International Tag Competition

Bored in lockdown? Know how to sing and operate a video camera? Submit an entry to the International Tag Competition - the only international Barbershop competition in the world where you can win cash prizes!

The competition is open to anyone - male, female, mixed groups - young, old - from any country in the world.

Entry is by YouTube video, and is completely free. You can start submitting entries on Saturday 24th October 2020.

How it Works

  1. Video yourself (and your friends) singing a tag
  2. Upload it to YouTube
  3. Enter it into the competition on this site
  4. Win prizes and everlasting glory!

Here's the full process, in a little more detail...

  1. Video yourselves singing a tag. Note that you can't do that part until October 10th (see below).
  2. Add the video of the tag to this website. Note that you'll need to be a member of this site to do that (membership is easy and free). The tag itself will also need to exist on this site, complete with sheet music.
  3. Once the video is added to this website, you'll be able to click a button to enter it into the competition. That button will not appear until October 24th, and only for videos added on or after that date. You'll need to enter some details about the entry (who is singing, etc).
  4. After entries have closed, on November 21st, four weeks after they open, our organising committee will review every entry, and narrow the field down to a shortlist of 40 entries (combined, over all categories). Each entry shortlisted will win cash and other prizes.
  5. Those 40 shortlisted entries will be reviewed by our panel of celebrity judges, who will give each one a score. The shortlisted entries will be announced (on this website) on November 28th.
  6. The entry with the highest score in each category will win the major cash prize for that category. There are no prizes for second, third, etc, but there are various other prizes available, including an audience favourite award, also worth cash prizes. These winners will be announced on December 5th.

Categories and Prizes

There are four categories for entry, each depending on the video format and the number of singers. Each entry will be entered into exactly one category.

There are no separate categories for male, female, mixed, etc.

Category A: One-take recording, one voice per part

Four singers in front of a video camera, where the whole tag is shot in one take. Imagine a typical quartet being filmed singing, all together at once.

Actually, you can have more than four singers, if the tag is written in more than four parts (up to eight).

First prize: US$1000

Shortlist: 15 entries

Category B: For choruses, multiple voices per part

This is where choruses get to compete. This can either be one where all singers are in front of a video camera at once and the whole tag is shot in one take, or in a "virtual choir" format, like a huge Zoom call.  Editing and mixing is allowed.

Minimum 14 singers.

First prize: US$1000

Note: If your chorus is currently not meeting physically because of COVID-19, it is strongly recommended that you do NOT come together just to create an entry for this category. It's not worth the risk! Any chorus gathering together to enter this category is strongly advised to wear face-masks, practice social distancing, etc - even during the recording of your entry. When judging this category, special consideration will be made for any chorus that is handicapped by such measures.  Of course you can video each singer separately, and mix them all together afterwards.

Shortlist: 5 entries

Category C: Multitrack, single singer

One singer sings all four (or more) parts, in separate takes. The audio and video is then mixed together. No more than one track per part.

First prize: US$800

Shortlist: 10 entries

Category D: Multitrack, multiple singers (collaboration)

Two ore more singers, one singer per part, a separate take for each part. The audio and video is then mixed together. Each singer can sing one or more parts. Minimum two singers. No more than one track per part. No more than one part per track.

First prize: US$800

Shortlist: 10 entries

Other Prizes

The following prizes will also be awarded...

People's choice award - US$500
All shortlisted entries will be publicised on this site on November 28th. Anyone in the world will have the ability to vote for exactly one entry, to determine the "people's choice". You will need a Facebook account to vote (one vote per Facebook account).

Encouragement award - US$300
Open to any entrant, regardless of whether they made the shortlist or not. This award is at the discretion of the organising committee, designed to encourage singers that show promise but haven't quite made it yet.

Five- or six-part tag award - US$200
Awarded to the shortlisted tag with five or six written parts with the highest score. If no five- or six-part tags are shortlisted, this will be awarded at the discretion of the organising committee.

Eight-part tag award - US$200
Awarded to the shortlisted tag with eight written parts with the highest score. If no eight-part tags are shortlisted, this will be awarded at the discretion of the organising committee.

Funniest tag award - US$200
Open to any entrant, regardless of whether they made the shortlist or not. This award is at the discretion of the organising committee, whoever made us laugh the most.

Prizes for being shortlisted

Each of the 40 entrants that is shortlisted will win the following prizes...

