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Nebraska Blues Challenge

Searching for the Best Blues Bands and Solo/Duos in Nebraska

The Blues Society of Omaha is searching for the Best Blues Bands and Solo/Duo’s in Nebraska to compete at the Nebraska Blues Challenge.  Winners of the Nebraska Blues Challenge will represent the Blues Society of Omaha and Nebraska at the 38th International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN in January 2023.

The IBC is widely considered a launching pad for many careers, including our own Hector Anchondo, who reached the finals in the band category and WON the Solo/Duo category in 2020.  

Oh, and did we mention that there is $$$ involved?  The winner of each category will receive a travel stipend for their expenses as they travel to Memphis, TN to compete in the International Blues Challenge.

The registration deadline is Sept. 30, 2022. The Nebraska Blues Challenge will take place on a Sunday afternoon in late October and/or early November. Location, date(s), and times will be announced soon after the entry deadline.

Eligible acts must include at least one band member who is a current member of the Blues Society of Omaha and must have 50% of the band membership living in NE or within a 50-mile radius of Omaha.

Application available here:  https://forms.gle/GMdp8wCsnANAavXW6

Questions or for a copy of the official rules: Info@omahablues.com
 
Good luck! And let’s show Memphis and the world that Nebraska has the best Blues Bands/Solo/Duo AND the best Blues Society!

FAQ: In The Market For Blues – Aug. 6, 2022

What you need to know before you go!

FAQs: (Frequently Asked Questions)

Where can I buy tickets?  OmahasBluesFest22.eventbrite.com

  • $20 in Advance for General Admission (ends at 11:30 PM on Aug. 5, 2022)
  • $30 Day of Show at our Box Office on 13th and Farnam
  • $75 VIP Experience

Where can I find more information? www.InTheMarketForBlues.com

I purchased by General Admission Ticket online; now what? Bring your phone with your ticket displayed or your printed ticket to our Box Office/Will Call booth on 13th and Farnam at the Gene Leahy Mall.  Show your barcode to our volunteers, they will check you in and then supply you with a wristband.  Show your wristband when you enter any of our 12 venues and ENJOY the music!

Where is the Box Office/Will Call? The Box Office and Blues Festival Merch tent is on 13th & Farnam Street on the Gene Leahy Mall.    You can not use your paper receipt to enter a venue.  You must come and exchange your receipt for a wristband. VIPs will pick up their VIP lanyard at The Jewell during the exclusive concert for VIP Ticket Holders.

What time is the Box Office/Will Call open? The Box Office and Blues Festival Merch tent is open from 11:00 AM to approximately 7:00 PM on Saturday, Aug. 6th. A mini box office will be open at the Holland Center on 12th & Douglas from 6:30 – 8:30 PM.

What Venues Are Participating for In The Market For Blues? 

  • Harney Street Tavern
  • Dubliner Pub
  • T. Henery’s
  • Mouth of the South
  • Gate 10
  • Havana Garage (and Patio)
  • Gene Leahy  Mall
  • Throwback Arcade Lounge
  • The Jewell
  • Beer Can Alley
  • Annie’s Irish Pub
  • Holland Center Mammel Courtyard
  • View map for address and locations.

May I purchase wristbands at a participating venue before Aug. 6th? No. Wristbands are only sold at Blues Society of Omaha shows through authorized sellers. Please watch our Facebook page for the shows that In the Market for Blues wristbands will be available for purchase.

How much is a single venue?  Single venues are $10 except the Holland Center outdoor Mammal Courtyard, which requires a wristband for entry. The Jewell will close at 7 PM and reopen at 8:00.  If you plan only to attend shows at The Jewell, a wristband is recommended. The Jewell is a two-drink minimum per person. Gene Leahy Mall events are all free to attend.

Do you have t-shirts for sale? Yes, In the Market for Blues t-shirts and koosies will be for sale.  We also have all of our Blues Society of Omaha merch for sale, including hats, shirts, and koosies.  

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event? All venues (except Havanna Garage) are all ages up until 9 PM, accompanied by an adult.

Does my minor child need a wristband? Ages 6 and under are free with a paid adult. Over age 6 requires a paid admission. All events at the Gene Leahy Mall are all ages and free.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions? IntheMarketforBlues@gmail.com InTheMarketForBlues@gmail.com

Can I bring in outside food or beverages? No outside food or beverages are allowed.  Every venue has drinks available for purchase.  Most venues have food available. Please support our local venues!

Are any Food Trucks available? Yes!  The following Food Trucks will be at the Gene Leahy Mall on 13th street between Farnam and Douglas.

