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.

The Organizer (the Blues in Zaanstad Foundation) has made a great deal with a surprising lodging possibility i.e. a river cruise boat "Ms Allegro". In addition you can book buffet dinners for a very special prize. First come first served, but priority for the people who book both a cabin and the dinners. See for more details: Extra Extra.
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 of the following people:

Peter Tange, chair
Paul Möhlmann, vice-chair
Theo Schoegje, secretary and treasurer
Remco Doorn, public relations
Patrick Kraaijeveld, technical affairs
Dirk de Hen, Legal adviser of the Board and event-manager

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


8April 2019

Contract signed

Every year the Dutch Blues Foundation (DBF) organizes a Challenge on which the best Dutch Blues bands play and the best band and solo/duo act is chosen by a professional jury.

Just like all the Blues organizations in Europe the challenge is every year. And all the organizations send their winner to the European Blues Challenge.

The Dutch Blues Foundation, is established to promote the Blues music and the Blues musicians, is celebrating its tenth anniversary with the European Blues Challenge in the Netherlands. The goal of the foundation is to give talented musicians a platform, and to get recognition for Blues musicians and to contribute to the fame of the Blues music in the Netherlands. The DBF asked a local organization : the Blues in Zaanstad Foundation (BiZ) to take care of the organization of the European Blues Challenge.

BiZ is established "to promote the blues music and live music on a broad public in the Zaanstreek regio.

The Board of BiZ contains a number of Blues music lovers who are very well known with social, business, administrative and organizational environment, the chairman Peter Tange, is the mayor of Wormerland (one of the cities on the river Zaan)

The European Blues Challenge (EBC) will be held on the evenings of Friday 17 and Saturday 18 April 2020.

The winners of the national challenges of 24 European countries will perform during the EBC 2020. They will be judged by an international expert professional jury.

There will probably be around 1.800 visitors all out of Europe during these two days.

BiZ made a comprehensive plan included a budged and details for organizing this event.

During the EBC 2019, held on the Azores 5 and 6 April, the contract for the organization of the EBC 2020 was signed by the EBU, the DBF and the BiZ Foundation.

BiZ already asked two artists to play on the challenge evenings. They will be playing during the challenge evenings in the Lobby of the Zaantheater. In that way the visitors are submerged with Blues music during their arrival in the venue.

24September 2019

Contract signed

The European Blues Union announced on September the news that the following 24 countries will be present with a blues act: Here is the list of confirmed countries:

Czeck Republic
United Kingdom

6April 2019


Launching the website

20Feb 2019

Started with the website

Design was approved by the EBC2020 members and now it is collecting data and inputting information on the site.

Buying tickets for the EBC 2020

As long as tickets are available everyone can buy tickets for the EBC 2020 in the Zaantheater in Zaandam. There are only combi tickets available for both days, Friday 17 and Saturday 18 April. The price of the ticket is € 67,50 (service fees etc excluded).
The tickets can be bought via a ticketshop. You will find the link here under.

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.


Want to spend a romantic weekend during the EBC 2020 in Zaandam?

In addition to the many hotels in Zaandam and nearby The Blues in Zaanstad Foundation, Organizer of the EBC 2020, has been succesful to charter a beautiful river cruise boat the Ms Allegro. This boat will arrive in Zaandam Thursday April 16 around noon and will stay in Zaandam until noon of Sunday April 19. Its place of destination will be the quay at the leftbank of the Zaan river right opposite the Zaantheater, only a 150 meters by foot away.

All guests can book an arrangement for overnight stay at the Ms Allegro. The arrangement is only for three days. The prize is the same if you book a cabin for 1 or for two persons. The prize is without city taxes but it includes breakfast buffets. The arrangement prize is € 459,-

BONUS Offer: want to enjoy a good buffet dinner for a wonderful price? Book 3 buffet dinners on board of the Ms Allegro for only &euro 45,- per person (drinks not included).

Book now via

The Ms Allegro has besides the cabins, each with two seperate beds and a bathroom with sink, toilet and shower, a restaurant, a lounge and a bar.

Information and reservations via

Get In Touch

Fill in below contact form for questions or suggestions.

Our Location

Nicolaasstraat 3

to be announced


Contact Form