In the year 2020 the European Blues Union , the European blues organisations and blues musicians will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the European Blues Challenge.In the same year the Dutch Blues Foundation will celebrate its 10th year of existance. The DBF will act as Host at this 10th European Blues Challenge.

The Foundation Blues in Zaanstad will organize and manage the entire event under its sole responsability incooperation with the Zaantheater as operational venue. The 10th European Blues Challenge together with the General Assembly, Blues Expo and Blues Workshop will take place at the Zaantheater, located at Nicolaasstraat 3 1506 BB Zaandam, in Amsterdam region of The Netherlands.

The dates of the EBC 2020 will be 17 and 18 April 2020. Prior to the days of the EBC Zaandam will hopefully be the place to attend live blues shows in a number of bars and other venues.


Coming by car or public transportation

From Schiphol/Amsterdam airport you can travel by train and by car to Zaandam.

Schiphol airport has a direct link by train with Zaandam train station two times per hour but you can also travel with a change of trains at Amsterdam Sloterdijk station, which get you to Zaandam station four times per hour. Amsterdam Central station and Zaandam station are connted 8 times per hour and the train ride takes about 12 minutes. Amsterdam Central station is connected with several European cities like Brussels, London, Paris, Frankfurt and Berlin.

Zaandam can be reached by car from all directions via highway A 8, taking the exits Zaandam-zuid or Zaandam centrum, after leaving the A 10 circular road around Amsterdam. Via the A 7 highway one can go up north to Germany, eastern Europe and the Scandinavian countries.

How to get to Holland

First of all: the Zaantheatre as the venue where the EBC 2020 will take place, lies within the borders of the city of Zaanstad and to be more specific within the area which is called Zaandam, the most southern part of the city of Zaanstad.

Zaanstad has a shared border with the city of Amsterdam and is located close to Schiphol airport.

How to get to Schiphol airport:
Every participating country has a direct connection with Schiphol/Amsterdam airport. Without being complete at least the following European airlines fly to Amsterdam: Aer Lingus, Air Europe, Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Croatia Airlines, Easyjet, Eurowings, Finnair, Iberia, KLM, LOT, Lufthansa, Nowegian Air Int., Ryanair, SAS, TAP, Tarom, Tranavia and Vueling.

Where to stay

There are also lots op possibilities to stay in a hotel in Amsterdam, but why bother if you know all the possibilities of hotels in Zaandam itself and the Zaandam region.

Besides that: don't forget you need to leave the EBC early since the last train from Zaandam to Amsterdam will leave at 01.04 AM. If you miss that train you will need to take a taxi.

Programme and Line Up

The Programme is preliminary and may be subject to changes by decisions of the EBU Board and/ or BiZ.

Friday 17 April 2020
12.30 - 13.30: lunch Friday musicians and volunteers
13.00 - 14.00: building Rabobankfoyer and Forbo Flooring room for Blues Market and Zaanse markt
From 13.30 - 16.30: hand out bracelets EBU members
14.00 - 15.00: workshop 1 Blues for Kids
14.00 - 16.30: Blues Market and Zaanse markt
14.00 - 17.30: soundchecks Friday bands AH Zaal
15.30 - 16.30: workshop 2 Blues for Kids
16.30 - 17.30: Blues Market and Zaanse markt breakdown
17.30 - 19.00: dinner Friday musicians and volunteers
18.00: doors open Zaantheater
From 18.00: welcoming visitors, checking tickets and hand out bracelets
18.00 - 18.50: live musical opening with Big Bo Brocken in the Rabobank foyer
18.50: doors open AH zaal and Forbo Flooring zaal
19.00: start first night European Blues Challenge

1. Slovakia: Her Memories Band
2. Norway: Reloaded Norway
3. Austria: Marius Dobra Blues Band
4. Spain: Mingo, Sanpa & Bárez Bros
5. Belgium: Steven Troch Band
6. Hungary: Ripoff Raskolnikov Band
7. Denmark: Long Line Down
8. Croatia: Jeremiah's
9. Switzerland: Justina Lee Brown Band
10. Czech Republic: WBand
11. Germany: The Bluesanovas
12. Romania: Othello Trio
13. Bulgaria: Blues Traffic

Location: Zaantheater Albert Heijn zaal

01.45: last performance ending
02.30: end First Night EBC

Saturday 18 April

09.00 - 10.00: registration EBU members for General Assembly, hand out bracelets for EBU members
10.00 - 12.30: General Assembly EBU in Flotex Hall
12.30 - 13.30: lunch Saturday musicians and volunteers
12.30 - 13.30: toast 10th anniversary EBU (and DBF) first floor Rabobank foyer
From 13.30 - 16.30 : welcoming visitors, check tickets and hand out bracelets
14.00 - 15.00: third Workshop Blues for Kids
14.00 - 16.30: Blues Market and Zaanse Markt
14.00 - 17.30: sound checks Saturday Bands in AH Zaal
17.30 - 19.00: dinner Saturday musicians and volunteers
From 18.00: doors open Zaantheater
18.00 - 02.00: welcoming visitors checking entrance and hand out bracelets
18.00 - 18.50: live musical welcome with The Ragtime Rumours in the Rabobank foyer
18.50: doors open AH Zaal and Forbo flooring zaal
19.00: start second night European Blues Challenge