  • New Orleans Sneaux:  11am-3pm
  • La Gaviota:  12pm-4pm
  • E-Creamery:  2pm-6pm
  • Haven Express:  2pm-6pm
  • Best Burger :  2pm-6pm
  • Kabobs, Gyros, and Brats:  2pm-6pm
  • BBQ Brothers:  2pm-6pm

May I bring a lawn chair? No lawn chairs will be allowed into the Indoor venues. Seating will be provided for up to 400 people at Holland Center outdoor Mammel Courtyard. There is limited seating for VIP’s at the Gene Leahy Mall. 

Where do I Park? Visit www.ParkOmaha.com for parking garage availability near our festival venues. Parking garages we recommend: 12th & Harney at the Landmark Parking Garage and 13th & Capitol Garage.  Street parking is also available.  Download the app to make paying the meters easier.  Pro-Tip:  Take a picture of your meter with the zone and space number, and set a timer on your phone. When your time has expired, have a friend use the app to pay for an extension of time as the app will not let you re-up your own meter.  

Is there a preferred hotel for In The Market for Blues Patrons?  We sold out of the fan room block at the DoubleTree Hotel on July 13.  However, we understand there are some rooms available at Hilton Garden Inn on 10th & Dodge. 

May I get a refund? Sorry, all sales to In the Market for Blues are final. Thank you for your donation to the Blues Society of Omaha.

What if I bring a friend with me to the festival and they did not purchase their ticket online? Tickets are $30 day of the show and are available at our box office on the Gene Leahy Mall at 13th & Farnam.

I purchased a VIP ticket online; now what? Bring your phone with your ticket displayed or your printed ticket to your designated showtime on Friday, Aug. 5 to The Jewell at 1030 Capitol Ave in the Capitol district inside the Marriott Hotel. Doors open 1 hour before show time. Show your barcode to our volunteers, and they will supply you with your VIP Lanyard. Wear your VIP Lanyard when you enter any of our 12 venues and ENJOY the music! 
You will also receive day-of-show texts with special VIP announcements.  Lunch, Meet-and-Greets, and a charging station are available to you at our VIP room in the Hilton Garden Inn on 10th & Dodge. If you are unable to attend the Friday show at the Jewell, pick up your VIP Lanyard starting at 11:30 AM at the VIP room in the Hilton Garden Inn.

Who is playing and at what time?

Support Those Who Support Us!

THANK YOU to the sponsors/supporters of our 2022 In The Market For Blues Festival! We appreciate your belief in our festival and the good it brings to our musicians, venues, and community.

Paul Gerber Auto SalesFNBOThe RiverFrontOmaha Performing ArtsDietze MusicHy-VeeThe ReaderP.S. BluesTenaskaSP IncentivesDoubleTree by Hilton Omaha DowntownOld Market GuitarworksKIOS 91.5  – Douglas County, Nebraska

Be a STAR & Support Omaha’s Blues Fest

What do First National Bank of Omaha and Omaha Performing Arts have in common?

What do great Omaha companies like First National Bank of Omaha, and Omaha Performing Arts have in common? They are great community partners who value what In The Market For Blues brings to the city of Omaha: a lively full day (and night!) of music at our treasured Old Market & Downtown Omaha venues with the most talented blues musicians ever assembled in the region. Our festival benefits the entire community with increased tourism, commerce, and a sense of fun and excitement right in the heart of our city.

Now entering our 8th year, we have several opportunities for you to get involved. If you are affiliated with a great Omaha Company, please consider sponsoring our festival to help bring top-notch talent to Omaha. More than 2,500 festival attendees will see your logo on our posters, flyers, programs, and website. Benefits you will receive in return:

  • Lead Generation from Event Promotions
  • Foster Community Goodwill
  • Increased Brand Awareness
  • Develop Customer Loyalty

Our sponsorship team is ready to visit with you on how you can help Omaha’s Blues Fest achieve our mutual goals. Please reach out to Ann or Steve to start the conversation.

Individuals – Support our Grassroots Fundraiser

We are PROUD of the excellent feedback we have received from our past festival guests. Not only is the festival a great day of FUN and JOY, but it’s also a CELEBRATION!

We love celebrating our fabulous blues musicians and giving them the deserved SPOTLIGHT for a full day (and night!) at many venues in historic Old Market, Capitol District, and Downtown Omaha.

For some of our fans, this is their first time to be exposed to MANY different types of blues music. In The Market For Blues is not just your Dad’s Blues. We have something for everyone!

But to make it all happen, we need your HELP too. We are asking for your support in our grassroots fundraiser to help us continue to bring top-notch TALENT to Omaha’s Blues Fest. Your tax-deductible donation means so much to us!

Donate here!!

