UKBlues: a new Federation to represent UK Blues and lead on the UK entry to the European Blues Challenge
UKBlues is a new organisation, one that is already an active Member of the European Blues Union (EBU). The EBU promotes Blues music, in all its forms, supporting the many long standing efforts of musicians, organisations, associations, venues, companies, and
individuals in Europe. UKBlues is taking on that role for the UK and working with the EBU
and stakeholders worldwide in the interests of British Blues music. Our work is approved
by our patrons, British Blues legends Paul Jones and Mike Vernon.
The Blues and Blues in the UK
The Blues is a historic, significant and timeless art form, and one with a lively
contemporary scene. It is a form of music which, whilst always respecting its African
American roots, now enjoys a world wide profile and an increasingly interconnected
community spanning venues, festivals, media and more. British Blues has long enjoyed a
foremost place in the world of music dating back to the British Blues Explosion in the
UKBlues – what we will do?
It is the goal of UKBlues to build upon this profile and legacy to the benefit of all. Our ongoing activities to this end will be many and varied. We believe greater co-operation and interaction between stakeholders both here and abroad will facilitate, amongst many other things, greater opportunities for artists and bands internationally, not least in terms of
airplay and gig/festival outreach. We also aim, through our website and newsletters and
other communications, to be an important information resource.
6th European Blues Challenge
One immediate priority, within these broader aims, is the 6th European Blues Challenge
(EBC) organised by the EBU, and which will take place in Torrita di Siena, Italy on 7-8-9
April 2016. UKBlues is honoured and delighted to be appointed by the EBU to operate the
selection process for the UK, the UK Blues Challenge.
The UK Blues Challenge
A selection panel has been created by UKBlues formed of nearly 200 musicians, writers,
promoters, venues, festivals, radio presenters, PR/promotions, agents, record labels, and
fans, including all UK Active Members of the EBU and representatives of the UK’s previous
EBC contestants. Each member of the panel has been asked to nominate three suitable
artists and bands for the challenge as the first stage of the selection process. They have
been asked to place their three selections in order (first, second, third) and UKBlues will
award points according to the position in which the acts are placed.
This first stage of the selection process closes on the 21 stAugust. Soon after, the top four
acts will be invited to take part in the second UK Blues Challenge which is being jointly
promoted by EBU Active Member Pete Feenstra and UKBlues and which will take place on
Saturday 24th October 2015 at the Boom Boom Club in Sutton in front of a panel of judges drawn from within the blues community, but who, for obvious reasons, will remain confidential until after the Challenge.
The panel of judges will be selected by UKBlues and Pete Feenstra, the co-promoter, and
they will use the same criteria to award points to the contestants as is used at the EBC.
The winner will be invited to represent the UK at the EBC in 2016.
The voting is secret and safeguards have been put in place to ensure that there can be no
unauthorised or multiple voting and the members of the selection panel have been asked
not to nominate any acts with whom they are involved.
The process being operated by UKBlues has been fully disclosed to and approved by the board of the EBU, who are happy that it is transparent and maintains the required integrity for the EBC.