1. Sweden: Ore Island Penitentiary Band
2. Poland: Sosnowski
3. Estonia: Kaisa Ling Thing
4. Greece: The Lazytrains
5. UK: The Achievers
6. Ireland: Crazycrow
7. France: Jessie Lee & The Alchemists
8. Finland: Lumberjacks
9. Luxemburg: Ramblin' South
10. Netherlands:Dave Warmerdam Band
11. Portugal: The Ramblers
12. Italy: BettaBlues Society

01.15: last performance ending
01.30: announcement winners Blues Awards
01.45: announcement third, second and winner EBC 2020
02.00: bars in Rabobank foyer close
02.00 - 03.30: afterparty with live music by EBC musicians in Forbo Flooring zaal with bar open
03.30 - 04.00: EBC 2020 ends, people clear the rooms

Her Memories Band

Social Media

Reloaded Norway

Social Media

Marius Dobra Blues Band

Social Media

Mingo, Sanpa & Bárez Bros

Social media

Steven Troch Band

Social Media

Ripoff Raskolnikov Band

Social Media

Long Line Down

Social Media


Social media

Justina Lee Brown Band

Social Media


Social Media

The Bluesanovas

Social Media

Othello Trio

Social media

Blues traffic

Social Media

Ore Island Penitentiary Band

Social Media


Social Media

Kaisa Ling Thing

Social Media

The Lazytrains

Social Media

The Achievers

Social Media


Social Media

Jessie Lee & The Alchemists

Social Media


Social Media

Ramblin' South

Social Media

Dave Warmerdam Band

Social Media

The Ramblers

Social Media

BettaBlues Society

Social Media

Board BiZ and BiZ Partners

The Board of the Foundation Blues in Zaanstad

With a maximum total of seven persons the Board exists at the moment, April 2020, of the following people:

Peter Tange, chairman
Paul Möhlmann, vice-chairman
Remco Doorn, public relations
Patrick Kraaijeveld, finance and technical affairs

The Partners of the Foundation Blues in Zaanstad

As the Organizer of the EBC 2020 the Foundation Blues in Zaanstad works in close cooperation with a number of partner.
The Board also wishes to say thank you to all the partners helping in a financial way.

Our (financial) partners are:

- European Blues Union
- Dutch Blues Foundation
- Zaantheatre
- City of Zaanstad
- Breuring Webdesign
- Prepress4U
- Rotary Club Zaandam
- Rabobank
- Hellingman & Zn


7May 2020

UPDATE regarding tickets and hotel-reservations

  • We expect all EBC2020 entrance tickets will be restituted in about two weeks;
  • Hotel-rooms are not being refunded by BiZ. BiZ will do its utmost however, to persuade hotels to refund booked rooms. If hotels refuse or offer vouchers, please ask your travel-insurance how to proceed with retrieving payments or how to make an insurance-claim.

28April 2020

UPDATE regarding tickets and hotel-reservations

  • All EBC2020 entrance tickets will be refunded. Give us a little time, because data of visitors have to be exchanged between BiZ and the ticket-office;
  • All down payments for lodgings and meals booked on board the MS Allegro are restituted;
  • Hotel-reservations are not being refunded by BiZ. BiZ will do its utmost however, to persuade hotels to refund booked rooms. If hotels refuse or offer vouchers, please ask your travel-insurance how to proceed with retrieving payments or how to make an insurance-claim.

Please follow the guidelines given by the authorities and be safe and healthy.

17April 2020

UPDATE - European Blues Challenge 2020 cancelled

Were we not all looking forward to that exciting battle between the 25 top blues-acts of Europe which would have taken place in Zaandam April 17 and 18? Volunteers had slept extra and eaten healthy to be fit and do their utmost in offering a spectacular program. Even a cruiseship was berthed next to the venue to make the distance between overnight stay and performance as small as possible. Children would have been schooled in playing the blues and the centre of Zaandam was vibrating with blues-notes. The 10th edition of the European Blues Challenge, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the Dutch Blues Foundation (DBF), was going to be a succes.

All that remains now is that bluesy feeling, unworn T-shirts and a useless scenario.

After careful deliberation the DBF and the Blues in Zaanstad Foundation (BiZ) have come to the conclusion that hosting the 10th edition of the European Blues Challenge in 2020 (EBC2020) has become an unrealistic dream. As such what was first declared postponed is now a cancelled event.

