NexCyx Join Sting, Tom Jones, and Hugh Laurie in Cognac

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This Spring, Hennessy held an international competition to offer one band the chance to travel to France and perform at the Cognac Blues Passions festival. After extensive judging and voting, the winners of the competition were NexCyx, a five-piece group from Barbados that mixes together hip-hop, pop, rock, and reggae with excellent results. (We’re especially fond of their party-starting track “On the Floor.”) Jetting off to Cognac last week, the band joined a bill that also included Tom Jones, Sting, Hugh Laurie, and other heavy hitters from the worlds of blues and roots music in its six-day lineup. Take a look at some of the highlights from the fest — which celebrates its 20th anniversary next year — in our exclusive photo gallery.

Tom Jones headlining the second night of Blues Passions 2012. Photo courtesy of Hennessy.

Tom Jones. Photo courtesy of Hennessy.

Drum-kit signage directing festival-goers around the site.

Sculptures of the Blues Passions mascots and topiary musicians mark the festival entrance.

Hugh Laurie and his band were the big draw for Day 3 of the festival. Photo courtesy of Hennessy.

Hugh Laurie performing on screen. (Or possibly a screening of an episode of House.)

The festival was big news in the local press.

Performances weren’t just limited to the festival grounds. Artists played all over the town every day, so a walk through the streets brought new music at almost every turn.

Fans of all ages were able to appreciate the daytime shows during the festival’s all-day programming.

NexCyx performing on the Eden Blues stage, where they quickly won over curious onlookers.

NexCyx were so well-received that festival organizers are looking to help them tour throughout Europe.

With intermittent rain hitting throughout the event, NexCyx helped to keep the sun out during their set.

The biggest crowd of the week turned out for Sting, giving the event a major festival vibe. Photo courtesy of Hennessy.

Sting performs at the Blues Passions festival, playing a greatest-hits set that spanned his career. Photo courtesy of Hennessy.

Sting headlining Blues Passions 2012. Photo courtesy of Hennessy.