EUROPEAN BLUES CHALLENGE (EBC) GUIDELINES AND REGULATIONS
- EBC Dates
The EBC will be held annually during three days from Thursday until Saturday, within the time frame of mid-February to mid-April. The dates will be decided by the EBU Board in consultation with the EBC Host. Organizing the EBC, exceptionally, in a different time frame will have to be motivated and documented in detail and submitted to the EBU Board for final approval. The final dates will then be decided by the EBU Board in consultation with the EBC Host. The EBU will strive to announce the dates at least 12 months before the scheduled event.
- Requirements for Selecting the EBC Host
- All EBU Active Members who reside or have their seat in a represented European country may submit an offer to host the EBC.
- As from 1st November of each year a call for hosting candidates will be published through the EBU Newsletter. All candidatures need to be filed preferably by the EBU Member Country Responsible by electronic mail sent to the president (email@example.com) and secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org) of the EBU. The list of Country Responsibles is published on the EBU website.
- Deadline for offers to host the EBC: 15 January, two years prior to the year when the EBC will take place unless other deadline is announced by the EBU Board.
- The offer needs to cover all obligations as laid down in the EBC Event Contract and the EBC Host Application Guidelines and Specifications, which will be communicated confidentially by the EBU secretary to all host candidates having sent their offers after the publication of the call for candidates.
- Host selection process: The secretary will communicate all received hosting offers to the EBU Board, followed by selection of the two most qualified proposals at the Board meetings. The two final candidates will then be submitted to the vote of EBU Active Members at the official EBU General Assembly.
- If there is only one approved submission, the EBU Board is entitled to appoint the EBC host.
- If there are no submissions or none of the submitted ones are approved, the EBU Board can take an initiative in organizing the event at a location of its choice, or the EBC will be postponed by one year.
- The appointed EBC host will strive to involve all EBU Active Members of the concerned country in the organization of the EBC.
- The EBU is entitled to collect a license fee from the host organizer of the EBC. The fee will be fixed by the EBU Board and, unless there are other specific agreements, the payment needs to be made within three months prior to the EBC. The payment can optionally be extended up to three months following the EBC based on mutual agreement between the EBU Board and the local host organizer. The EBU shall send a receipt to the organizer after payment has been made.
- Notification Deadlines of Participating Musicians at the EBC
- Notification of participation of a country: 10 September of the year preceding the event.
- Notification of the band/performer, including names of all band members and their instruments, performers’ contact e-mail, short curriculum, rider, stage plot, high-resolution photo, and a song title to be included in EBC promotional material (for example the EBU website) as well as the respective digital song track (WAV format, max. duration 5 minutes). Furthermore, a copyright waiver of the band and their potential recording label needs to be delivered by using a specific form provided by the EBU: 31 October of the year preceding the event.
These items will idealistically be coordinated by the Country Responsibles. In case the national selection process is not completed within this time frame, the EBU Board may exceptionally allow an extension. In case the deadlines are not respected, and if additional correspondence by e-mail is neglected, the EBU Board will be entitled to refuse the concerned performers’ participation at the EBC or exclude their song from EBC promotional material.
- Country Selection of Bands Participating at the EBC
Each European country that is represented by at least one EBU Active Member is entitled to nominate performers to the annual EBC. Participating countries are required to select their representatives by an association or an organization that involves collaboration of blues enthusiasts, festival organizers, and blues musicians of the respective country, or by a magazine specializing in blues music, or by a festival or association which has organized a previous challenge.
The method of the election of the participating act shall be objective, transparent, and retraceable and shall strive to involve all EBU Active Members in the given country. The selection process needs to be compliant with the EBC national selection guidelines, and the EBU Board is entitled to make an inquiry on the national selection process.
The EBU Board is entitled to grant a “wild card” up to two representative acts representing a given country for which no notification of participation has been made, regardless of this country being represented or not in the EBU by an Active Member.
All participating musicians must accept the EBC Contest Regulations and Guidelines.
If more than one EBU Active Member wants to take initiative in organizing the national EBC selection procedure in the respective country, the dispute shall be solved as follows:
- A coordinating body that is active as a national platform coordinating the blues scene in the respective country, and which is recognized as such by the international blues community, shall have priority.
- If the previous condition is not fulfilled, the dispute shall be resolved in accordance with Article 11 of the present Rules.
- Challenge Rules
- Each European country having at least one EBU Active Member is entitled for one band or performer at the EBC. The total number of band members is limited to 10.
- At least 50% of the members of the bands must have the nationality of and reside in the country they represent.
- The name of the act or band and the names of all musicians and their instruments must be announced, and the musicians must commit themselves to be present at the EBC, unless there is a force majeure cause preventing their participation. The line-up of the participating acts cannot be changed as from the subscription for the national selection until the EBC, unless force majeure accepted by the EBU Board, who will make the final decision.
- The participating musicians are allowed to perform in only one participating band or act.
- All participating musicians must commit to pay for their own travel and accommodation costs at the host city and be available to perform on the first, the second or the third day of the EBC. Participating countries are free to find subsidies to provide funding support for their participants. Upon request, the EBU Board can provide guidance with funding enquiries.
- The winning act or band of an earlier EBC edition may not participate again.