DBF and BiZ proposed to the European Blues Union (EBU) to host the event in the years to come. We trust that she will honor this request. Information will be conveyed as soon as decisions are taken and location and dates are confirmed.

In the meantime, enjoy music from all participants on the EBU-website:

More information can be found on:

We are saddend by the severe consequences of the pandemic and hope that we can all pull through with our health intact.

Be and stay safe

17March 2020

UPDATE regarding the Covid-19 situation

We regret to announce the postponement of the European Blues Challenge 2020, due to the uncertainty regarding the status of the measures to be taken in the battle against Covid-19. It is unwise to persevere in continuing the Challenge. Also several countries have informed the European Blues Union that they will abstain from participating, either as precautionary measure or because of the restrictions imposed by their respective governments.

We emphasize that the Challenge is only postponed, not cancelled. We hope that the developments in the Covid-19-situation will make it possible to soon convey to all an alternate date. Tickets bought will remain valid and the value transferred to the new date. We will keep you informed.

We deeply regret being forced to take this step, but the Covid-19-pandemic confronts us with an extraordinary situation with far reaching consequences.

With the blues in mind and full regards

Blues in Zaanstad Foundation Europeaan Blues Union Dutch Blues Foundation

13March 2020

UPDATE regarding the Covid 19 Situation >

Yesterday the Dutch Government has taken a number of more strict measures including a stop for all festivals, sports games etc with a crowd of more than 100 persons. This would mean that we would be obliged to cancel the EBC of 17 & 18 April,
the new measures and restrictions are only valid until the end of March. Although it is expected that the Government will take additional measures such as extending the period of the new measures after March 31 and/or take more severe measures, we do not know this for certain right now. Beginning next week at the latest we will update this message. Look every day at this part of the website for new messages.

11March 2020

The 10th European Blues Challenge and the Covid-19 Virus>

The situation in Europe about developments of the Covid-19 virus changes every day. It is impossible to say which statements are right and which information is false. The only right way according to the Blues in Zaanstad Foundation is to follow the situation in The Netherlands in general and the Amsterdam region in particular very closely and follow the Guidelines and instructions of the regional Health Service, the national RIVM expert Organisation and local, regional and the national Government.

When important developments occur the consequences will be published on the website and the facebook page of Blues in Zaanstad

The 10th EBC and the Covid-19 Virus

The authorities in the Netherlands have banned all events until the first of septembre. It is possible that this ban will be prolonged after this date. Insurance companies meanwhile have precluded epidemics from their general terms and conditions. The expectation is that in the second half of this year the 'one-and-a-half-meter-society' will be implemented. Also we expect blues-fans to wait until the last moment before buying tickets.

This combination makes it impossible to organize an event like the European Blues Challenge in 2020 and thus EBC2020 is cancelled.

Buying tickets for the EBC 2020

Of course the selling of tickets has come to a hold.

Thursday April 16 Pre-Challenge Blues Night

Thursday April 16 the blues will be alive and kicking in the heart of Zaandam.

Three restaurants/bar will open their doors to host live blues shows during the evening preceeding the European Blues Challenge 2020. The Mailcompany, The Koperen Bel (Copper Bell) and Novels will have stages with live blues music. Places to eat, drink and enjoy the blues music. Details will follow.

A musical welcome with live entertainment

At 18.00 hrs on Friday April 17 the doors of the Zaantheater will open to welcome all the guests for the first night of the 10th EBC. Live Blues will bring everyone in the right mood, performed by Dutch Blues artist Big Bo Brocken. Dutch Blues man Bo Brocken plays his blues from the heart and soul. He has been around for quite a while now, touring Europe and the world for more than 30 years, playing his traditional style Blues.Performing as a one-man-band, using a foot-operated drumset, accoustic and electrical guitars, resonator guitars, Cigar Box guitars and harmonica, he plays traditional Blues in Delta, Piedmont, Mississippi Hills and Ragtime style. He definately has a way of doing it. In his own high-handed style, he pays tribute to music legends like Robert Johnson, Skip James, Muddy Waters and Charles Patton, back from the old days when the Blues. He won many awards and was some years ago semi-finalist at the International Blues Challenge.

At 18 hrs on Saturday April 18 the doors of the Zaantheater will open to welcome all the guests for the second night of the 10th EBC. Like on Friday live music will bring all the people entering the theater in the good mood, performed by The Ragtime Rumours.

The Dutch Ragtime Rumours was the first Dutch band to win the European Blues Challenge (in 2018).

The band describes its music as an energizing mix of ols-skool ragtime, gypsyjazz and roots/blues, played with a rock,n roll attitude: "Rag'n Roll". The Ragtime Rumours are: Sjaak Korsten, Niki v.d. Schuren, Thimo Gijezen and Tom Janssen.

Get In Touch

Fill in below contact form for questions or suggestions.

Our Location

Nicolaasstraat 3

to be announced


Contact Form