EBC Rules


  • 1. EBC Dates

The EBC will be held annually during two days on a weekend, Friday and Saturday, during the first 6 months of each calendar year. The dates will be decided by the EBU Board in consultation with the EBC Host. The EBU Board will strive to announce the dates at the latest 12 months before the scheduled event.

  • 2. Requirements for Selecting the EBC Host
  1. All EBU Active Members who reside or have their seat in a represented European country may submit an offer to host the EBC.
  2. All candidatures need to be filed preferably by the EBU Member Country Responsible by electronic mail sent to the president (president@europeanbluesunion.com) and secretary (secretary@europeanbluesunion.com) of the EBU. The list of Country Responsibles is published on the website of the EBU.
  3. Deadline for candidatures: Before 15 January two years prior to the year when the EBC will take place unless other deadline is announced by the EBU Board.
  4. The offer needs to cover all obligations as laid down in the standard EBC event contract that, upon request, will be communicated previously and confidentially to the host candidate by the secretary.
  5. 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 one of the following Board meetings. The two final candidates will be submitted to the vote of EBU Active Members at the GA. Only one city can host the EBC event.
  6. If there is only one approved submission the Board will be entitled to appoint the EBC host.
  7. If there are no submissions or none of the submitted ones are approved by the Board, the EBC will be held at the same venue as previous year, subject to the approval of the previous organizers. In case of no candidate to organize the EBC the Board can take initiative in organizing the event or it will be postponed by one year.
  8. The EBU is entitled to receive a license fee from the organizer of the EBC. The fee will be fixed by the Board and, unless other specific agreements, this payment needs to be made at the latest three months prior to the EBC event. The EBU shall send a receipt to the organizer after payment has been made.
  • 3.  Notification Deadlines of Participating Musicians at the EBC
  1. Notification of participation of the country: 10 September of the year preceding the event.
  2. Notification of the name of the band/performer and names of all band members and their instruments, the band’s curriculum, rider, high-resolution photo and a song title to be included on the EBC compilation CD, including a copyright waiver of the band and their label : 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 Board can allow exceptionally an extension. In case the deadlines are not respected, and if additional summons by e-mail are neglected, the Board will be entitled to exclude the concerned participation at the EBC or the admission of a track on the EBC compilation CD.

  • 4. Country Selection of Bands Participating at the EBC 

Each European country that is represented by at least one EBU member is entitled to nominate performers to the annual EBC and required to select their representatives by an association or a corporate organization that involves collaboration of blues enthusiasts, festival organizers, and blues musicians of the respective country, or by a magazine specializing in blues, or by a festival or association that 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 other EBU Active Members in the given country. The selection process needs to be communicated to the President and the Secretary of the EBU following the time frame indicated in the previous Article 3.

The EBU Board is entitled to make an inquiry on the national selection process.

The Board is entitled to grant a “wild card” up to two representative acts representing a country for which no notification of participation has been made, regardless if this country is represented or not in the EBU by an Active Member.

All the selected 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 by applying the following rules:

  1. 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.
  2. If the previous condition is not fulfilled, the dispute shall be resolved in accordance with article 11 of the present regulations.
  • 5. Challenge Rules
  1. Each European country having at least one EBU Active Member can bring only one band to the EBC. The total number of band members is limited up to 10.
  2. At least 50% of the members of the bands must have the nationality of and reside in the country they represent.
  3. 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.
  4. All participating musicians will only be allowed to perform in only one participating band or act.
  5. All members of the acts or bands must commit to pay for their own travel and accommodation costs at the host city and be available to perform either on the first or on the second day of the EBC. Participating countries are allowed to find subsidies to provide funding support to their bands.
    1. The winning act or band of an EBC edition may not participate again.
    2. Acts or bands having participated in an EBC edition, but not winning, may participate again after two intervening editions (e.g. participating in 2015, the next possibility would be 2018)
  6. Each act will perform for 20 minutes at the most, followed by a 5 to 10 minutes change over for the next act.
  7. Participating acts or bands cannot claim any financial remuneration for performing at the EBC.
  8. Participating acts or bands may bring up to 25 CDs to promote their music and to be sold at a dedicated stand at the venue where the event takes place.
  9. 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 or in a previous challenge. If this act or band also declines the winner of the third position can be appointed.
  10. Each act or band can bring one accompanying person free of charge to the EBC.
  11. 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, and will at the latest 4 months prior to the event communicate one digital track in wav-format, not longer than 3’30” minutes to the EBU Board for the compilation CD as mentioned in article 6.
  12. All participants shall use the same backline that will be made available by the EBC host.
  • 6. Compilation CD

