Atlanta Blues Challenge Canceled for 2020
The Atlanta Blues Challenge is the Atlanta Blues Society’s competition to choose who will represent us in the International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis, TN, which usually takes place in January (currently scheduled for January 19-23, 2021). We usually hold this competition in the month of August, usually the 4th Sunday. We had hoped to be able to have the challenge as we have in the past at a local venue with a live audience paying a cover to help offset the costs of the events. Because of the increased rates of COVID-19, we have determined that we will not be able to do that this year.
The Blues Foundation, seeing that live competitions would probably not be able to happen, sent us enhanced guidelines for having virtual, online competitions. Members of the ABS board looked over these guidelines and found them lacking for having a virtual competition that would be of high quality and fair to all competitors. The board also considered the fact that by not having a live event, we would not be able to garner the funds needed to pay out the current prize structure and we would need to limit how much we could pay out in prizes. Also, since we don’t know how the IBC will be structured, we do not have a clear idea of the monetary needs of the competing acts and if we would be able to help them out as we have in the past.
The ABS board discussed all these issues and also discussed other ways we could hold a competition this year. After due consideration, the majority of the board voted that the ABS should not have a Blues Challenge this year and put all our resources into having a great competition next year. We hope all of our members will understand and know that this decision was not made lightly and that we felt it was the best thing to do with the information we had available to us. We hope that soon we can all gather again together and enjoy live music.
The Atlanta Blues Society Board of Directors