An unfortunate announcement – But the show must go on…

Okay. First, the bad news:

CASA regrets to announce that, due to an unexpected decision yesterday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, select members of our intended Los Angeles A Cappella Festival headliners, ONAIR, are not being allowed to enter the United States; as a result, ONAIR will no longer be making their much-anticipated appearance as performers at LAAF.

We, like all of you, were tremendously excited to welcome ONAIR and to experience their incredible artistry firsthand. While we are deeply saddened to announce their absence, we remain excited about all that they are contributing to the world of contemporary a cappella music, and we hope that we will be able to bring them stateside to share their talents with all of us in the future. CASA has a long history of successfully bringing international artists to our festivals and we vow to continue to do so.

Now. The silver lining, the lemonade, the actually very good news:

It is our distinct privilege to present to you the group joining our inspiring headliners Resound as featured artists at the 2017 Los Angeles A Cappella Festival. Please give a thunderous virtual ovation to…

LARK.

No discussion of those charting the course for the continued ascent of all-female a cappella is complete without Lark. Under the direction of the singular Dr. Erin Hackel, their thoughtful, refreshing approach to every aspect of their craft, from repertoire to arranging to costuming and staging, has set the bar for scholastic groups of every stripe (though to put the women of Lark in the “scholastic group” box—or any other—is to dramatically undersell what they bring to the table). Their indelibly creepy performance of “Mad Hatter” was a high note in a 2015 that saw them become the first group to win both the BOSS and SoJam scholastic competitions in the same year, and it is our genuine pleasure to have them rounding out the CASA festival hat trick at LAAF. Nominated six times in this year’s inaugural A Cappella Video Awards (AVAs), Lark was previously slated to perform at the AVA event following Saturday’s Professional Showcase concert, but we are beyond delighted to have this opportunity to elevate Lark to the main event, where they belong.

We will do our very best to answer any questions you may have concerning this change. Please contact events@casa.org with any such questions or concerns (although, and we hope this is understandable, we can’t release any additional details about the specifics of ONAIR’s situation). We’re fortunate to have both a great Events core team (led by our Director of Events, Blair Baldwin) and a terrific local team in L.A. (led by LAAF Executive Producer Meron Mogos). They’ve been working…what’s the amount that’s past overtime?…to make this festival soar, and it’s a testament to their efforts that LAAF 2017 is still going to be such an incredible event, with or without the occasional immigration hiccup.

Between the outside-the-box ingenuity of Lark, the peerless vocal charisma of Resound, the first-ever A Cappella Video Awards ceremony, and a weekend full of educational (and, ahem, social) opportunities in sunny SoCal with some of the foremost names in contemporary a cappella, LAAF 2017 is going to be an unforgettable celebration of the human voice, and we can’t wait to celebrate it with you.

– CASA and the LAAF 2017 Production Team