- Acts or bands having participated in an earlier EBC edition, but not having won, may participate again after two intervening editions (i.e., participating in 2022, the next possibility would be 2025).
- Each act may perform for 20 minutes at the most, followed by a 5-10 minutes change over for the next act. A synchronized clock will be visible both for the participating acts and for the jury. The following penalty system can be applied for acts which exceed the 20 minutes performance time:
- If an act exceeds the performance time for more than 30 seconds, there will be a penalty of total 20 points from the final score of the act.
- If an act exceeds the performance time for more than 60 seconds, there will be a penalty of total 40 points from the final score of the act.
- If an act exceeds the performance time for more than 90 seconds, there will be a total penalty of 60 points from the final score of the act.
- If an act exceeds the performance time for more than 2 minutes, the act will be disqualified.
- The penalty will not be applied by individual jury members, but by the EBU Board team that collects and calculates all votes.
- Participating acts or bands cannot claim any financial remuneration for performing at the EBC or for covering any other expenses. As a general rule, there will be no free passes for band guests.
- Participating acts or bands may bring up to 25 CDs/DVDs to be sold at a dedicated stand at the event venue.
- In case the nominated act or band is not able to attend the EBC due to force majeure reasons, the country in question can appoint the band or artist who finished second at their national selection. If also this act or band declines, then the third position can be appointed.
- Each act or band explicitly authorizes the EBU and/or the organizer to make video and/or audio recordings of their performance intended for promotional use.
- All acts or bands shall use the same backline being made available by the EBC host.
- Bands cannot use their own sound technicians.
- Promotional compilation
The EBU Board will strive to realize a compilation of songs by the performing EBC acts to promote the EBC. All acts or bands are invited to select a song accompanied by a copyright waiver indicating a solely promotional use. This compilation will be made accessible digitally to all EBU members and also to radio and other media through the EBU website.
- Performance Order of the EBC Bands
The EBU Board will assign the performance order of the participating acts and bands by a raffle. Care will be taken that the same country will not be the opening or final act at two consecutive EBC editions. In such case the raffle will be redone.
The names of participating countries are written on identical voting slips and deposited in an urn to be extracted one by one. The first ticket will be the first country to perform on the first day, and so on.
The divider between bands to play on the first or the second day is obtained by dividing the total number of countries by two. If the total number is odd, there will be one band more performing on the first night. The order of performance will be communicated on the EBU website and in the EBU Newsletter in January preceding the event.
On the 3rd day (Saturday) of the EBC, a final contest will take place between the top four ranked bands from each of the semi-finals of the two preceding days (Thursday and Friday). The EBU Board will assign the performance order of the acts and bands by a raffle using the method as described above.
- EBC Prizes
The EBU Board is responsible for identifying and realizing the EBC prizes and will establish a task team to consult different festivals and other organizations or authorities for potential awards or donations. Typically, the prize includes bookings to perform at some well- known blues festivals in Europe. All prizes will be announced on the EBU website and in the EBU Newsletter providing complete details of the prizes.
Both the awarding festival and the EBC winner will need to commit to establish and agree on a fair and reasonable fee, taking into account the nature of the EBC and the EBU as well as objective criteria such as travel distance, number of performing artists and the size of the respective festival.
- EBC Jury
The Jury which will evaluate the performing acts is composed of a maximum of six (6) judges, who all need to be recognized blues experts, also considering gender issues, and preferably all having a different nationality.
The Board will strive to invite one or more entities sponsoring an EBC prize (festival, association, foundation… etc.) to propose a judge. The total number of judges appointed by sponsors may not exceed a maximum of three (3).
The organizing country is entitled to appoint one judge.
The EBU Board will identify and invite the remaining judges. One substitute judge can also be appointed.
The judges may not vote for bands or acts representing their home country. A mathematical adjustment by the average of quotations of the concerned judge is made to balance the figures.
The EBC host will pay the accommodation costs of all judges (including their potential partners) as well as their dinners and beverages at the venue.
The identity of the judges shall not be made public until the start of the EBC.
The judges will receive individual voting forms for each act. The evaluation is based on the following criteria:
- Instrumental talent
- Vocal talent
- Stage presence
- Blues Content
The categories are ranked in order of importance from (1) to (5). The winner is appointed according to this ranking order in case of an equal score. If the equal score persists, the winner shall be proclaimed through a majority decision made by the Jury acting as a college.
The judges have the opportunity and are suggested to provide constructive written comments about each act with the objective of providing individual feedback on their performances.
- Selling of CDs, Magazines, T-shirts, Merchandise at the EBC shop
- A stand for the selling of EBU and band merchandise will be set up at the venue.
- A team of minimum four volunteers shall be provided by the EBC host to support the sales process.
- All participating acts or bands may bring up to 25 CDs for sale at the stand at identical prices fixed by the EBU Board.
- The EBC host will arrange for a table next to the merchandise sales stand to allow for musicians to sign autographs.
- Dispute Resolution
In case of a dispute about the selection process, or if the interpretation or the execution of the present rules cannot be solved amicably, the dispute shall be solved by a committee of three EBU Board members after having heard all parties involved. The dispute resolution procedure will be held in English language. The decision of this committee is final.
In case the dispute involves directly the EBU Board the dispute will be settled according to Article 37 of the Statutes of the EBU.