In the early 60s the popularity of Jazz and Rock ‘n Roll was increasing in Europe. This convinced the promoters Horst Lippman and Fritz Rau that bringing Blues musicians to tour in Europe would draw in huge crowds. After contacting the legendary Blues composer Willie Dixon, they organized the first American Folk Blues festival in 1962, which was followed by 12 more over the next two decades. For each festival, ensembles of Blues musicians from the US would tour across various countries in Europe and perform together or in various constellations. Ultimately the festival significantly helped build an appreciation for the genre on the Continent.