Read the fine print carefully!

The “Terms of Participation” are the general set of rules that should be read closely by every group interested in participating in They were made in order to establish a fair and reasonable basis for the competition to be hold upon.




There are several regulations concerning topics like group size, repertoire, application material, financial deposit, nomination, cancelling, etc.

In case you decide to apply for the competition you have to confirm that you have read, fully understood and accept those rule.

This document is written in English and this is the only version that is valid for all participants. Even though we put a lot of effort into providing multilingual content to all of our visitors we want to avoid any ambiguities resulting from misinterpretation due to faulty translations.

End of Applications annually on January 15th

Wildchard Videos for the Beatbox Shootout can be posted on our BBS-Facebookpage until January 31st



To download a PDF version click here.





The International A Cappella Competition is initiated and held by the nonprofit association
Graz, Austria
ZVR: 363263881

c/o: Chorverband Steiermark
8010 Graz, Landhausgasse 12/3

and stands under the patronage of Mr. Ward Swingle (the founder of “The Swingle Singers”) who has given his name to the Ward Swingle Awards.


For the sake of clarity, we want to derive some definitions used later on in this text. The term “applicant” refers to a group that is willing to participate at and has handed in the required application form and deposit (see section 4). An applicant is not yet approved to actually take part in the competition. The term “participant” on the other hand refers to an applicant that has met all necessary requirements and is allowed to compete at


In the first place, the right to participate in is preliminarily granted to all applicants that fulfill the specific requirements as employed by the defined categories (see section 5).In the second place, the actual participants will be chosen from the group of applicants by an expert panel to retain the quality of the competition.


As we have encountered numerous unacceptable short-term cancellations by participants in the past we feel forced to collect financial deposits from our applicants. We want to stress out that this deposit is not a participation fee and will be refunded entirely to the participating group after the competition – taking part in remains free of charge!The amount of the deposit has been set to Euro 200,- and has to be transferred together with the application by means of money transfer on our bank account or cash at our office address (see section 13). The deadline to receive the applicant’s money is five workdays after the end of application time as announced.


The International A Cappella Competition is held in the following categories: Jazz, Pop, Classical, Comedy and Beatbox Shootout. Each category has individual requirements as described below.Applicants can sign up for one or more categories but the decision, whether an applicant may start in a certain category still remains with the organizer.The time window to apply starts with the public announcement on our website and ends, if not declared otherwise, at least two month before the beginning of the competition.


Performing on stage at has to be done using handheld microphones or small diaphragm spot microphones as supplied by our technical staff. Participants are allowed to bring their own technical equipment in accordance with our technical director. Performing “unplugged” is generally not possible due to the acoustic circumstances at the venue “Dom im Berg” (classical groups please refer to section 5.5 for special information).

As is held as an a cappella competition we want to stress out that no instruments are allowed performing on stage except for very basic percussion. We do allow effect and loop devices, though, as long as the input signal can still be determined to be nothing but a singer’s live voice. Prerecorded audio samples are not allowed.


Applicants have to present themselves in representative audio and video material. While audio is mandatory and shall be of highest quality possible (uncompressed PCM audio or mp3/aac/ogg of bit rates higher 256kbps) the video material should represent the applicant while performing live on stage. If no such recording is available a similar audio recording may be handed in.For promotional purposes we need a high quality picture (.jpg; 300dpi) of the group that shows the spirit and the character of the ensemble. The applicants must concede the unlimited usage rights to vokal. total. (Needs to be uploaded until the end of the application deadline)Means of submission are either hardware (CD, DVD, USB drive or other standard data storage device), remotely via upload on our home page or link to an external download source.








Nomination of participants is done for every single applicant and category on basis of the supplied materials as mentioned in section 5.2. The executive body is an expert panel that chooses participants from the applicants according to their musical adequacy in order to ensure the quality of the competition. Thereby the organizer retains the right to either

1. reject a group’s application from single categories,
2. suggest a change of category in which a group applies to compete if another than the desired category matches the panels impression of the applicant better or
3. exclude an applicant entirely from the competition without justification. In this case the deposit is refunded to the applicant.

After the end of the application time window every group will receive notice if and in which categories it is invited to compete at the case an applicant decides to retreat from participating at the deposit remains with the organizer as a consequence. Same is the case if a participant retreats or does not appear at the competition date.

