A chance to represent the UK at the 2018 European & International Blues Challenges

Saturday, 22nd April 2017


Following hot on the heels of the UK’s representative, the Kaz Hawkins Band (who play for us on Saturday 26th August), being declared the winners of the 7th European Blues Challenge recently, the UK Blues Federation is delighted to announce that the 4th UK Blues Challenge will take place at the iconic Cavern Club in Liverpool on Sunday 10th September 2017.

This event will see five bands participating to win the opportunity to represent the UK at both the International and the European Blues Challenges in 2018. Four of the bands have been chosen using the same process as has been used in previous years and which is approved by the Blues Foundation and the European Blues Union; these names of these will be announced shortly.

Plus, the fifth band will be selected from the bands who have been invited by Jessica Foxley Unsigned to play at our festival! These bands are, generally, under the radar and this opportunity is a big step-up for them.

Co-founder of Jessica Foxley Unsigned, Margaret Foxley, said: "We are particularly excited about our project this year, as the festival's new emphasis aligns exactly with everything we have been doing for younger, unsigned Blues musicians for the past seven years. Our eight selected performers will be given the opportunity to play live to a festival audience who appreciate and expect good quality acts. As in previous years, we are sure that our talented Jessica Foxley Unsigned musicians will step up to the mark and really give their audience something to talk about. Being asked to make a nomination for the UK Blues Challenge is definitely the icing on the cake. We are very proud that one of our acts will be able to benefit from this wonderful opportunity to play at the Cavern in Liverpool, where so many famous artists have started their musical careers. That they could even go on to represent the UK in the European and International Blues Challenges is quite mind-boggling!"

Speaking about the Jessica Foxley Unsigned project, Jason Elliott, the Festival Director said: "The Jessica Foxley Unsigned project, focussing as it does on nurturing young and emerging Blues-based talent, in many ways symbolises much of our new direction. Our mission of bringing new life and blood, new acts and audiences into this key genre, must span all levels of experience, technical ability and all age groups to be truly successful. This is where Colne can truly create its legacy".

For UKBlues, Ashwyn Smyth said: "We are delighted to work with both the new organising team at Colne and with the Jessica Foxley Unsigned team to offer such a fantastic opportunity to a band or artist to take part in the UKBlues Challenge alongside four well known and popular bands/artists selected by a panel drawn from across the UK blues spectrum, and for them to do so at such an iconic venue!’"

Our 'Jessica Foxley' bands will be announced in the not-too-distant future...