River City Ohio Blues Competition 2009

Posted by:  The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society, Inc.


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The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society of Marietta, Ohio will hold its 17th Annual “River City Ohio Blues Competition” on February 20 and 21, 2009 at The Lafayette Hotel in historic downtown Marietta. For the 17th year, Blues bands and solo/duo blues acts will compete for cash prizes and BJFMS sponsorship to The Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge (IBC) held every year in Memphis, Tennessee.

The River City Ohio Blues Competition is the oldest and largest blues talent competition in Ohio, with 18 competition slots to be filled by local and regional blues acts. Blues bands and solo/duo blues acts will compete for more than 2 days to win the grand prize of $1,000 cash and sponsorship to the 2010 IBC in Memphis, TN. Second and third place winners will receive $200 and $100 cash prizes respectively. The Competition has no restrictions on age or location, however all competitors must be blues acts. All IBC competitors must win sponsorship at an IBC preliminary. If your blues act has not won where you live, here's another opportunity to get to Memphis for the 2010 IBC.

Terms And Conditions

River City Ohio Blues Competition
2009 Rules
If you can play or sing the blues you can win $1000 - Winner will receive $1000 and be entered into the International Blues Challenge in Memphis early in 2010. They will also perform at 1 PM at the Saturday Matinee of the River City Blues Festival in March, presented by The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society of Marietta Ohio. Second Place will receive $200 and Third Place $100.
We're looking for serious blues performers. Original material is encouraged but blues covers will work as long as they are arranged in your own style. Choose your material carefully. Our judges are likely to be unimpressed with song selections that are uninspired. Blues Content is the most important category in which you will be judged. Can be a group, or duo/solo performance and both will receive an equal chance of winning the competition.

Judging: will be according to rules from The National Blues Foundation, and as such will be the average of raw scores weighted as follows:
Blues Content (x4)
Talent (x3)
Originality (x2)
Stage Presence (x2)


Eligibility: Participants will no longer be denied eligibility due to national distribution, whether current or in the past. In its place, the defining line for who is and is not eligible to enter the River City Ohio Blues Competition is based on Blues Music Awards nominations. If an individual, in their capacity, has been included on the Blues Music Awards ballot, that person is not eligible. This rule will not bar sidemen or songwriters.

An individual may not compete in more than one act.

A person cannot compete as a solo artist and as a member of a band.


Check In At Competition: Competing bands need to check in at pre-function tables with Competition Director, John Gifford or his staff prior to load in and 1 hour prior to your time slot, in case of any changes. You need to be ready to play when you are slotted; we need to run a tight clock with so many acts and so little time. There will be 18 slots available for competitors. By the way, if you are confirmed as one of our acts, we expect you to show up; we take a very dim view of no-shows (except with a legit excuse). Just as in Memphis at the IBC, you will need to take the time slot you are allotted. PARTICIPATING BAND MEMBERS will be admitted FREE for the weekend. Special guest ticket ($10 member price for each preliminary and final or $25 member price for weekend pass) limit one per band member. At check in each act must present 8 copies of a typewritten set list which must be followed on stage. Note which songs are originals and which songs are covers.

Time slots: The BJFM committee has decided, due to the increase of competitors over the past few years, their desired time slots cannot be guaranteed. If you are serious about the BJFM Competition, then you know realize that this is a stepping stone to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. When you are assigned a timeslot, it is the competitor's obligation to make themselves available for the day of the competition to fulfill their allotted slot. You need to factor in your travel time and arrive 1hour prior to your slot and if need be take a vacation or personal day from work. As much as we understand that everyone would like the 'desired' evening or later spots, we follow the same guidelines of the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge. When slot is given to you, you are expected to perform at that allotted time.


Time Limitation: We limit each band to a performance of 20 minutes. This performance is timed from when the act strikes its first note. An amber light is flashed at the act when there are 2 minutes left to play and a red light is flashed when time is up. Acts are penalized one point from the combined judges' scores for each ten seconds that they run overtime. There is no penalty for using less than the allotted time.

This years River City Ohio Blues Competition will be a TWO DAY event. Competition will begin on Friday night (February 20, 2009) with the 1st Preliminary. Saturday afternoon will be the 2nd Preliminary; and Saturday night will hold THE FINALS, with winners from the 1st and 2nd Preliminaries. This format will accommodate more Blues fans and makes the competition a weekend event.
THE FORMAT. The River City Ohio Blues Competition will take place as follows:

FRIDAY NIGHT: 8pm 11pm 1st PRELIMINARY; February 20, 2009 - 6 Blues Acts Compete - 2 Finalists Chosen
SATURDAY AFTERNOON: 12NOON 6:00pm 2nd PRELIMINARY; February 21, 2009 - 12 Blues Acts Compete -
4 Finalists Chosen
SATURDAY NIGHT: 7:30PM 11:30PM THE FINALS; February 21 2009 - 6 Finalists Compete - 1st PLACE WINNER, 2nd & 3rd Chosen.

Demo Tape: A demo tape or CD of the band must be submitted with entry form. It is a requirement this year.

Booking Information: Please provide promo information about your group and business cards if you have any for our tables in the prefunction area for inquiries.


Time Slots: Any special requests for a time slot should be noted on your application, but not guaranteed.


Application must be received by Friday January 9, 2009. Bands will be notified of acceptance or rejection two weeks after that date after a review of the demo tapes by the Board of BJFM. Print and mail this application together with your $25 entry fee (check or money order made payable to BJFM) to Competition Director, John Gifford, PO Box 2122, Marietta OH 45750.

Any questions, just contact Competition Director, John Gifford at 740-432-8827 after 3 PM (e-mail jgifford17799@roadrunner.com); or contact Assistant Competition Director, Steve Wells at 304-295-4323 (e-mail bluesphotog@yahoo.com); or e-mail bolen@bjfm.org.

Page last updated March, 2008

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