  • US$50
  • Your choice: Either: A coupon for 80% off their first year of a new chorus HarmonySite (value US$200),
    Or 100% off the first year of a new quartet HarmonySite (value US$160)
    What's a HarmonySite?

Total prize pool: US$7000 (plus coupons)

All prizes have been generously donated by our sponsor, HarmonySite


As well as their cash prize, the winners of each category will...

  • Be featured on the Home page of
  • Be pinned to the top of the Facebook group.
  • Have priceless bragging rights forevermore...

Judging Criteria

  • Entries do not need to be strict, "contestable" Barbershop. But they do need to be Barbershop-ish - something recognisable as mostly in the Barbershop style (expanded sound, ringing chords, etc). Five, six and eight parts are allowed.
  • Entries will be judged on the quality of singing, musicality and performance, just as you would encounter in regular Barbershop contest judging. But looser, more informal.
  • Entries will not be judged on recording quality, production quality, etc. This is a singing competition, not a production competition. You will get no extra points for high-quality production. Having said that, if the sound quality is poor, it will make it hard for the judges to give the entry a good score.
  • Auto-tune and other post-production enhancements are not encouraged. If it doesn't sound "real", it won't score highly.


All entries must adhere to the following rules...

  1. All videos must be recorded on or after October 10th 2020. This is to stop people from digging around on YouTube, finding an excellent tag video from four years ago, and submitting that as an entry. Our sponsors came up with a neat way of enforcing that rule, which we will announce on October 10th. So watch this space - do not go out and record your video today - you WILL be disqualified!
  2. YouTube videos only - not Facebook videos, unfortunately. We know that's a hassle for those of you that don't have a YouTube account, but it's necessary.  You're allowed to post the video to Facebook as well, of course, but it has to at least be on YouTube.
  3. Each video must show the actual people singing (all of them). We will not accept "audio-only" or "soundtrack-over-photo" videos. We need to see you actually singing!
  4. No international champion quartetters. In other words, no AIC members, or SAI queens, etc. If your video includes a quartet world champion anywhere in it (even if they're not singing), your entry will be disqualified. Choruses, this means you too!  (Note that chorus gold medallists are allowed.)
  5. The tag you're singing must exist on this website, complete with sheet music. If the tag doesn't exist in this website's database, then you can easily add it (you need to be a member to do so, but that's easy too). If the sheet music is not present on the tag's page, then the "submit this video to the competition" button will not be visible. Use the "Add missing details" button to add sheet music to a tag.
  6. Each video must not be longer than 75 seconds (1 minute 15 seconds). The actual singing must not be longer than 45 seconds (not including the pitch-pipe, etc).
  7. The arrangement must have no more than eight parts
  8. No speaking. We're not interested in your introduction, or knowing who your quartet members are, or where you're from. We may make an exception to this rule if it's brief, and for comedic value.
  9. No profanity, blasphemy or political, religious, environmental commentary, etc. Come on, this is Barbershop. We're all nice, friendly folk here.

Those are all the rules. If you have read them all, you'll have a sense of the "spirit" of the competition. If you try to "game" the system - do something that's technically within the rules but violates this "spirit" - we will invent a new rule to disallow what you did and then retroactively disqualify you. So play nice!

Other Notes

  • Cash prizes will be paid via PayPal only. If you want to be paid, get a PayPal account. You will be asked to provide your PayPal account email address when submitting your entry.
  • You can enter as many times as you want.
  • The special prizes for five/six-part tags, eight-part tags, or funniest tags will not be paid if that entry is the overall winner of its main category. In other words, one entry can't win more than one major prize (except the People's Choice prize).
  • The winning entry in each of the four major categories does not also receive the shortlist cash prize (US$50). In other words, you only receive the shortlist cash prize if you weren't the winner. The coupon prizes are awarded to all shortlisted entries, including winners.

Important Dates

  1. Saturday 10th October 2020: Tags must be recorded after this date. We will announce how this will be enforced on that date. You can plan and rehearse your performance before that date, but it must be recorded on or after that date.
  2. Saturday 24th October 2020: Entries open, and can be submitted.
  3. Saturday 21st November 2020: Entries close. Celebrity judging panel announced.
  4. Saturday 28th November 2020: 40 shortlisted entries announced. People's Choice voting begins.
  5. Saturday 5th December 2020: All winners announced.

Our Organising Committee

Questions, etc