Skip to main content
Add Me To Your Mailing List

HomeMemphis Blues Challenge

2023 ARBA Memphis Blues Challenge Final

A large and enthusiastic crowd was on hand to witness the 2023 ARBA Memphis Blues Challenge Final at Norwood Live on Saturday 22nd of July.

Congratulations and thanks to all of the acts who played on the night, Scott Nightingale, Craig Atkins, AP D'antonio with Winston and Paul n' Dave for providing an evening of fine entertainment. 

Special congratulations to Paul n' Dave who won the right to represent ARBA and South Australia at the 2024 International Blues Challenge in Memphis! They were presented with the winner's trophy by representatives from last year's winning acts; Frankie Starling and Geo Heathcoate.

Thanks to all at Norwood Live, the MBC judges, Steve von der Borch, Dan Filmer and the ARBA committee & volunteers, Nivven Barlow for providing excellent sound and everyone who paid to attend the event. Special thanks to all ARBA members, without whom we would not be able to undertake the MBC or any of our initiatives and programs.

Photos of the evening taken by the wonderful Samra Teague. Thankyou Samra! 

ARBA Memphis Blues Challenge 

The aim of the ARBA Memphis Blues Challenge is to provide the means for acts to compete for the opportunity to represent ARBA, South Australia and Australia in Memphis Tennessee, at the annual International Blues Challenge (IBC).

Since the inaugural challenge in 2015, this annual event has captured the imagination and attention of blues lovers in Adelaide and beyond. Capacity crowds are the norm at both the heats and final, ensuring an electric atmosphere as the acts strive for the opportunity to compete at the IBC in Memphis. 
The enormous public support helps generate enough income to pay for the travel and accommodation expenses of the band and solo/duo act that represent ARBA and South Australia at the IBC each year.
The Memphis Blues Challenge helps raise the profile of the local blues scene and provides the opportunity for a money-can't-buy experience at the IBC for local acts.

2023 Memphis Blues Challenge Participant Information

MBC Final 2019
MBC Winners

ARBA Memphis Blues Challenge Winners

Lazy Eye / Mick Kidd with Dave Blight
2016: The Associates / Nikko & Snooks
2017: Steve Brown Band / J.J Fields
2018: One More Mile / Ben Ford-Davies
2019: Holler & The Bones / Tin Can Alley
2022: The Honey Badgers / Frankie & Savva

ARBA Honour Board

ARBA Representatives at the International Blues Challenge (Memphis)

Between 2016-2020, ARBA sent bands and solo/duo acts to 5 consecutive International Blues Challenges. Covid caused the 2021 IBC to be cancelled and prevented ARBA acts participating in 2022. ARBA once again sent a band and solo/duo act to the 2023 IBC.
In addition to playing in the challenge, and making many friends and fans amongst the big crowds that attend, our acts have made the most of the many opportunities; networking, jamming, media interviews, exploring Memphis and other parts of the USA, two of our acts have also recorded albums whilst in the USA for the IBC.
Each year ARBA enters our "Blues Album of the Year" into the Blues Foundation's Best Self-Produced CD Competition.
All of the Memphis Blues Challenge winning acts, as listed on our Honour Board have gone on to represent ARBA and South Australia in the quarter-finals of the IBC and we are very proud of all of them. Some of our acts have gone further than the quarter-finals and 2 of our Blues Albums of the Year have been finalists (being amongst the final 5 Cd's).

Significant IBC Placings
2017: The Associates (Band Semi-Finalist)
2019: Ben Ford-Davies (Solo Semi-Finalist)
2019: "Tales of a Rich Girl" Kings & Associates (Finalist Best Self Produced CD Comp)

2020: "Kicking Back the Blues" The Streamliners (Finalist Best Self Produced CD Comp)
2023:The Honey Badgers (Band Finalist)*
*2nd Australian band to make the Finals in 38 years of the IBC.

International Blues Challenge Information

ARBA at the IBC