Brave New Voices Housing and Registration FAQs

Below are some Frequently Asked Questions concerning the housing and registration process for the Brave New Voices festival. Please look through these if you have any questions about the process. If you do not see your question answered here, or if you have a question more specific to your team regarding registration, please email Please be aware that this page is a work-in-progress, and will be added to throughout the registration process.

What are the behavior expectations?

Here are the behavior expectations.

What are the slam rules?

Here are the slam rules.

Where is Brave New Voices being held this year? When?

This year, the Brave New Voices festival is happening at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. from July 12th-16th. All teams must arrive at the festival on Tuesday, July 12th by 2pm and must leave by noon on Sunday, July 17th.

What is the difference between the BNV application and BNV registration?

Everyone who has been accepted to attend the festival has applied. The application was mainly a way to learn more about your organization, decide if you would be accepted, and to get your contact information for further correspondence.

Registration consists of two parts: payment and forms. Every team attending Brave New Voices is required to pay a fee in order to attend. Most of these fees are subsidized in part by Youth Speaks. Every team is also required to fill out forms for each member of their team in order to attend. These forms consist of Permission form (for youth participants only), Emergency Contact form, Medical and Insurance form, Media Release form, Behavior form and the Credit Card form (for coaches/orgs only). You will not be allowed to attend the festival if these forms are not filled out by May 15th, 2016*. The forms are necessary both for housing and for the general safety of participants during the festival.

*Teams that are waitlisted will be notified of their acceptance by May 15th and will have until June 1st to turn in their forms. International teams will also be given until June 1st to turn in their forms.

When is payment for BNV due? How much does it cost as a competing team? As a non-competing team?

Payment for BNV is due on with your registration forms. Competing teams pay on a sliding scale based on how much money your organization makes. This covers 7 participants* for registration and housing. The breakdown is below:

If your budget is:
$0 - $25,000 Registration Payment: $1,500
$25,001 - $50,000 Registration Payment: $1,750
$50,001 - $250,000 Registration Payment: $2,000
$250,001 - $500,000 Registration Payment: $2,250
$500,001 + Registration Payment: $2,500

If you are a non-competing team, you are required to pay $500 per person. Teams can bring up to 10 participants*, which means that competing teams can bring up to 3 entourage members.

*Please note that it is our policy for teams to have a 1:4 chaperone to youth ratio.

I would like to bring more people from my organization to the festival. How does that work?

Competing teams are allowed to bring up to 3 entourage, as long as they pay and register. The fee is $500 per person. The link to register and pay is on the BNV reg website.

If you would like to bring people who will not be staying in the dorms, then you can buy festival passes for them. However, it is understood that Youth Speaks, Inc. and Brave New Voices are not responsible for any extra people you bring. We will have more information on festival passes closer to the festival.

When is registration due?

Registration, which consists of completion and submission of all forms, is due on May 15, 2016.

I don’t have health insurance, do I need to fill out that form?

Filling out the health insurance form is not mandatory, though please note that Youth Speaks, Inc. and Brave New Voices are not responsible for any hospital fees you may incur. When filling out your forms, you may leave this section blank if you do not have insurance.

Do I have to get fingerprinted?

Our festival defines a youth as being between the ages of 13-19. However, if you are aged 18 and up, you are required to have a background check as you are considered an adult according to their policy.

Background checks can be provided in multiple ways:
Proof that you have gotten a fingerprint-based background check. Fingerprinting should happen through the organization you are attending the festival on behalf of and the results of the fingerprinting should be sent to that organization.
A receipt confirming that you have gotten a fingerprint-based background check.
A letter from the head of your organization saying that you have been fingerprinted and are allowed to work with youth. Your ED will write and sign the letter. Please make sure that each adult has a separate letter - while the language can be the same, one letter cannot clear multiple people. This is only acceptable if the adults in question are employed by the organization.

*If you have an international participant or are an international team who is unable to get fingerprinted but has a valid VISA, we can accept that as adequate documentation for a background check.

Youth Speaks is not responsible for maintaining these records beyond the Festival. Teams and individuals are responsible for keeping a copy for their own records.

When is registration at BNV? What do I need to bring?

Registration is the first process you go through once you get to the festival. Here, you will receive information about where we are staying and the festival, wristbands for all participants, swag, keys to housing, as well as any other information necessary during your time at BNV.

There is not anything specifically that you will need to bring for registration, as all of your payment and forms should be in before the festival. If there is anything you will need, we will let you know before the festival.

What if I’m driving? How do I secure parking for the week?

If you plan to drive to the festival, please send Bayana Davis an email at as soon as possible with your team name, how many cars, type of car, and license plate # if able.

What if I’m arriving or leaving early/late?

If you are arriving or leaving at a different time than our designated times, please let your Future Corps Ambassador as well as Bayana Davis know by July 8, 2016. We cannot guarantee accommodating this so it is ideal for all teams to arrive between 12pm-2pm on July 12th and leave before 12pm on July 17th.

If there is a last minute issue, such as a flight delay, please notify Bayana as well as your Future Corps Ambassador so that we can make sure to have your materials at late registration.

Suggestions for packing/preparation?

Make sure to bring comfortable shoes, clothes, and a good travel bag especially for our Community Service Day. Like last year, make sure your youth wear clothes and shoes that they do not mind getting dirty for that day specifically.

Feel free to bring garden tools and a change of clothes for finals after Saturday’s Community Service activities.

Also, there is no requirement to bring dressy/nice clothes, however sometimes participants choose to dress fancier for the Final Slam or the End of the Festival Party.

You will be given water bottles and be encouraged to fill them up in your free time.

Please bring:
Any allergy medicine you may need
Mosquito repellent
Comfortable Shoes
Comfortable clothing for hot outside spaces and a sweater for air-conditioned spaces.

What are the slam rules?

You can find the full breakdown of BNV slam rules at the Brave New Voices website. Any further questions regarding slam can be directed to the Festival Director and the Slam Master.

Festival Director:
Slam Master:

What is the schedule for BNV?

For information on the festival, you can generally go to the Brave New Voices website. Please note that it is not yet up to date, but that there will be an update within the next few weeks.

I am having trouble with the BNV registration website. Who do I contact?

If you are having technical issues with BNV registration and payment, please contact Rizal Adanza at


May 15th - Registration due for accepted teams, Wait List Opens

June 1st - Registration due for waitlisted and international teams

Staff Contacts
Festival Director: Tish Jones (
Housing and Registration: Bayana Davis (
Slam Master: Danez Smith (
Volunteer Coordinator: TBA
Web/Tech: Rizal Adanza (

Brave New Voices

Brave New Voices