The Voice Festival UK

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The Voice Festival UK (VF-UK) is a UK arts education charity dedicated to providing opportunities to get involved with contemporary a cappella, unaccompanied singing.

The Voice Festival's central purpose is to increase the awareness and popularity of the a cappella art form in the UK, and to support the development of the existing UK a cappella scene, by recruiting and encouraging new participants, developing new audiences, supporting and educating existing participants and building UK a cappella communities.


Founded in 2008, the Voice Festival UK was conceived by two a cappella singers from the University of Oxford who wanted to help support and develop the growing a cappella scene in the UK. In its infancy, the Voice Festival offered a competition for university a cappella groups alongside workshops, and had around 8 participating groups.[1]

Still run by a growing team of volunteers, the organisation has increased its offering year on year, and now offers a series of workshops, masterclasses, concerts, competitions and networking events for singers of all ages across three separate programmes: youth, university and community. Events takes place throughout the year, with highlights being the annual Festival Weekend in Spring, and a showcase at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.

From 2009 to 2010, there were three regional rounds of the Festival, held in Oxford, Cambridge and St Andrews. In 2011, two new regional rounds were added in London and Birmingham. In 2012, the Cambridge round was scrapped due to lack of participants, but was replaced by a round in Bristol. This year also saw youth and community categories added to the competition. In 2014, regional rounds were replaced by a single video round.

On three occasions, the winners of the annual university competition have been invited to perform at the ICCA final in New York. In 2009, Out of the Blue came second in the finals. The 2010 winners, The Oxford Gargoyles, were unable to compete in the final in New York due to the University of Oxford's exam timetable.[1] Cadenza competed in the ICCA finals in New York in 2011 but did not place.


The Voice Festival UK has released two compilation albums, showcasing cover songs arranged and performed by both professional and amateur a cappella artists from across the UK. The Voice Collection 2013 was released at the London A Cappella Festival. The Voice Collection II arrived three years later, released at the 2016 Festival Weekend.

The Voice Collection 2013[edit]

No. Song Title Artist
1. Free The Boxettes
2. Summer Senses Fuchsia
3. Rumour Has It / Mercy In The Pink
4. Hide and Seek All The King's Men
5. Til There Was You Finesse
6. Jailhouse Rock Voces8
7. Roxanne The Oxford Belles
8. Addicted to Love The Refrains
9. Smile Please Jack Telfer St. Claire
10. Ex Factor In The Smoke
11. It Was Almost Like A Song Havoc
12. Improvisation Shlomo vs. Ruby Wood
13. You've Got The Love Apollo5
14. High (Forever You And Me) Vive
15. Earthquake The Techtonics

The Voice Collection II[edit]

No. Song Title Artist
1. Burn AfterParty
2. Sam Smith Medley The Rolling Tones
3. Blindsided The Accidentals
4. Holding Out For A Hero The Scopes
5. Rich Man Semi-Toned
6. I Feel Like A Woman Oxford Gargoyles
7. Galvanize The Songsmiths
8. Bad Romance Restless Symphony
9. Accidentally In Love Killer Quines
10. Just Be The Bristol Suspensions
11. Last Night The Beatroots
12. Use Somebody The Wellingtones
13. Michael Jackson Medley The Cosmopolitones
14. She Will Be Loved Choir of Dave
15. Happy 2014 Festival Weekend Participants

Past Results of the University Competition[edit]


Year Cambridge Regional Oxford Regional St Andrews Regional Birmingham Regional London Regional Bristol Regional Wildcard Overall Winner
2009 Cadenza
The Oxford Alternotives
Out of the Blue
The Oxford Belles
The Other Guys
The Alleycats
Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Not awarded Out of the Blue[2]
2010 Cadenza
The Fitz Sirens
Out of the Blue
The Oxford Gargoyles
The Alleycats
The Accidentals
Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Fitz Barbershop The Oxford Gargoyles
2011 Cadenza Out of the Blue The Accidentals Augmented Seven All The King's Men Not applicable Not awarded Cadenza[3]
2012 Not applicable Out of the Blue The Other Guys Sons of Pitches All The King's Men HotTUBBS Not awarded All The King's Men
2013 Not applicable The Oxford Alternotives Choral Stimulation Sons of Pitches All the King's Men
Semi-Toned Not awarded Vive


The 2014 competition saw a change in format, in which the regional rounds were scrapped, and competitors applied for the competition via video entry, from which 12 groups were taken through to a 'semi-final', and then five groups went through to the final. This allowed more groups to apply, and ensured that all groups were judged fairly and equally by one set of judges.

Year Semi-Finalists Finalists Overall Winner
2014 The Accidentals, The Alleycats, All the King’s Men, Choral Stimulation, The King's Chicks, Out of the Blue, The Scopes, Semi-Toned, The Songsmiths, The Sons of Pitches, The Techtonics, The Uptone Girls All the King’s Men, Out of the Blue, Semi-Toned, The Songsmiths, The Techtonics Out of the Blue[4]
2015 Aberpella, The Accidentals, The Alleycats, All the King's Men, Aquapella, The Bristol Suspensions, Choral Stimulation, The Rolling Tones, The Scopes, Semi-Toned, The Songsmiths, The Sweet Nothings Semi-Toned, The Alleycats, The Songsmiths, Choral Stimulation, The Rolling Tones Semi-Toned[5]

Ward Swingle Award for Originality: Choral Stimulation

2016 The Sweet Nothings, Northern Lights, Pitch Fight, Aquapella, The Bluebelles, The Alleycats, Killer Quines, RadioOctave, The Songsmiths, Bristol Suspensions, Cadenza, The Rolling Tones The Bristol Suspensions, The Songsmiths, Cadenza, Aquapella, The Rolling Tones The Bristol Suspensions[6]

Past Results of the Youth Competition[edit]

Year Overall Winner
2012 Acabelles
2013 The Wellingtones
2014 The Tiffinians
2015 The Dreamettes
2016 The Tiffinians

Past Results of the Community Competition[edit]

Year Overall Winner
2012 In The Smoke
2013 Original Sing
2015 In The Smoke
2016 In The Smoke


  1. ^ "A history of the Gargoyles". Oxford University. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Voice Festival UK Past Results Archived February 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 12 July 2011
  3. ^ "Cadenza wins Voice Festival UK 2011 competition". 18 March 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Out of the Blue - 2014 University Champions -". 2014-03-23. Retrieved 2016-11-24. 
  5. ^ "The University of Exeter's Semi-Toned - VF-UK University Champions 2015 -". 2015-05-18. Retrieved 2016-11-24. 
  6. ^ "Meet University Champions 2016 - The Bristol Suspensions -". 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2016-11-24. 

External links[edit]