10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Miss LACF
by Florian Städtler, Vocal Blog
Who needs reasons to go to an international a cappella festival in London anyway…? Nevertheless, as this will be my third London A Cappella Festival (LACF), I feel that I might add something to the pre-festival excitement. And maybe make the undecided change their calendars if necessary, persuade the boyfriend (who’s into Heavy Metal) to come along and buy one pair of shoes less (sorry, Clare Wheeler, Tine Fris and Alyusha Chagrin) to buy tickets for the LACF concerts and workshops.
- The Swingle Singers: I’m lucky to work with 8 of the best international vocal music acts. But it all started with the Swingles in 2002. And they started London A Cappella Festival. Love you all, you’re my heroes, Sara, Jo, Clare, Oli, Tobi, Kevin and CJ!
- The main line-up: FORK (FIN), Cadence (CAN), The Boxettes (UK), The Swingle Singers (guests: Euphonism from NYC) as well as the Vasari Singers, Cottontown Chorus and The London Vocal Project
- The free events: Kings Place is a fantastic place to meet and enjoy the company of the aca-family. The foyer stage will present dozens of free performances including reason no. 4…
- The Single Singers: This project is a kind of all-star-all-fun-international-virtual-becomes-real vocal group founded by two Dutch singers, Annemarie Homan and Emily May ‘t Hoen. Can you imagine twenty people from ten different countries meeting at LACF to perform their first public concert after only having met (in person) a few hours before? Check out The Single Singers’ blog and don’t miss their performance after the Saturday concert.
- The Vocal Jog: Since I’ve been travelling the vocal music world, I always ran – to see at least a bit of the cities I was staying. And due to serious after show parties and missing running gear, I almost always ended up as a solo Vocal Jogger. Morten Vinther, baritone with The Real Group was the first one who really joined me before TRG’s gig in my hometown Freiburg. But at LACF 2012, it looks as if we could beat this Vocal Jog world record! The LACF Vocal Jog 2012 will go ahead on Friday morning, January 13th, somewhere in the vicinity of Euston station. Stay tuned and check the news and details at the Vocal Blog Facebook fanpage.
- Educational Events: I could never really believe that a country like England with an incredibly rich choral history was actually an a cappella no man’s land. Thanks to people like Alex Godfree (Voice Festival UK) this is changing quickly.
- Acashirt Pictures: This is basically the first time after the launch of my vocal music online shop Acappellazone that I will see people wearing the brandnew “Acashirts”. A few months ago we met designer Hans Weigel who created the most wonderful a cappella shirt designs. LACF is the first vocal music event who has its official festival shirt sold via Acappellazone. Looking so much forward to pictures of real people in acashirts!
- My US friends: It seems like yesterday, when I attended the mother of all US a cappella festivals, SoJam. During my 4-day stay with The Boxettes I met so many fantastic, friendly and talented people, I won’t even begin to give any names here. But I particularly like the fact, that NYC-based group Euphonism will open for the Swingles on Saturday. Safe trip over the pond!
- London: is simply my favourite town ever. I’ve been an England fan since I went there with my family in the 70s: Devon cream tea, fish & chips, the Channel ferries, the Cornwall coast. And a two-hours pub stay with my good friend Costa Peristianis (his agency Ikon Arts runs LACF) in October in a most wonderful place called “The Antelope” confirmed my belief that better sooner than later I have to find a way to work at least 3-4 days a month in “The Big Smoke”.
- Global A Cappella: One mission in London is to make more movers & shakers (as well as vocal music fans and singers) mark the next super-event in their calendars: The Real Vocal Festival hosted by another European vocal music icon, The Real Group, will go ahead in Sweden’s capital Stockholm from August 16th-19th. Performances by The Real Group, Rajaton, The Swingle Singers, Postyr Project, Vocado a sensational educational programme curated by Peder Karlsson’s Real Academy and – working on it – a meeting of the leaders of CASA (The Contemporary A Cappella Society), EVA (The European Voices Association) and Vocalasia will make TRVF a must-attend-event. Let’s talk about it in London.
Aren’t that reasons to get excited? So get ready for London, tell all your singing or vocal music loving friends to go there. How often has such kind of intense festival experience changed the spirit and the motivation of whole ensembles: There’s nothing like the common experience of both the best artists on stage and the “backstage” moment of talking to the same people in a workshop, listening, learning and laughing while joining this basic need of all human beings: Singing together in a group.
London A Cappella – here we come!
Florian Städtler is founder and chief blogger for Vocal Blog and Chairman of the Board of the recently founded European Voices Association. He is a very lucky guy knowing so many talented and inspiring people who contribute to what seems to become a vocal music movement. His motto: Let’s keep suprising each other!