Participants compete for sponsorship to the International Blues Challenge (IBC). The first place winner of The River City Blues Competition in 2017 will receive $1,000 in cash and $500 more when they register for the IBC in Memphis early in 2018 where they will gain valuable exposure to record label A&R representatives and Blues industry professionals and festival promoters capable of real career advancement for a serious blues musician. Second place will receive $500 and 3rd place $300. If one of them qualifies to go to Memphis on the Blues, Jazz, and Folk Music (BJFM) stage, they will receive an additional $500 when they register for the Challenge. There will be 12 slots in the competition. The big winners however, are the blues fans who enjoy a weekend of great blues entertainment. . Past participants have come from Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Italy and Israel.
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