Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question about our tournaments or albums? We’d love to help. Check out some of our most frequently asked questions here, and if you don’t find what you’re looking for, give us a shout.
Competition & Rules
Can my group switch quarterfinals or regions?
On the application, there is space to indicate dates that you won’t be able to attend. If your availability changes after the application is due, please let us know as soon as possible. If we can, we will move you to another show in your region, but we can’t guarantee placement for availability changes submitted after the application deadline.
If you advance to semifinals and have a conflict with your region’s semifinals, you cannot switch to another region.
What will the sound setup be at my show?
Sound setup varies from show to show, depending on what resources are available to us. When you are assigned to a quarterfinal, your regional producer will contact you with details about the event, including sound setup.
We strive to have 18 wireless microphones available as often as possible. When that is not possible, we have set group/ambient microphones evenly arranged across the front of the stage (which cannot be moved) as well as seven wireless microphones available for use (which can be moved around).
Can we add members to our roster during the year?
If your membership changes slightly after the application deadline, please let your regional producer know as soon as possible. Group members sanctioned by your high school or university to be a member of your group are eligible to compete in ICCA and ICHSA.
Can a non-student compete with us?
Group members sanctioned by your high school or university to participate in your student organization are eligible to compete in ICCA and ICHSA, even if they are not students. If a non-student would not be accepted as a member of your organization, they may not compete at any Varsity Vocals event.
We require that all members of your group be full-time, fully participating members of your group; that is to say, they cannot be “ringers” brought in for competition only.
Why don't you allow octavizer pedals?
We don’t allow special equipment, like octavizer pedals, because the vast majority of groups competing in our program do not have access to them (and the other necessary, complementary equipment) for rehearsal or regular performance. We don’t have adequate time during sound checks for rehearsing with this equipment. As of now, there aren’t enough skilled, affordably-priced technicians out there (who are experienced in using this equipment) to be able to provide it at every single one of our events.
Attending a show
Can competitors watch the show from the audience?
We do not reserve seats for our competitors. However, if on the day of the show there are available seats, you may sit in the them on a first-come, first-served basis.
To avoid disrupting paying audience members, we ask that you only watch the show during the half that your group is not competing. Your producer will explain any changes to the policy at your group meeting on the day of the show.
Will a video or audio recording of this event be available?
No, we do not provide or formally allow video or audio recording of our events. Most of the songs performed by competitors at our events are “covers,” which are written by other people whose rights are protected under copyright law. In order to record and distribute our competitors’ performances of these covers, we would have to obtain licenses from the original artists and their publishing companies, and these are prohibitively expensive.
Do I have to buy tickets in advance?
Most of our events sell out. We strongly recommend you buy tickets in advance.
Tickets are sold out online. Can I still get a ticket at the door?
Nope, sorry. Sold out means sold out.
When will doors open?
About 30 minutes before the show. If a long line is forming and we have finished sound checks and have cleared the hall, we may open earlier.
Who qualifies for a student rate ticket?
Any student with a student ID will do. If you are obviously younger than high school or college age, you don’t need an ID. On occasion we offer an even more discounted rate to students at the school where the event is taking place, but if that’s the case, we will specify.
It's snowing. Will you cancel or reschedule? Why not?
Given that our events are part of a tournament, with venue reservations made a year in advance and our staff coming in from throughout the region to make the show happen, it is next to impossible to reschedule our events. Therefore, we do not cancel for inclement weather, unless the venue itself physically cannot open. We encourage our competitors and patrons to exercise caution and good judgment when deciding to travel to our events.
Rescheduling our events is nearly impossible. We have to take into consideration: (1) scheduling availability for the 10 groups competing (because if fewer groups can attend on the rescheduled date, it defeats the purpose of rescheduling); (2) scheduling availability within our tournament (this event feeds into another event and cannot take place after the semifinals, nor can it take place on a weekend we already have an event scheduled in that region (because of production team availability), which is nearly impossible because our events take place nearly every weekend January through March; (3) scheduling availability of another regional venue of comparable size, when most venues this size book up at least a year in advance; (4) scheduling availability of our production team, including the Varsity Vocals producers (who are busy nearly every weekend leading up to semifinals producing our other events), five judges who are booked many months in advance, and a crew of qualified sound technicians, who are also very busy producing our other events as well as events locally and regionally; and (5) affordability of such an endeavor, after losing funds for canceling the first event, essentially doubling production costs.
Our responsibility as a company is to strive to provide the ICCA and ICHSA experience to our competitors and patrons, as promised, whenever possible. Your choice to travel to attend or participate in an event is your own, and if you opt not to, we will do whatever we can to make that decision as comfortable as possible for you.
Because our tournament is at capacity, it is rare that we are able to schedule competitors into another event However, we are happy to refund their entry fee and will welcome their application next season.
In our 20 years of producing this tournament, we have absolutely canceled events when conditions truly necessitated it. If we do need to cancel an event, ticket holders and competitors will be notified and refunded immediately.
An event date/location says TBA. When will you post more information?
We will post details about the show as soon as we have finalized information to announce. We appreciate your enthusiasm, but trust us — nobody wants this event finalized and announced more than we do.
Tickets aren't up for sale yet. When will they go up?
We don’t know. If we knew, we’d post more information. Most of our venues allow us to sell tickets through FreshTix, which enables us to set the timing for setup. A few venues require us to sell tickets through their box office, which means, even though we ask them to make tickets available by a certain date, we are often subject to backups on their end with logistics and paperwork. If we have any information, we’ll put it up on our site. Barring that, we’ll put tickets up for sale the moment they go on sale. The only event that risks selling out within hours is ICCA Finals — with the rest, you certainly don’t need to purchase tickets the moment they go on sale in order to get a seat. You’ll be fine — we swear.