and festival sound system will be used. ***backline will not be provided. At the discretion of the ICBC, the solo/duo competition may take place at the Alamo at a different time and date. Judges for the competition will be comprised of individuals knowledgeable in the blues genre. The decisions of the judges are final. The President of the ICBC will automatically serve as a judge at their discretion. Judging criteria is the same as the criteria the Blues Foundation uses for the 34th International Blues Challenge to be held January 16-January 20, 2018 in Memphis, TN. NOTE: The International Blues Challenge is a 4-day competition, acts that participate will play at least the first 2 evenings of the competition.
The Illinois Central Blues Club will host a fundraiser for the winning band at the Alamo in Springfield, IL. at a time and date agreed upon by all parties. The winning band is expected to perform for this fundraiser. All proceeds from that event will go to the band. If the fundraiser brings in less than $1000.00, the ICBC will add to the raised amount to bring it up to a $1000.00 minimum.
The Illinois Central Blues Club will host a fundraiser for the winning solo/duo act at the Alamo in Springfield, IL. at a time and date agreed upon by all parties. The winning solo/duo act is expected to perform for this fundraiser. All proceeds from that event will go to the solo/duo act. If the fundraiser brings in less than $500.00, the ICBC will add to the amount raised at the fundraiser to bring it up to a $500.00 minimum.
In the event an ICBC act is unable to attend the International Blues Challenge, the cash prize will be forfeited in its entirety. Cash prizes will be given to the artist the week before the International Blues Challenge.
The ICBC will utilize the same Eligibility and Scoring Criteria as the Blues Foundation.
–The only artists who are deemed ineligible for the International Blues Challenge are artists whose name has appeared on a final Blues Music Award ballot. (and formerly the W.C. Handy Awards).
— An act may participate in the ICBC Challenge as often as they would like, although an act will not be able to in Memphis in three consecutive years.
— At least one member of the act must be a member of the Illinois Central Blues Club.
The Blues Foundation recommends that all Affiliated Organizations use their established scoring criteria. Categories include Vocals, Talent, Blues Content, Stage Presence and Originality.
- Blues Content: Everyone has his or her own interpretation of what is and is not Blues. Thus, any given 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.
- Vocals: The acts vocal skills.
- Talent: The acts instrumental skills.
- 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.
- 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 weighted score is 140.
An act is penalized one point from its Total Weighted Score (see below) for ten seconds it runs overtime. There no penalty for using less than the allotted time.
SCORING SYSTEM FOR JUDGES
Acts should familiarize themselves with how judges are required to score acts.
- All categories and weightings are as previously stated.
- 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.
1-3 Typical of a beginning blues band.
4-5 Typical of a local weekend band.
6-7 Typical of an advanced local band but not yet ready to headline a major blues club.
8-9 Typical of the quality of blues artists who headline major clubs.
10 Typical of those who play the main stage at a major festival.
- 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.
- The Weighted Scores from each category for an act are added together to determine the acts’ Total Weighted Score for each judge.
- Any penalty points will then be deducted to obtain the act’s Net Weighted Score for each judge.
- After all acts have been judged and each act’s Net Weighted Score for each judge calculated, each act will then be ranked for each judge based on that judge’s order of scores, with the act receiving the judge’s highest Net Weighted Score being given a ranking of 1, and so on for that judge. So, in a competition with five acts, for example, each judge ends up with the acts ranked 1 – 5 based on each judge’s personal scoring habits. This results in the acts’ Final Ranking Number for each judge.
- Next, the scorer totals the Final Ranking Number from all judges for each act to determine the Gross Final Ranking. That figure is averaged (divided by the total number of judges) to Achieve the Aggregate Act Ranking. For the semi-finals the act in each venue with the best two- day total of Aggregate Act Ranking will advance to the finals. For the finals, the act with the best Aggregate Act Ranking is the top finisher.
- In the case of a tie, the scorer shall calculate the sum of all Total Weighted Scores from all judges for the acts that tied. The band with the higher sum of Total Weighted Scores wins.
Definition of blues:
Although there are a number of interpretations of blues, some types of music simply are not blues. You may not be allowed to compete if your primary genre isn’t blues.
Band check-in time will be 60 minutes prior to their scheduled time slot. Failure to check in by the designated time will result in disqualification.
There will be a 30-minute participants meeting to be held at The Alamo, in Springfield, Illinois, on a date and time to be sent to participants. Timeslots will be drawn at this meeting. This orientation will review contest rules, introduce key people, and seek to resolve any questions or special problems that contestants may have.
Staging and Equipment:
The ICBC will provide front of house sound, drums, and microphones. Drummers should bring their own cymbals and pedals.
Please bring a DI (if you use one).
Number of acts:
A minimum of 3 acts in the band and the solo/duo categories are required before a competition will take place.
Other Points of Consideration:
After the competitor completes their performance, they will be required to vacate the backstage area. Be sure to take all of your equipment and personal belongings. The ICBC will not be responsible for your equipment and no Challenge competitors will be allowed in the backstage area after the last competitor has completed their set.
The ICBC reserves the right to use any contestant’s name, voices, pictures, visages and other likeness for the purpose of advertising, publishing and promoting the ICBC. The ICBC reserves the right to videotape or otherwise record all ICBC performances. The ICBC shall retain total ownership of all recordings and programs, and reserves the right to edit the program, the right to broadcast the program, the right to copyright the program and the right to license others to use these rights.
- Entries must be accompanied by a jpeg photo and an act biography. ( black & white photos are preferred but not required, Electronic format is acceptable as long as photo is 150 dpi or higher.
- Entries must be accompanied by a CD of the act. (recording quality/picture quality are not considered in selecting and only the first 3 songs on a CD will be considered)
- Entries must be accompanied by a $25 entry fee. (Fee will be returned if your band is not selected to compete in the challenge. Bands that withdraw from competition after the sign-up deadline will lose their entire entry fee.)
- If winning act is not able to perform in the International Blues Competition, all prize monies will be forfeited.
- Your signature is a guarantee of performance. Do not sign if you have a conflict with the date of the competition. You will be notified of your actual performance time as soon as the selection process is complete.
- At least one member of the act must be a member of the ICBC.
- All decisions of the judges are FINAL.
- Click Here to download the for Rules and Registration
SEND ENTRIES TO: Illinois Central Blues Club, P.O. Box 603, Springfield, IL 62705 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
ENTRIES MUST BE POSTMARKED BY August 5, 2017
Entrants accept full responsibility for all taxes and restrictions in relation to contest prizes. Entrants grant permission to the Illinois Central Blues Club for use of photos, audio and video for promotional purposes only. CD’s AND PHOTOS WILL NOT BE RETURNED.