By Guang Ming Whitley | January 11, 2019
There’s a conference for everything these days, and the a cappella community is no exception. Here is a roundup of ten can’t-miss a cappella festivals in 2019!
January 23 — 26 | London, UK
The London A Cappella Festival is curated by Ikon Arts Management and The Swingles. It takes place in January each year and welcomes a fantastic line-up of international a cappella stars, as well as a host of workshops, showcase performances, talks, and free events for everyone to enjoy. They also have a special LACF KIDS day which has events for all the family and children to take part in.
In January 2019 the festival celebrates its 10th Anniversary, so it’s going to be an extra-special four-day celebration of vocal talent. We’re excited to feature collaborations (Laura Mvula and Black Voices), a UK debut from Los Angeles (m-pact), a chance to hear a group who are performing together after a break of twenty years (The Mystery of The Bulgarian Voices), Cuban superstars (Vocal Sampling) – as well as showcasing the best of the UK University and Barbershop chorus scenes, and of course not forgetting a finale concert from co-hosts and festival favourites The Swingles.
The festival has built up a really inclusive and special community. For example it was here that The Single Singers Global A Cappella Community (in which singers that were coming to the festival on their own were given opportunity to actually perform in a group) was founded, and the model has been taken to other festivals across the world. We love being able to give a platform for groups of all shapes and sizes with our showcase stage, and people love coming to the festival to make new friends and a get chance to meet the current stars of the a cappella scene — as well as, who knows, maybe some potential future stars...Ellie Shouls, Artist Manager, LACF
February 8 — 10 | El Segundo, CA
The Los Angeles A Cappella Festival is celebrating its 10th birthday and we want you to join us in sunny southern California to celebrate! A full day and a half of classes + a competition that features the best of SoCal academic groups + casual performance slots for attending groups + masterclasses with leading A cappella talent + a professional showcase to see how it comes together = 3 days of inspiration, immersion, fun and friendships. Bring yourself to learn more about a cappella and meet like-minded people, or bring your group and learn how to record, compete, or just raise your game. LAAF is brought to you by the Contemporary A cappella Society (CASA), a 501(c)(3) established in 1991 to foster A cappella.Tom Keyes, Executive Producer, LAAF
February 8 — 10 | Garden City, NY
SingStrong is a public charity dedicated to a cappella. Each SingStrong festival offers +/-10 headliners from around the world in 3 jam-packed professional concerts, plus exciting competitions for HS, Collegiate and Semi-Pro groups with a $1,000 1st prize; and two days of hands-on classes and free coachings. Our open ACA group, The Single Singers, gives ANY singer the chance to perform on the MainStage with incredible light and sound. 100% of SingStrong’s proceeds support music and the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease, a cause for which we’ve helped raise over $100,000. Be a part of this loving, supportive community and take your own music to the next level!Jonathan Minkoff, Executive Producer, SingStrong
March (dates and location TBA)
The festival is a one-of-a-kind experience. Not only it is the sacred feast for enthusiasts, but it also focuses on outreach and education. That's why we do a lot of workshops in schools, and reach out to the community whom might not have much a cappella experience. As per our motto, "a cappella, anytime, anywhere", in addition to the largest a cappella concert: International a cappella Extravaganza, a 2,500 seat stadium filled with an attentive and lovely crowd, we also break the venue walls, perform in the community, on a mobile stage truck, and in schools.
In the a cappella Festival in March, we usually invite a few overseas groups, joined by Hong Kong's own groups, to manifest what a rich and magical sound human voices together can make. More than 50 events will be scheduled in the festival's two-week span. It adds another flavour when it takes place in the busiest and most crowded city in the world.Gabriel Lee, Music Administrator, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups
April 6 — 8 | Somerville, MA
Boston Sings [BOSS] is a weekend-long a cappella festival, focused on celebrating innovative vocal music from around the globe. Friday night is traditionally our scholastic competition, featuring top-tier high school and collegiate competitors. Groups from all over the world audition to compete in our weird and exciting themed rounds, and use their music to express out-of-the-box creative visions. Saturday night is a professional concert, where we seek to bring in an international headliner that fans are unlikely to see locally (or even in the US), as well as highlight other up-and-coming young groups or local Boston stalwarts. The rest of the weekend consists of workshops, interactive courses, panels, and masterclasses geared toward groups and individuals of all ages, as well as a well-known, well-respected "featured educator" each year to give a keynote workshop and more. The weekend wraps up with the live presentation of the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards on Sunday, complete with a red carpet and private brunch event.Alexander Koutzoukis, Executive Producer, BOSS
April 26 — 27 | Memphis, TN
This year, we're looking to become the destination for a cappella groups who are ready to find their true potential. At NACC, we'll give you the tools you're missing, introduce you to the people you need to meet, and hopefully, inspire you to achieve more than you ever thought possible.
