The RULES of AUSACA will always be a work in progress as Australian a cappella develops. Vocal Australia reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.

If you are unsure about anything, please refer to our FAQs, or contact us for clarification.

1. Eligibility

1.1. Entry is open to Australian and New Zealand vocal groups.

1.2. Group Size

  • Vocal Bands: For groups with 3-8 singers (one person per part)
  • Vocal Ensembles: For groups with 9-25 singers (multiple people per part)

1.3. Secondary School Division

  • Singers should be Secondary School age.
  • Groups can consist of singers from more than one School.
  • Groups do not need to be affiliated with a School to enter this category.
  • Teachers are not permitted to sing with the group.

1.4. Open Division

  • Majority of singers must be aged 17 and over

1.5. Exceptions to these categories will be considered on a case by case basis. Please contact Vocal Australia prior to submitting your application.

2. Musical Restrictions

2.1. All songs must be performed 100% a cappella in at least three (3) parts. No instruments of any kind are allowed.

2.2. Body and Vocal Percussion / Beat-boxing are permitted.

2.3. All musical genres are acceptable.

2.4. Set Lengths

  • Video Audition: No longer than five (5) minutes
  • National Final – School Division: No longer than eight (8) minutes
  • National Final – Open Division: No longer than twelve (12) minutes
  • National Final – Open Division – Aca-Duel: Between 90 seconds and four (4) minutes

2.6. Timing will begin from the first note sung and stopped after the last note is sung.

Repertoire Repetition

2.7. National Finalists are permitted to repeat repertoire from their Video Audition.

Open Division Aca-Duel

2.8. The 2019 Aca-Duel challenge is an original song. Each Open Division group must create and perform their own original song for the Aca-Duel that includes the following elements:

  • The 2018 word of the year “Toxic”
  • The following chord: “minor9”
  • The “Millennial Whoop” (a melodic pattern alternating between the 5th and 3rd notes of a scale).
  • The following drum fill rhythm from “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins.

2.9. No mash-ups, medleys or use of any other songs are allowed during the Aca-Duel.

2.10. We encourage all the groups to be creative with their Aca-Duel song and to play to their strengths.

3. Application Materials

3.1. Applicants must complete the following steps to successfully enter into the AUSACA Australian A Cappella Championship.

STEP ONE: Online Application Form

3.2. All groups must complete the online application form (one form per group).

STEP TWO: Video Audition Application Fee

3.3. All groups must have paid their Video Audition Application Fee by the application closing date. Details for each of these fees are listed under ‘competition fees’ on the AUSACA website.

3.4. Applications will not be considered complete until the Video Audition Application Fee has been received.

STEP THREE: Video Audition Submission

3.5. The video audition must be no longer than five (5) mins in length. Timing will begin from the first note sung and stopped after the last note is sung.

3.6. The video submission must be of an authentic ‘live’ performance with the camera remaining still with all singers visible on camera.

3.7. The video must include no sound or visual editing. Groups who edit their video will have points deducted from their score.

3.8. The video must not be stopped during the recording, including between verbally announcing your group and singing your set. (If you’re not sure what this means then please contact info@vocalaustralia(dot)com for further clarification.)

3.9. No pre-existing video footage may be entered. You must film a video specifically for your AUSACA video entry.

3.10. At the start of the video, performers must verbally announce the following: Group name, Affiliated School or University (if applicable), State, Division (School, University or League) for Vocal Australia’s AUSACA Australian A Cappella Awards.

For example, “Hi, we are (group name) from (affiliation – if applicable) in (state/country). This is our video audition for (division) in Vocal Australia’s AUSACA Australian A Cappella Awards”.

3.11. Videos must be uploaded to YouTube as an unlisted video (instructions can be found here) and the link to your video is to be provided in either your Application Form or by emailing us your video link by the closing date.

3.12. Your YouTube upload must be titled as follows: “Group name – Vocal Australia AUSACA

STEP FOUR: National Finalists – PART A (Group Entry Fee) and PART B (Individual Registration Fee)

3.13. Any groups that successfully progress through to the National Finals must have paid their group entry fee (Part A) and individual registration fee (Part B) for each singer within 14 days after the National Finalists have been announced.

3.14 Groups who fail to pay their Part A and Part B fees by the due date risk losing their spot in the National Finals.

4. Conditions

Rule Violations
Groups risk being disqualified or having points deducted for any rule violations. Please read the rules thoroughly. Feel free to contact Vocal Australia if you have any questions beforehand.

Groups will be offered the opportunity to resubmit their video entry (before the closing date) if their video hasn’t followed the rules. Resubmissions must be received before the closing date.

Change of Singers
We understand that some of your singers may change between when you apply and your next competition session due to unforeseen circumstances. Groups should do their best to avoid changes in their line-up (e.g., if you’re a university group that has significant changes in line-up between each semester, then we encourage you to only enter AUSACA with the singers who you expect will be part of the group for the entire AUSACA season).

If any changes occur then they should be minor changes (e.g, similar number of singers with only small changes in the line-up). Groups that have significant changes to their line-up (e.g, double/or half the number of singers, or numerous swaps of singers) will risk being disqualified. As always, contact Vocal Australia to discuss ANY changes to your line-up beforehand to avoid any issues.

By submitting your application form for AUSACA, your group agrees to compete in any AUSACA competition sessions to which you advance. Any groups that withdraw from the competition may be barred from competing in AUSACA for one year and will not have their entry fee and/or registration fee returned.

Photography and Filming
Vocal Australia, and anyone authorised by Vocal Australia (collectively, “Producer”), reserves the irrevocable right (but not the obligation) to record, film, broadcast, telecast, videotape, photograph, exhibit, edit, exploit or otherwise use individual participants, groups, group’s name and likeness, voice, conversation, biographical information, sounds, statements, and/or performance(s) included in your group’s entry materials and/or recorded at any event sponsored and/or produced, in whole or in part (collectively, your “Appearance”), by Vocal Australia without notification in any manner in Vocal Australia’s sole discretion.

Vocal Australia will be the sole owner of all the results and proceeds of such photography, recording, filming, and/or videotaping and the participant now waives, as to the Producer and its successors, assigns and licensees in perpetuity and throughout the universe, all personal right and objections to any use of the same and any portion thereof of your Appearance in any and all media, whether now known or hereafter devised, including, without limitation, motion pictures, television, internet exploitation, mobile phones and applications, and publishing and in connection with the advertising, sale, promotion, marketing, merchandising, distribution, publicity, and any and all other types of exploitation of the Production or any part thereof. Producer shall have the unrestricted right to edit the content and text of the Production in any manner or form and to combine your Appearance with any other content.

Your Appearance shall not necessarily constitute an endorsement of any participants, shall not constitute an employment relationship between yourself and Producer, shall not be subject to any union or guild collective bargaining agreement, and shall not entitle you to any wages, salary, corporate benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, or other compensation of any kind, under any such collective bargaining agreement whatsoever.

You agree to release Producer from and against any costs, claims, damages, liabilities of any kind that you may have, including but not limited to the filming and/or use of the Appearance. You agree that Producer shall not bear liability for any visual distortion that may occur in the use of the Appearance. You further understand that the waivers and releases contained herein expressly apply to the use and/or exploitation of all aspects of your Appearance. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Producer in connection with any claim or cause of action arising from any claim made by you in relation to your appearance in the Production.

5. Judging Criteria

In consultation with previous and current AUSACA judges we have made some changes to the judging criteria, descriptions and rubric to encourage the kind of performances that will help put Aussie and Kiwi a cappella on the world map!