UK Blues Challenge

Each year, the UKBlues Federation organises a UKBlues Challenge to choose a band or artist to represent the UK at the annual International Blues Challenge organised by the Blues Foundation and held in Memphis every January and at the European Blues Challenge organised by the European Blues Union held each year at a different venue around Europe in March or April.

In just a few years the UK Blues Challenge has become a major event in the UK blues calendar and enjoys a stature that is growing exponentially.

In keeping with our ethos of being a pan-UK organisation, the Challenge location moves around the UK and past Challenges have been held at the Boom Boom Club in Sutton (twice), the Robin 2 in Bilston, The Cavern Club in Liverpool and, in 2018, at Worthing Pier’s Southern Pavilion. 2019 saw us take the Challenge to the Bluefunk Rhythm & Blues Club in Poynton, Cheshire with The Achievers being declared the winners on the night.

Due to the pandemic, it was not possible to run a Challenge in 2020 but arrangements are already in hand for the 2021 UKBlues Challenge which will take place on Saturday 18th September 2021 at a venue in Coventry, the 2021 City of Culture. More details will be released in due course.


Past UK representatives have included Laurence Jones, Ben Poole, BabaJack, 24 Pesos, David Migden & the Twisted Roots, LaVendore Rogue and Kaz Hawkins who won the European Blues Challenge in 2017.

The winner of the 2018 UKBlues Challenge was Kyla Brox who won through to the semi finals of the 2019 International Blues Challenge and went on the be declared the runaway winner of the 2019 European blues Challenge held in The Azores in April 2019.

The participants in the UKBlues Challenge are chosen based upon input from a nomination panel comprising more than 700 people from right across the UK blues scene and the process is carried out in accordance with criteria laid down by the Blues Foundation and the European Blues Union.

More information about the International and European Blues Challenges can be found at and


9th European Blues Challenge, Punta Delgada, Azores, Portugal 5-6 April 2019


They did it... flew the flag sung the Blues and celebrated. Congratulations to Kyla Brox and her band of wonderful musicians.




What a fabulous evening we had at Worthing Pier's Southern Pavilion on Saturday 8th September where a great and enthusiastic audience cheered to the rafters when the magnificent Kyla Brox was declared the winner of the 5th UKBlues Challenge and invited to go to represent the UK at both the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January 2019 and the European Blues Challenge in The Azores in April 2019.

All five contestants - Greg Coulson Band, Carl North & the Lonely Hearts, Kyla Brox Band, Catfish and Tom C Walker Band. - treated us to a fabulously varied evening of top flight music and all proved that they were worthy of taking part in the Challenge. Congratulations go to all of them on making the event so very special.

Greg  Coulson Band - Photo courtesy Liz Aiken

Carl North & The Lonely Hearts - Photo courtesy Liz Aiken

Kyla Brox Band - Photo courtesy Liz Aiken

Catfish - Photo courtesy Liz Aiken

Tom C Walker Band - Photo courtesy Liz Aiken

But special congratulations to Kyla Brox and her band who we are both proud and pleased to have as the UK's representative at the International and European Blues Challenges next year.

This great photo from Richard Dunning sums it up as four of the five contestants jam in the evening's finale.

But don't take my word for it, read the full story and some great comments from those who were there.