Hundreds of acts crowd Memphis for International Blues Challenge - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Hundreds of acts crowd Memphis for International Blues Challenge

(WMC-TV) - Blues artists from around the world were in Memphis Thursday for a special international challenge.

More than 700 musicians from 40 states and a record 16 countries are competing for the top prizes during the Blues Foundation's 28th Annual International Blues Challenge.

"This event brings the best of the best from every region around the world," said Joe Whitmer with the Blues Foundation.

It takes 575 performances to see who goes home a winner, but win or lose, the exposure the artists will get during the four-day competition is priceless.

For the city of Memphis, the competition means millions in tourist dollars.

Spectators can catch acts at 20 venues on Beale Street for a $10 to $15 daily wrist band.

"This is the home of the blues, and every act here loves coming to Memphis and playing on historic Beale Street," said Whitmer.

While the Blues Foundation is headquartered in Memphis, their mission is to promote and preserve the unique American art form around the world.

The competition wraps up Friday night, when the top finalists will go head-to-head for the crown in a battle of the blues bands at the Orpheum Theater.

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