Journey to Memphis 2022

2023 Journey to Memphis Finalists

Journey to Memphis 2022

Cascade Blues Association Journey to Memphis Competition 2022

Heats, May 26, 6 p.m. Mekong Bistro and finals July 4, Waterfront Blues Festival

Blues societies worldwide send their acts to compete each January in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN, and it’s one of the world’s biggest band competitions. Winners receive guaranteed spots at some of the most prestigious festivals in the U.S., not to mention the kind of publicity money can’t buy.

The Cascade Blues Association, however, says that everyone’s a winner! Four of our participating acts will be performing in front of thousands of adoring fans as they battle it out at the finals at the Waterfront Blues Festival to be the winner. Want to be one of them? Entries are opening soon, check out the details below.

  • At least one member of each act must be a member of Cascade Blues Association. Entry is open to all Oregon residents and any Washington residents who live within 100 miles of the city of Portland.
  • Entries open April 11 until available slots are filled. This year we will only be taking the first eight acts to register, so get in early.
  • Entry fee is $50 for bands and $35 for solo / duo acts. Pay your entry fee via PayPal to and email with the following information:
  1. Cascade Blues Association member number
  2. Name of act, names of all members in your act and instrument each person plays
  3. 150-word bio
  4. Stage plan
  5. 300 dpi JPG photo
  6. Please indicate if any members of the act are under 21 years of age
  • Each act will perform a 20-minute set.
  • We do not prevent acts competing with the Cascade Blues Association from doing so with other societies. If you win another group’s competition before ours is held, you agree to remove yourself from the CBA competition to allow other acts the chance to win the right to go to Memphis.
  • Any act or member of an act that has been nominated for or received a Blues Music Awards from The Blues Foundation will be ineligible to compete.
  • Any act that has competed in the International Blues Challenge two consecutive years, regardless whether with the same society or as a solo/duo or band act, must sit out a year before being allowed to compete again. Acts can only participate three times in Memphis (acts competing previous to 2017 receive grandfather status and may compete three times starting from 2017).
  • We will use the same scoring system as the International Blues Challenge.
  • Bass and drums must use a backline provided by the venue. Other instrumentalists can use their own amplifiers at Mekong Bistro, but must use the provided backline at Waterfront Blues Festival. Be mindful there is only a 10-minute changeover time between acts and you may receive a scoring penalty if you take too much time to clear the stage for the next band.
  • The two top scoring bands and the two top scoring duo / solo acts at Mekong Bistro on May 26 will compete in the final at the Waterfront Blues Festival on July 4 to win the right to represent the Cascade Blues Association at the IBC in 2023.