The EBU Board will strive to produce a compilation CD to accompany the EBC. The Board will make an enquiry before the EBC whether some record company, preferably a company that is Active Member of the EBU, is willing to manufacture this compilation CD. The candidates will then be invited to make a proposal containing the following information:

  1. Cost of production of 1000 promotional CDs.
  2. Cost of shipping 25 CDs to a nominated representative of each EBU country.
  3. Cost of shipping 10 CDs to all EBU Board members who wish to receive these.
  4. Cost of shipping the remaining CDs to the relevant EBC host city to be distributed to EBU Active Members attending the GA (one copy each) and to sell the remaining copies during and/or after the EBC.
  5. Company data, including legal form, company seat, company registration number and VAT status.

If there is more than one candidate having an interest to produce the compilation CD the Board will make the selection. Record companies who are Active Member of the EBU will have the preference.

  • 7. Performance Order of the EBC Bands

The Board will assign the performance order of the participating acts and bands by a raffle. The names of all 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 more band performing on the first night. The order of performance will be communicated on the EBU website and in the periodical EBU Newsletter in January preceding the event.

  • 8. EBC Prizes

The EBU Board is in charge to identify EBC prizes and will establish a Working Committee to consult different festivals and other organizations or authorities for potential awards or donations. All prizes will be announced on the EBU website and in the periodical EBU Newsletter providing complete details of the prizes awarded to the winners.

  • 9. EBC Jury

The Jury shall be composed of a maximum of six (6) judges with all preferably having a different nationality.

The Board will strive to invite one or more entities sponsoring an EBC price (festival, association, foundation, etc.) to propose one judge who needs to be a recognized blues expert. The total number of judges appointed by the sponsors may not exceed a maximum of three (3).

The EBU Board will identify and invite the remaining judges who all need to be recognized blues experts. One replacement judge will also be appointed.

A judge may not vote for bands or acts representing the country of his/her nationality. A mathematical correction by the average of quotations of all other judges is be made to balance the figures.

The EBC host will pay the accommodation costs of all judges 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.

All judges will receive an individual voting form for each act. The evaluation is based on the following criteria:

  1. Originality
  2. Instrumental talent
  3. Vocal talent
  4. Stage presence
  5. Blues Content

Each category is scored by circling the appropriate number on a scale 1-10.

The categories are ranked in order of importance from (a) to (d). 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 Team acting as a college.

The judges have the opportunity to give constructive written comments about each act with the objective to provide individual feedback on their performances.

  • 10. Selling of CDs, Magazines, T-shirts, Merchandise at the EBC shop
  1. A stand for the selling of EBU and band merchandise will be set up at the venue.
  2. A team of minimum four volunteers will be provided by the EBC organizers to support the sales process.
  3. All participating acts or bands may bring up to 25 CDs for sale at the stand at identical prices fixed by the Board.
  4. No other association than EBU may sell merchandising products at the EBC stand.
  5. The organizer of the EBC event will arrange for a table next to the merchandise sales stand to allow musicians to sign autographs.
  • 11. Dispute Resolution

In case of a dispute about the selection process, or if the interpretation or the execution of the present regulations 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.