7. TRANSPORT AND ACCOMMODATION is not capable of bearing any costs of transportation or accommodation for its participants. Usually we can offer 4-5 possibilities of group accommodation at different price levels (starting at approx. 30,- per person per night) but we are strongly dependent on our tourism partners.


The performances of the participants are structured by the categories. The actual performance times are random but influenced by factors like arrival times, sound check times or other temporal aspects. There is no legitimate objection against the elaborated time table. In severe cases of scheduling conflicts the organizer can attempt to rearrange the time table on short notice and commits to inform all affected participants in sufficient time.

A list of songs that are going to be performed has to be sent to at latest five workdays before the competition (classical groups please refer to section 5.5 for special information). The songs need to be listed in the order of the performance and the following information has to be included: Songwriter/Composer, Arranger (Please indicate if it is an original composition or the arrangement was made by a group member).

Before each performance all participants have the possibility to prepare for the show at the office of the Chorverband Steiermark but the are obligated to return to the venue at least 45 minutes before their scheduled appearance on stage as long as not announced differently by the organizer.

The duration of the performance is limited to 25 minutes including entry and exit and should be used to perform at least four songs. Any overtime will be fined by the judges.

Basis of judgement is primarily the musical performance although issues like stage presence, originality or intensity will play a part in the judges’ vote.

After their performance all participants are urged to remain at the venue as the judges may call certain participants to a run-off if no clear decision can be found.

All winners of a Ward Swingle Award (see section 9.1) and the winner of the Beatbox Shootout are obliged to perform at the Winners Concert of

There are no rewards designated for any performances in the course of the competition or the Winners Concert.


In the course of the competition two kinds of awards are given to participants:


The winner of the Ward Swingle Award is nominated by our judges. They also decide upon the awarding of the bronze, silver and gold diplomas. The Ward Swingle Award in GOLD is remunerated with Euro 2000,- the Award in SILVER with Euro 600,- in BRONZE with Euro 200,- and may be paid out to the winner of the first prize after the Winners Concert in cash or by money transfer. The organizer withholds the right to delay the payment without reason for up to 6 weeks. These awards are given in all four a cappella categories.


The winner of the audience award is chosen by the audience at the end of a competition.As in some cases the competition is divided by a longer intermission, there is an additional voting at the end of the first block. The winner of this voting has the chance to sing again in the second block with a short performance and is therefore included into the evening voting.

There is no prize money for the audience award.


Due to sponsoring agreements we can offer material prizes in some cases. As these agreements are not stringent for both parties can not be held liable for any shortcomings or retreats of our sponsoring partners.


The judges are at liberty to bestow special awards to participants such as for outstanding performance, arrangements, soli or similar.There are no monetary or material prizes for this kind of award.Any special award is given upon initiative of the judges and is not an integral part of the Ward Swingle Awards.


All participants are given the possibility to apply for extra shows in the temporal and local vicinity of the competition. The selection of the actually performing groups is exclusively up to the local will provide the fees for the artists. Occasions and payment can cary from year to year and will be communicated shortly befor the competition. Hosting at the venue (catering, etc.) as well as all technical stage and PA equipment have to provided by the local organizer and can not be invoked from


The judges will hold private Workshops on the day of the Winners Concert. The assignment of a participant to a coach will be announced the evening before the workshops take place.

Time slots for a participant will range between 25 and 35 minutes but will be equal for all groups. The coaches withhold the right to give extra attention to winner groups who will perform at the Winners Concert.Generally, taking part at the workshops is free of charge for participants.Under any circumstances, the organizer withholds the right to cancel or publicly promote the private workshops on short notice. The organizer is not obliged to hold private workshops.


The participant declares that is the only owner of audio and video rights of material recorded during the course of addition, all participants commit the rights for the audio and video material submitted in the course of the application to for further reproduction and sale by the organizer as for e.g. the vokal. total sampler of every year sold at the does not take any responsibility for any damages, losses or other harmful events that affects participants (persons) or their belongings. Every person and their goods take part at on their own risk. This includes all associated events, preparation and traveling.




November 1st, 2014
Revised January 1st, 2017
Revised November 24th, 2017

15. CONTACT AND BANKING – International A Cappella Competition Graz
A-8010 Graz, Landhausgasse 12/3

Phone: +43 316 829925-3
Mobile: +43 660 1788662
Fax: +43 316 829925-4

Account holder:
Bank: Steiermärkische Sparkasse
IBAN AT142081500000955625



Be informed through our Newsletter!