Road to Memphis Competition Information



April 28 Road to Memphis Competition 

        Blues Salloon in St. Paul




January 7-11, 2025 Memphis, TN


The Minnesota Blues Society holds a solo/duo and band competition in the spring of each year.

The winners of this competition will represent the Minnesota Blues Society in the International Blues Competition in Memphis.

At least one musician from each band or solo/duo act must be a member of the Minnesota Blues Society.  

At least one member of each solo/duo or band must be 21 years of age by the date of competition.

The Applicant(s) must be professional musician(s) and the majority of the members of the act must reside in the State of Minnesota to compete for Minnesota.(For this purpose, professional musician is defined as a musician who has been booked and paid to play at established music venues).

Applicants must be capable physically and financially, of travel to Memphis for the purpose of competing in the “IBC” completion held in Memphis the following year.

Applicants must agree to the policies of MnBS regarding reimbursement for expenses.

An act is limited to two consecutive appearances at the “Road To Memphis Challenge” and must then sit out at least one year before becoming eligible to compete again. 

An act may compete in only one category: either solo/duo or band 

Therefore an act under the same name or the same band members will be allowed to compete in two consecutive years.  This does not prevent an act from competing in the other category if they have competed in past two years


It is highly recommended that interested acts read the IBC information as well as MnBS policies for competitio


To Enter THE Competition:

An application with demo materials and must be received by the Due Date


No application will be considered until all fees and “demo” music have been received.


All application fees will be dedicated to the “Road To Memphis” travel fund for those selected to compete in the “IBC”. The fee is tax-deductible. The fee is $5.00 for each member of the act.

1. Complete Form
         Use  Online Form 
         Print  form and mail to:
          P.O. Box 580704, Minneapolis, MN 55458-0704
          Print form and hand to a member of the MnBS Board of Directors

2. Submit an audition “demo” consisting of three (3)songs that exemplify your act
       Electronic demos or links to demos can be added to online form or should be sent via email to 
       Hard copies (CD) of demo should be included with printed application



Completing the application and paying the fees does not guarantee acceptance to compete in the  “Road To Memphis Challenge”. Acts not chosen will have their application fees refunded if desired


Notification Process

Applicants will be notified within 10 days of due date if they have or have not been chosen to compete in this year’s local “RTM”.

The audition “demos” will be evaluated by the RTM Committee to determine who will compete in the local “RTM” event

After acceptance, competitors will be asked to provide a brief bio along with a photo prior to the Road To Memphis competition.

The MnBS will send all competition information to you after you act is accepted. 

The MnBS will provide you with information and contacts to help you prepare for the competition.


About the Competition

Judges for the completion are selected by the RTM committee in accordance with IBC policies.Scoring of the competition also is in accordance with IBC policies.

Performance order for the competing acts is randomly selected by a drawing by the RTM committee ahead of the competition.

The act with the top score by the judges in each category (solo/duo and band)  will advance  to the IBC in Memphis.

By and large, musicians are required to supply their own instruments at the competition. In years past musicians have arranged to share some equipment at the Road to Memphis and we encourage this whenever possible


Please Note

It is expected that the musicians who compete in our RTM competition will be the musicians who will compete in Memphis.
   (Please note that if changes need to be made the MnBS must be notified as soon as possible)

Reimbursement of Expenses
MnBS will pay for IBC registration fees, an advertisement in the IBC program, and approved pre-competition expenses.

MnBs can be expected to reimburse some of your travel expenses for participating at the IBC. We will cooperate and help in any way we can to raise funds by sponsoring “Road To Memphis” fundraisers for your travel expenses.

It is expected that your act will use good judgement in regards to your travel expenses.

It is expected that the acts representing MnBS will participate actively in the fundraising process.
RTM musicians are welcome and encouraged to set up independent fundraisers with our support. 


Please feel free to contact the MnBS for any questions you might have!