The “Terms of Participation” are the general set of rules that should be read closely by every group and solo artist interested in participating in vokal.total. 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.
vokal.total unplugged, vokal.total pure, vokal.total augmented, vokal.total mic’dchoir
The application form must be completed and all the required materials uploaded to our website by January 15th.
vokal.total beatbox battle
The Application form must be completed on our Website and a 90sec (max.) Wildcard Video for the vokal.total beatbox battle must be posted on our vokal.total Facebook Page by January 31st.
vokal.total loop battle
The Application form must be completed on our Website and a 3min (max.) Wildcard Video for the vokal.total loop battle must be posted on our vokal.total Facebook Page by February 15th.
1. INITIATOR AND PATRONAGE OF VOKAL.TOTAL
The vokal.total International A Cappella Competition Graz is initiated and held by the nonprofit association
and stands under the patronage of Mr. Ward Swingle (Famous A Cappella Composer and Arranger and 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 or solo artist that is willing to participate at vokal.total 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 vokal.total.
3. RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE
In the first place, the right to participate in vokal.total is preliminarily granted to all applicants that fulfil 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.
4. FINANCIAL DEPOSIT
As we have encountered numerous unacceptable short-term cancellations by participants in the past, so we feel forced to collect financial deposits from our applicants. We want to stress that this deposit is not a participation fee and will be refunded entirely to the participating group or solo artist after the competition – taking part in vokal.total 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 16). The deadline to receive the applicant’s money is five workdays after the end of application time as announced. (Exception of the rule are Solo Artists in the Categories vokal.total beatbox battle and vokal.total loop battle)
5. APPLICATION AND CATEGORIES
The International A Cappella Competition vokal.total is held in the following categories: vokal.total unplugged, vokal.total pure, vokal.total augmented, vokal.total mic’dchoir, vokal.total beatbox battle, vokal.total loop battle. 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 www.vokaltotal.at and ends, if not declared otherwise, at least two month before the beginning of the competition.
5.1. GENERAL LIMITATIONS
Participants are allowed to bring their own technical equipment in accordance with our technical director.
As vokal.total is held as an A Cappella Competition we want to stress that no instruments are allowed performing on stage except for very basic percussion.
In some categories 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.
With our competition we aim to entertain the audience and through a respectful, yet playful competitive spirit inspire the A Cappella world to achieve new levels of artistry, technical excellence, creativity, passion and friendship. It is an annual meeting of the A Cappella scene in Graz where so many A Cappella enthusiasts meet, so that everyone should feel the spirit of community over competition. We like to represent diversity and the joy of music.
5.2. REQUIRED MATERIAL FOR THE APPLICATION PROCESS
Applicants have to present themselves in representative audio and/or video material (Applicants for the beatbox battle and loop battle see also section 5.7 and 5.8). A recording of a rehearsal or a concert is preferred and the audio signal must not be edited or manipulated. While audio is mandatory and shall be of highest quality possible and not edited (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 two high quality photos (JPG or TIFF format; 300dpi, b/w or colour, defined in CMYK or RGB) of the group that shows the spirit and the character of the ensemble. The applicants must concede the unlimited usage rights to vokal.total.
As additional information for the expert panel and to correctly promote the applicants in case of participating at the competition we need a curriculum vitae/description of the group or individual artist. No more than 400 words, maximum 1 page as PDF. (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.
If an applicant decides to apply for more than one category, it is necessary to hand in individual material for each category that fulfils the individual requirements and the performance praxis.
We need a scan or a photo copy of the passport of every single applicant. In the category vokal.total mic’d choir we only need the passport of the group leader.
5.3. VOKAL.TOTAL UNPLUGGED
5.4. VOKAL.TOTAL PURE
5.5. VOKAL.TOTAL AUGMENTED
5.6. VOKAL.TOTAL MIC’DCHOIR
5.7. VOKAL.TOTAL BEATBOX BATTLE
5.8. VOKAL.TOTAL LOOP BATTLE
5.9. ADDITIONAL NOTES
6. NOMINATION, REJECTION AND RETREAT
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 vokal.total. In the case an applicant decides to retreat from participating at vokal.total 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
vokal.total 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. 32,- per person per night) but we are strongly dependent on our tourism partners. We make an exceptions for contestants of the beatbox battle.
8. PROCEDURE AT THE COMPETITION VOKAL.TOTAL
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 (setlist) that are going to be performed has to be sent to vokal.total at latest five workdays before the competition. 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 “Berg der Erinnerungen” (a small cave in the Grazer Schloßberg) but they are obligated to return to the venue at least 25 minutes before their scheduled appearance on stage as long as not announced differently by the organizer.
The duration of the performance is limited including entry and exit. Any overtime will be fined by the jury.