Our mantra for 2019 is "Music matters because people matter."
All groups who attend NACC will work one-on-one with our vetted clinicians, including names like Chris Diaz, Lisa Forkish, Dr. Erin Hackel, Angela Longo, and Rob Dietz. Our education team will survey all groups and design a personalized schedule of classes tailored to a groups' goals. An All Access Pass includes tickets to see internet celebrities RESOUND and OneVoice in a dual headliner concert, plus passes to our exclusive, private a cappella afterparties.
We'll be featuring a non-competitive high school showcase this year of 8 high school groups and a competitive invitational of 10 collegiate groups. All groups are selected from a video semifinal and are judged on the AEA rubric designed for constructive and comprehensive feedback. Our featured clinicians will be the judges.AJ Marino, Executive Producer, NACC
May 30 — June 2 | Aarhus, Denmark
AAVF only happens every two years, so don’t miss this one! "Innovation, the draw of top worldwide talent, high-level workshops, amazing organization and planning, world-class artistic excellence — I can go on and on," says Bill Hare, award-winning a cappella producer. Hare has attended every iteration of this festival since its inception in 2006 and will be there in 2019, too.
AAVF is a feeling. A feeling of community and togetherness. A unique opportunity to share the passion for vocal music through workshops, concerts, coachings, competitions and inspiring talks over a Danish beer and a delicious meal in the vibrant surroundings of the festival hotspot, Ridehuset. AAVF showcases the newest trends in a cappella education and on the stage the festival presents new concert formats and shows new standards for creative collaboration between artists from near and afar.Tine Fris, Vice Chairwoman, AAVF
August 23 — 26 | Fossano, Italy
This is one of the leading festivals in Europe. According to Hare, Vocalmente attracts "world-class performers and instructors" and has a "relaxed vibe, more focused on performance than academics."
We all love to sing. Singing brings people joy, it fills us with passion, pleasure and stirs emotions that travel deeply into our soul. And singing together is the most powerful, immediate and truthful form of communication. When people join in harmony, they forget their differences across borders and transcend them.
The joy of singing and the act of sharing are at the very core of what drives each of us in the VOCALMENTE Family. We want to share this joy with the people of Fossano, with the people of Piemonte, of Italy – and connect with the vocal family around the world.
We will carry our voices into the city of Fossano and beyond, without borders.
Creativity needs space. We are creating space for music making and learning – but we want to go beyond the conventional relationship of teacher – student, of performer – audience. This festival is a place where new things can be created, experiments can happen, improvisation is encouraged.www.vocalmente.net/about/vision
August (dates TBA) | Kagawa, Japan
Vocal Asia Festival (VAF) is Asia's largest A Cappella festival. To exhibit the diversity of Asian music, VAF sets itself as a "moving festival", traveling between different cities around Asia. VAF brings singers around Asia together to express and exchange their own specific culture and music experience, and learn from not only the master groups and instructors but also from each other.Wuming Chen, CEO Vocal Asia
November (dates TBA) | Durham, NC
SoJam is a weekend-long a cappella extravaganza brought to you by The Contemporary A Cappella Society (CASA). Since its founding by Dave Sperandio in 2003, SoJam has hosted hundreds of talented groups and individuals from around the globe, bringing together top vocal talent, industry professionals, students and amateur singers of all sorts. Jam-packed with concerts, competitions, masterclasses, and hands-on workshops led by some of the biggest names in the vocal music universe, SoJam has established itself as one of the most exciting a cappella gatherings in the world.sojam.net