No Facebook? No problem! You can also donate directly to the Blues Society of Omaha using this link: PayPal.

Additional Ways to Support Omaha’s Blues Fest

  • Tickets will go on sale this Spring. Packages available include General Admission to all venues and a VIP Ticket option with many perks included.
  • Share and like our social media posts.
  • Volunteer opportunities will be available too! Watch our facebook page for more details.

Full details of the festival will be shared soon.

Thank you for your support!

Seeking Sponsors for Omaha’s Blues Festival


Get Ready for “In the Market for Blues” festival in Omaha’s Old Market set for Saturday, August 7th, 2021!  Our festival that was once just two venues and 250 in attendance grew to 3,000 music fans at multiple Old Market venues for 14 hours of nonstop music. The Blue Society of Omaha is recognized as one of the top Blues Societies in the country and is especially proud to have been chosen from among the International Affiliates as a 2018 recipient of the prestigious “Keeping the Blues Alive” award, bestowed by The Blues Foundation in Memphis! With our excitement, we are seeking supporters to making the Annual Festival even better in 2021.

We already have top nationally touring acts and uber-talented locals reaching out to play in the festival this coming summer.  All of our partner-venues will be enforcing all protocols that have been put in place by the Health Department, City, and State.  If necessary, attendance will be limited to enable safe social distancing. 

In the Market for Blues History:

20152 Venues/ 7 performers with 250 attendees

2016- 3 Venues/ 13 performers with 450 attendees

2017- 8 Venues/ 26 performers with 1,250 attendees

2018- 8 Venues/ 32 performers with 2,000 attendees

2019-12 Venues/ 40 performers with 3,000 attendees

2020- Covid hit, putting many venues out of business and artist without pay

The Blues Society would appreciate your help to achieve our goal this year.  All donations will go toward paying the musicians and their accommodations. A tax-deductible receipt will be provided for your donation. Thank you for your consideration.  If you have any questions, please contact our Sponsorship Coordinators, Stephen & Susan Keith at treasurer@omahablues.com



Sponsorship Levels:

Bronze Sponsor $500- $1000:
  • Featured Article/Blog Announcing Sponsorship
  • Logo Featured on Website
  • Logo Featured on 2,000 Festival Posters
  • Logo Featured on 2,500 Festival Fliers
  • Logo Featured on 2,000 Festival Programs
  • General Blues Society of Omaha membership which includes: Monthly Newsletter-Blues Notes & 1 Membership Card with discounts for 1 person
  • VIP Area Access
Silver Sponsor $1,001- $2,500:
  • Featured Article/Blog Announcing Sponsorship
  • Logo Featured on Website
  • Logo Featured on 2,000 Festival Posters
  • Logo Featured on 2,500 Festival Fliers
  • Logo on 2,000 Festival Programs
  • Logo on Festival T-Shirt
  • Logo on all Venue Stage Banners
  • Family Blues Society of Omaha membership which includes:  Monthly Newsletter- Blues Notes, 2 Membership Cards with discounts for 2 people
  • VIP Area Access
Gold Sponsor $2501 – $5000:
  • Featured Article/Blog Announcing Sponsorship
  • Logo Featured on Website
  • Logo Featured on 2,000 Festival Posters
  • Logo Featured on 2,500 Festival Fliers
  • Logo on 2,000 Festival Programs
  • Logo on Festival T-Shirt
  • Logo on all Venue Stage Banners
  • Corporate Blues Society of Omaha membership which includes: Monthly Newsletter- Blues Notes, 3
  • Membership Cards with discounts for 3 people and company or individual name listed in Blues Notes Newsletter
  • Recognition at BSO Show prior to festival for a 3-5 minute presentation on company
  • VIP Area Access

Platinum Sponsor $5,001- $10,000:
  • Featured Article/Blog Announcing Sponsorship
  • Logo Featured on Website
  • Featured Article/Blog Announcing Sponsorship
  • Logo Featured on 2,000 Festival Posters
  • Logo Featured on 2,500 Festival Fliers
  • Logo on 2,000 Festival Programs
  • Logo on All Venue Stage Banners
  • Logo on Festival T-Shirt
  • Logo on 2,000 Festival Wristband Passes
  • Banner Placement on Main Stage: Blues Society of Omaha Presents In the Market For the Blues Sponsor by (Title Sponsor)
  • Blue Club Membership to Blues Society of Omaha which includes: Monthly Newsletter- Blues Notes, 5 Membership Cards with discounts for 5 people, Name Listed in Blues Notes Newsletter & 1St Month Free Business Card Advertisement in newsletter.
  • Recognition at BSO Show prior to festival for a 3-5 minute presentation on company
  • VIP Area Access