WA State Blues Challenge

Blues Challenge & Affiliate Logos

This will be the fifth WA State Blues Challenge held by Blues at Bridgetown. The winners of this competition will go on to represent Western Australia and Blues at Bridgetown at the International Blues Challenge to be held in Memphis, Tennessee from January 16–20, 2018 – an annual competition held by the Blues Foundation.

The Blues Foundation, founded in 1980, is an organisation that is dedicated to preserving blues music history, celebrating recording and performance excellence, supporting blues education and ensuring the future of the blues art form. It is undoubtedly the international centre of blues music – with prestigious honours and signature events such as the Blues Music Awards, Blues Hall of Fame and of course the International Blues Challenge. The Foundation has over 200 affiliated local blues societies around the world representing 50,000 fans and professionals. Blues at Bridgetown is proud to be an affiliated member of the Blues Foundation, the only one in Western Australia and only one of seven in Australia. It is as an affiliate that Blues at Bridgetown can hold a local challenge and sponsor an artist to compete in the International Blues Challenge.

The International Challenge in Memphis is at top level, with in excess of 200 acts competing in several categories. It is said that to win the International Challenge is as good as a hundred thousand dollars worth of promotion. Australia has produced winners in various categories over the years, with Festival regulars and leading Australian talents Fiona Boyes, Collard Greens and Gravy as well as Dream Boogie having performed well. Jimi Hocking won the solo/duo category in 2005 and our very own Blues at Bridgetown 2013 State Challenge winners the Flamin’ Crows reaching the International Challenge quarter finals.


Following the same structure of last year’s Challenge, several Western Australian Blues Clubs will be hosting the heats of the Challenge. Hills Blues Club and South West Blues Club return as hosts this year, joined by a heat in Albany hosted by Southern Live Music Club. The winners of each heat will move forward to the finals held on the afternoon of Friday 10 November – the opening day of Blues at Bridgetown Festival 2017.

Then on Saturday 11 November, the Challenge winner will be scheduled to perform in a ticketed Festival venue and our Youth Showcase competitors on the Youth Stage at the Street Party.


To take part in the competition, download the Application Kit – it has all the information you need to know about how the competition runs and everything you need to apply, including the dates of the heats and their application closing dates.