All winners of a Ward Swingle Award (see section 9.1) the Champion of the beatbox battle and the Winner of the loop battle are obliged to perform at the Winners Concert of vokal.total.
There are no rewards designated for any performances in the course of the competition or the Winners Concert.
9. AWARDING OF PRIZES
In the course of the competition two kinds of awards are given to participants:
9.1. THE WARD SWINGLE AWARD
The winner of the Ward Swingle Award is nominated by our jury. They also decide upon the awarding of the bronze, silver and gold diplomas. The Ward Swingle Award 1st Prize is remunerated with Euro 2000,- 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. Excepted of these award are the beatbox battle and loop battle. Please also read section 13. on Taxes.
9.2. THE AUDIENCE AWARD
The winner of the audience award is chosen by the audience at the end of a competition and the viewers of the lifestream via an online voting. Participants are encouraged to motivate their fans to view the Livestream. 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 becomes a nominee to win the audience award and has the chance to sing again in the second block and is therefore included into the evening voting.
There is no prize money for the audience award. There is no Audience Award at the beatbox battle nor the loop battle.
9.3. SPECIAL AWARDS
The jury 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 jury and is not an integral part of the Ward Swingle Awards.
9.4. MATERIAL AND OTHER PRIZES
Due to sponsoring agreements we can offer material or other prizes in some cases. As these agreements are not stringent for both parties vokal.total can not be held liable for any shortcomings or retreats of our sponsoring partners.
10. OUT OF GRAZ
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 organizers. vokal.total will provide the fees for the artists. Occasions and payment can cary from year to year and will be communicated shortly before 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 vokal.total.
11. THE MENTORING SYSTEM AND FEEDBACK WORKSHOPS
The participants of the Ensemble Categories vokal.total unplugged, vokal.total.pure, vokal.total augmented get a member of the jury assigned as their personal mentor. Before the Competition week the mentor will contact each participant via email and they get to ask some questions and get some support directly from a jury member. This should be limited to 2-3 email exchanges. On the opening day of vokal.total each group gets a 30 minute coaching with their mentor. After the final competition all the participating groups gather at “Dom im Berg” and receive a short Feedback by each jury member in an informal atmosphere followed by a private party.
The participants of the Choir Category of vokal.total mic’dchoir will get a 30 minutes feedback workshop after the competition with one member of the jury.
The participants of the vokal.total beatbox battle get to spend a lot of time with the jury during festival and will have the chance to talk to the members for personal feedback.
The participants of the vokal.total loop battle get a chance to talk to the members of the jury after the competition in an informal meet&greet after the competition.
Generally, taking part at these private coaching and feedback workshops is free of charge for participants. There is no general public allowed.
Overall we ask to respect the decision of the jury, which has been made after careful consideration and discussion of many factors. We kindly ask you to keep an open mind and a willingness to learn and grow upon the feedback you will receive. After everything, we all want to spend a good time together in Graz and enjoy each others music, company and possibly see this festival as a source of motivation and inspiration.
12. LEGAL ISSUES
The participant declares that vokal.total is the only owner of audio and video rights of material recorded during the course of vokal.total. In addition, all participants commit the rights for the audio and video material submitted in the course of the application to vokal.total for further reproduction and sale by the organizer.
vokal.total 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 vokal.total on their own risk.
This includes all associated events, preparation and traveling.
We can not engage in correspondence on the competition, and the juries decisions are final.
There is no recourse to legal action.
Every participant receiving money from vokal.total (through prize money or similar) needs to take care of her or his own taxes. If participants do not have their main residence in Austria the following options are effective:
a.) If a participant attests that he or she did not earn more than €2000,- in Austria in the year of the competition, we do not keep any kind of taxes. (Prize money can be split amongst all the group members)
b.) If a participant has earned more than €2000,- in Austria in the year of the competition, we need to either:
1.) forward 20% of all the earnings, or
2.) forward 25% from all the earnings after substracting all travel expenses
to the Austrian tax office.
14. STAGE RIDER
The stage at Dom im Berg is 8 meters wide and 3,2 meters deep. Monitores will be put on the front edge of the stage.
The stage at Minoritensaal has three steps. The lowest and first platform is approximately 6 meters wide and 2 meters deep. The following are each 1 meter in depth.
If more detailed information is necessary please contact our hosting team.
15. ASSESMENT SHEETS
We will shortly sprovide a spreadsheet that is the basis for the juries decision making process.
17. DATE OF ISSUE
November 1st, 2014
Revised January 1st, 2017
Revised November 24th, 2017
Revised November 23rd, 2019
18. CONTACT AND BANKING
vokal.total – International A Cappella Competition Graz
Landhausgasse 12/3, 8010 Graz, AUSTRIA
Phone: +43 316 829925-3
Fax: +43 316 829925-4
Account holder: vokal.total
Bank: Steiermärkische Sparkasse