European Blues Challenge in Hell

The third weekend in March, the whole Blues Europe will be gathered at Hell in Trøndelag. European Blues Union's annual event takes place in Norway this year, and the festival and Blues society Blues in Hell is responsible organizer. It is the 8th time for the event, and in addition to the band competition European Blues Challenge, there will also be held an exhibition market for the blues industry, as well as the European Blues Union's General Assembly. Photo: The event general Kjell Inge Brovoll at Hell railway station (photo: Ingunn Nesset).

The band competition is the main event this weekend, and it is expected that there will come a few thousand blues fans and blues business people from all over Europe to Hell. It is also expected many Norwegians to support the Norwegian participants, Joakim Tinderholt & His Band. Norwegian bands have done very well in the European Blues Challenge many years. Out of seven finals, Norway has won two, and also a few times been among the top three. In 2012 Rita Engedalen won the second edition of the IBC, and in 2016 the Stavanger band Eric "Slim" Zahl & The South West Swingers came first. The band Pristine came second in 2014 and JT Lauritsen & The Buckshot Hunters took a third place in 2015.

Text: Rune Endal - Photo: Ingunn Nesset

Organisers at EBC in Hell, behind from left: Jan Henrik Siraas, Elin Skrede, Helga Forbord, Rune Skrede, John Uthus. In front: Kjell Inge Brovoll and Bjørn Yngve Elstad.



Thursday, 15 March

19:00: Badges and bracelets distribution at hotel reception area
20:00 - 01:00: Norwegian Blues Showcase - Opening night– Welcome show and after party.
Location: Vertigo Bar – Scandic Hotel

The two previous Norwegian EBC winners Rita Engedalen (2012) and Eric Slim Zahl (2016) will play during the welcome event at Vertigo Bar. EBU members have free entrance with member bracelet.

Friday, 16 March

12:00 –16:30
Membership, partner and EBU badge pick-up at the EBC registration desk
13:00 –16:30
Meet & Greet with the EBC artists – Networking at the Vertigo Bar
17:00 –18:30
Dinner for EBU members and their partners who have ordered the EBC arrangement (drinks not included) at Scandic Hell Restaurant

EBC 1st night playing order – Please be there on time:

18:45 Welcome by MC Robert Sætervik & Mayor of Hell
19:00 Hungary SoulFool Band
19:30 France Kathy Boyé & The DTG Gang
20:00 Netherlands The Ragtime Rumours
20:30 Spain Johnny Big Stone & The Blues Workers
21:00 UK LaVendore Rogue
21:30 Poland Kraków Street Band
22:00 Luxembourg The Heritage Blues Company
22:30 Estonia Tammepõld, Roots & Kadakas
23:00 Germany Greyhound’s Washboard Band
23:30 Finland Slim Butler & The Slim Cuts
24:00 Slovakia Kiero Grande
00:30 - 02:30 After party Vertigo Bar–Scandic Hell- The Big Blues Jam

Saturday, 17 March

08:00 – 8:30:
Blues Market mounting stands
08:30 – 9:30:
Registration of participants for the General Assembly (please be on time)
09:30 - 12:30
EBU General Assembly
12:30 - 13:30
Lunch for EBU members and their partners who have ordered the EBC arrangement (drinks not included) at Scandic Hell Restaurant
13:30 – 14:00:
Blues Market mounting stands
14:00 – 17:00:
The International Blues Market
17:00 – 17:30:
Dismantling of the Blues Market stands
17:45 - 18:45
Dinner for EBU members and their partners who have ordered the EBC arrangement (drinks not included) at Scandic Hell Restaurant

EBC 2nd night playing order:

19:00 Romania AXiS
19:30 Switzerland Amaury Faivre Duo
20:00 Portugal Vitor Bacalhau
20:30 Denmark Fred Okra Band
21:00 Belgium Ed & The Gators
21:30 Norway Joakim Tinderholt and His Band
22:00 Czech Republic Dobre Rano Blues Band
22:30 Sweden Julia & The Basement Tapes
23:00 Italy Don Leone
23:30 Austria Kutscher’s Blues Band

00:00 Announcement of the Blues Behind the Scenes (BBS) Award winners
00:15 Announcement of the Winners followed by the Winners on stage & jam
01:00 - 02:30 After party at Vertigo Bar - Scandic Hell. The Big Bluesjam

The performances will be judged based on following criteria:
- Originality
- Instrumental Talent
- Vocal Talent
- Stage Presence
- Blues Content

Prize awards to the Winners - The awards include performing at the following confirmed festivals:
· Sierre Blues Festival, Switzerland, July
· Hondarribia Blues Festival, Spain, July
· Blues Peer, Belgium, July
· Notodden Blues Festival, Norway, August
· Swing Wespelaar, Belgium, August
· Blues in Hell, Norway, September
· Blues Heaven Festival, Denmark, November
· Lucerne Blues Festival, Switzerland, November