The Cascade Blues Association’s signature event, the Journey To Memphis competition to select acts to represent the organization and region at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, has been postponed due to the current coronavirus pandemic. This wasn’t something we had envisioned, but the situation is out of our control. Restaurants and bars have been closed under State order, as well as gatherings to avoid potential exposure to the virus.
Our competition was originally scheduled to take place on Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16 at The East Eagles Lodge. We do not foresee businesses being reopened by this time. Our finals were also scheduled for July 4 at the Waterfront Blues Festival, but that event has also been cancelled.
Due to the impact of the pandemic, we had to cancel our general membership meetings in both April and May. The original deadline date for applications was for our April meeting, but with the State closure order dropping off the applications on this date could not be kept. We extended the deadline for a week, but did not receive as many applications as we have in the past. We feel that many who did not submit decided that the current status was uncertain and being able to prepare as a band could not be accomplished.
Therefore, the CBA has decided to postpone the competition until the health risk has passed and gatherings are once again allowed to take place. We do not have a date set as of yet, but hopefully toward the end of summer or early fall. Venues and dates to be determined. Depending on the time frame, we will make the decision to cancel the event if too late in the year.
Applications will continue to be accepted and to make it more convenient we will keep the deadline open for a few weeks following the reopening of businesses up to the first membership meeting after that time, no earlier than June at this point. Any act that has already submitted their application prior to the original deadline who wishes to withdraw may do so and their application fee will be returned. If the event does end up being cancelled, all application fees will be returned.
Thank you for understanding.
Here’s the application information:
- Entry fee is $25.00
- Each act must have at least one person in the band who is a member of the Cascade Blues Association.
- Only acts located within the Oregon and Washington region are allowed to enter the Journey To Memphis.
- Any act or member of an act that has been nominated for or received a Blues Music Awards from The Blues Foundation are ineligible to compete. No exceptions.
- 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).
- Along with your $25.00 application fee, send an up-to-date band bio including names of all members, a 300 dpi photo of the band, full song samples of the band’s music (this may be used on a radio broadcast to promote the event), and we need to be made aware of any band member who may be under 21 years of age at the time of the competition so the venue is aware ahead of time for Oregon or Washington Liquor Commission laws.
- We require that any act that moves forward in the competition must use the same band members with whom it won previous rounds. In other words, if you won with a certain bass player or drummer at the Waterfront Blues Festival, that bassist and drummer must be in your band to compete in Memphis. Exceptions will made in rare circumstances not under the control of the act, such as health issues.
- We do not prevent acts competing with the Cascade Blues Association from doing so with other societies. All that we ask is that if you win another group’s competition before ours is held, or if you win ours before theirs, please remove yourself from further competitions to allow other acts the chance to win the right to go to Memphis.