This Sunday is ‘blues day’ in South Surrey, as the White Rock Blues Society’s 2016 Blues Challenge comes to the Pacific Inn’s Costa Brava Ballroom and adjoining garden on July 24 – and there are still tickets available for the popular blues-and-barbecue event.
The day-long battle-of-the-bands-style festival (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.), moving to the Pacific Inn from the former venue in Semiahmoo Park, will bring together some of the Peninsula’s – and the Lower Mainland’s – finest professional blues performers, in a preliminary to the 2017 International Blues Challenge semi-finals in Memphis, Tenn.
The locals – including well-known blues-harp master ‘Harpdog’ Brown – will be vying to represent the WRBS in the upcoming event, which has evolved into “the biggest and most respected showcase for blues musicians ready to take their act to a national stage.”
Of the past representatives of the club – including The Twisters, Mud Dog, David ‘Boxcar’ Gates, the Arsen Shomakhov Blues Band and Brandon Isaak, Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band, Dalanna Gail Bowen and Owen Owen Owen and Jesse Roper – all but one have made it through highly rigorous rounds of judging into the finals of the event, WRBS president Rod Dranfield said.
“It proves that we have some very, very strong talents on the local blues scene,” he said.
True to past form, the 2017 edition of the IBC – set for Jan. 31-Feb. 4 – will all but take over the historic Beale Street entertainment district in Memphis, Dranfield said.
But, of course, the immediate beneficiaries are local blues fans, who can enjoy a feast of all-star blues entertainers lined up by artistic director Jason Buie, Dranfield said.
There will also be a barbecue buffet and cash bar available on site.
Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door and children 12 and under are free.
The venue is located at 1160 King George Blvd. For more information, visit www.whiterockblues.com or call 604-723-3905.