Frequently Asked Questions.


of the Barbershop Music Festival


Unfortunately the Barbershop Music Festival 2020 will not take place. Also the alternative date in September is not an option. In these FAQs we try to answer all open questions.

Do you have any more questions? Please send them to bmf[at]  

Please note: We differenciate between participants (= choruses & quartets) and visitors of the individual events.

We constantly revise and add to the FAQ's. Latest Update: 24 March 2020

1. Why is the Barbershop Music Festival now being cancelled completely?

The decision to finally cancel the Barbershop Music Festival 2020 was taken by the BinG! board of directors last Sunday, 22 March 2020, based on the results of the participant survey. The survey was completed by almost all participating ensembles by Saturday, 21 March 2020, 23:59 (CET).

In the following, we would like to give reasons for our decision to cancel:

The uncertainty about the further duration and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic does not allow for a safe estimation of the feasibility of the event in September. This is aggravated by the fact that ensembles from many different countries are involved in the Barbershop Music Festival and that the developments in each country vary greatly.

Furthermore, we do not want to give our participants and visitors any reason to increase the risk of infection through our event. This applies to travel and participation, but also to the choir and quartet rehearsals, which would be indispensable before such an event. In many countries governments ask or oblige people to refrain from social contacts. In Germany there is even currently a "contact ban" for groups of more than two people. This circumstance makes it impossible to judge from when regular rehearsals can take place again.

The alternative date is shortly after or during the summer holidays of some German states. For many German participants it would therefore be difficult or impossible to rehearse before participation or to participate at all.

The current situation in Germany, Europe and worldwide (closed borders, prohibition of events and worldwide travel warning) makes it easier for participants and visitors to cancel their reservations for the April date at lower or even no additional cost (flight, train, hotel) or to get reimbursed for booking costs. If the replacement date in September would still not be possible due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the circumstances for a rebooking or cancellation could be much worse. BinG! supports all participating ensembles to rebook or cancel the booked flights, hotels etc. at the best possible conditions. Participants can contact

The financial risk for BinG! would be much higher in case of a new cancellation in September than it is at the moment.

Finally, the board of directors sees the decision to cancel the Barbershop Music Festival 2020 without substitution - knowing that BinG! will receive a sufficient amount of participation fees from the participants to cover the costs already incurred - as the only sure way to ensure the continued existence of the organization.

2. How do I cancel a hotel, flight or train? Does BinG support me with that?

Currently, the chances are very good that cancellations can be made free of charge.


Currently, there is a ban on contact between more than two people throughout Germany. Additionally, many borders are closed and there is a worldwide travel warning. The restrictions in Germany are in force nationwide at first until April 5th. Due to the uniqueness of this situation most hotels will not have a standardized procedure for this. Also there is (still) no clear legal situation. We recommend to contact the hotels directly. Participating ensembles, who need support with the hotels, are welcome to contact bmf[at] (Note: This service is only valid for participating choruses and quartets).


Almost every airline offers the possibility to rebook flights that can no longer be operated due to the COVID 19 pandemic once free of charge. This usually applies until 31 December 2020. Currently, many flights are also being cancelled - in which case the flight will be fully reimbursed. Participating ensembles who have questions about rebooking with airlines are welcome to contact mareike.meise[at] (Note: This service is only valid for participating choruses and quartets).


The Deutsche Bahn refunds train bookings for those whose reason for travel (here: Barbershop Music Festival 2020) no longer takes place due to COVID-19. Further information:

3. How and by when do I get the cost of my ticket refunded?

Generally BinG refunds registrations and visitor tickets completely. All visitors and participants will receive a detailed email from us in the coming days about the reimbursement methods.

However, we ask all participants and visitors to leave the paid participation fees ( partly ) to us. We are so close to the original date of the event that we have already had to pay a lot of the costs (travel expenses, hotel reservations, etc.). If the majority of the visitors and participants demand that we refund the tickets, we will have difficulties as a organization to survive.

Refunds of tickets (and participation fees) will be possible from April at the earliest. We try to process all refund requests as quickly as possible and plan to meet all refund requests within the next 7 weeks (until 17 May 2020).

4. Was the event not covered by insurance?

Yes, it was. In fact, BinG has very good and extensive insurance coverage. However, this insurance explicitly excludes the coverage of the cancellation of an event due to epidemics and pandemics in the course of an infectious disease. BinG is still investigating whether there is a possibility to get insurance money for this, but the current status is not promising.

5. What about other BinG events?

You can find more information on these events on their respective websites soon.

  • Harmony College


  • European Harmony Brigade

Participants who have already booked will be contacted directly.

6. How are you as Board of Directors actually dealing with the situation?

In the first place we are sad, in the second exhausted.

We had the wish and the ambition to let the Barbershop Music Festival take place after all. Firstly, because so many people have already invested so much work in the preparation of the event, but also in the preparation of their ensembles. On the other hand, because we personally were looking forward to celebrate a big party with you all.

Unfortunately the work for us is not over with the cancellation of the Barbershop Music Festival. On the contrary, a big fight for the financial survival of our organization is now beginning for us. A great support for this would be if you could donate (a part of) your ticket or registration fees to us.

Our main goal now is that BinG! can continue to offer events for a cappella enthusiasts from all over the world even after the Corona crisis is over.

7. I want to help - what can I do?

We are very thankful for every offered support!

At the moment it would help us the most if you would leave or donate your ticket fee to us:

Bank details:

  • If you'd like to donate your ticket fee to us through a bank transfer, write us an email at: 


8. To whom do we owe our thanks?

We owe our thanks to many people.

Our participating ensembles - over 850 singers - have prepared themselves hour after hour for the championships and shows over months and years. They have rehearsed, qualified and rehearsed again. They were happy, worked, saved money, booked flights and hotels and took holidays. Also, a fantastic organization team of over 15 people planned, calculated, made phone calls, drew up plans, read and wrote countless e-mails for two years. Six jury members from Canada and the USA and over 35 other volunteers were ready to help to make the Barbershop Music Festival possible. The City of Dortmund, the State Music Council and some great companies had promised us their financial support. Christian Wulff, former Federal German President, had taken over the patronage for our event and is now also in this current situation with advice and support. We met many wonderful people as contact persons for our contractual partners (Konzerthaus Dortmund, Orchesterzentrum|NRW, Stadtgymnasium Dortmund, hotels, graphic designers, film and photo producers, and many more), welcomed us to the city of Dortmund and did their part in enabling our Barbershop Music Festival to take place. And finally, numerous visitors from all over Germany and the world bought tickets and looked forward to this spectacle of a cappella music.

We would like to thank all these many people from all areas of life and from all over the world wholeheartedly. All of them are what we need for such an event, to celebrate music and our global community in harmony.