When most people think of karaoke, they think of live stage karaoke. But nowadays, there are tons of options to do karaoke outside of the traditional ways. If you've decided on bringing karaoke to your venue — whether you will be going all-in, or adding occasional karaoke nights to complement your current entertainment offering — you can consider several types of karaoke options to find the type that works best for your venue.

In this article we'll go over different karaoke concepts, how you can find the best one for your venue, and how you can take it up a notch.  

Hosted Live Stage Karaoke

Live stage karaoke event at Ääniwalli in Helsinki.
Live stage karaoke event at Ääniwalli in Helsinki.

As said earlier in the post, hosted live stage karaoke is probably the kind of karaoke you'd think first — maybe in addition to Korean/Japanese style karaoke rooms. This type of karaoke has an established role pretty much everywhere in the world, and it is definitely a great format of choice for many venues.

Hosted live stage karaoke, in short, means the type of karaoke in which you'll have a karaoke host in charge of the smooth rolling of the evening, controlling the song requests and welcoming a singer after another on the stage, and a stage, a corner, or some sort of a display where singers can show off their inner rockstars.

A KJ might be someone who's operating the bar or DJ'ing at the same time, or you might hire an expert, specialized karaoke host to make the most out of the karaoke at your venue. For singers, life stage karaoke provides a moment in the spotlight, and a good karaoke host can make them feel excited and welcomed to come back again soon. No surprise, that this is a popular choice for karaoke at nightlife spots and bars. Let's go through the pros and cons and then dive into a few different formats in live stage karaoke for you to get some ideas.

Pros

  • Popular among the classic karaoke lovers — provides the singer a moment in the spotlight, and is often a certified choice for certain crowds. Live stage karaoke can spark a domino effect for people to want to stay and sing as the joy of singing often is contagious.
  • PA & karaoke setup can be done easily and affordably, especially if you have a PA system already existing at your venue.
  • Bar staff might be able to host the karaoke on quieter nights.
  • The stage can be set up pretty much in any corner, so no need for a big set up.

Cons

  • For singers, queuing to sing can be experienced as a problem, especially on the prime times and popular venues. However, from venue manager's perspective, a 1-hour queue to sing is not disastrous at all, as it is an excellent time for your customers to get a few cocktails while warming up their vocal cords.
  • If you want to make it a great experience, a good stage set up with lights, monitors, and proper screens, and a good karaoke host will improve the experience for the singers — which means, obviously, some additional costs.
  • Needs some active staff.

Best for venues that

  • Live stage karaoke can fit almost any venue!
  • Bars and live music venues
  • Nightclubs with a space that can be separated for karaoke use
  • Eateries that want to add something fun or try special evenings

Ideas for Live Stage Karaoke

Drag Queen karaoke host and live stage karaoke
London-based karaoke host BARBS hosting a party at Apollo Live Club in Helsinki.

Drag Karaoke

You can spark up your live stage karaoke with something extra. For example The Karaoke Hole in London stands out with dashing drag karaoke hosts who light up the night and put on a show to remember!

Charity Karaoke

Do good, while singing good! Karaoke events can be arranged to raise money for a cause. Put together a hosted karaoke evening, and gather money for a selected cause with an entry fee or voluntary donations.

Theme Nights

Theme nights and karaoke are an unmatched combo. You can come up with pre selected playlist for the evening, and spice up the evenings by encouraging costumes. There are so many options to go for! For example,

  • Arrange a theme night around a celebration date, such as New Year's Eve, Xmas, St Patrick's Day, Back to School — you name it.
  • Theme your night with an artist — Beyoncé, Rolling Stones, or Prince karaoke, anyone? — or with a music genre, a decade, a district, etc. Try West Coast karaoke night, the best of Millenium, or Motown karaoke?
Karaoke theme nights around an artist or a genre can be a huge hit. 
  • Theme nights around big events — Eurovision parties, local festival pre or after parties, sports karaoke around the World Cup games, Superbowl or NBA games!


Karaoke Competition

Karaoke competitions can be a good way to gather crowd at your venue — it's always a thrill to have a little element of competition present. You don't need to make it all serious — it's more important that people have fun, both the singers and an audience! Let the people vote and give out some prizes either each night or over the course of a month.

Singer at Karaoke World Championship finals in 2019 in Tokyo.
Karaoke World Championship finals in 2019 in Tokyo. Photo by Hikaru Tokuyama.

If you want to organized more established competition, you can get involved with Karaoke World Championships — the KWC. The Karaoke World Championships competition is a yearly competition with tens of countries participating each year. KWC has been around for already 20 years, and last year the karaoke crown went to Indonesia. Reach out and get involved!

Music Quiz Karaoke

Combine your karaoke night with music quiz to get the people going! Quizes are a great way to engage with people and give them a little nudge to be at the venue at a spesific date and time, so adding some quiz nights can be a nice start to get the crowds warmed up for karaoke singing.

👉 Download our music quiz for Christmas season 🎄

👉 Download music quiz for Eurovision season 🎶

Self-Service Karaoke

Karaoke singers sitting at a table and singing at karaoke bar Hirvi in Helsinki.
Self Service karaoke at karaokebar Hirvi in Helsinki.

Self-service karaoke is ideal if you want to add karaoke to your venue's offering but don't want to have a dedicated host to run the party. With a self-service karaoke setup, your customers can run the karaoke on their own, and all you need to do is make sure they're having fun and got all they need also drink and snack-wise. Self-service karaoke station can be set up at the main hall of your bar, to a quiet corner or in a space that you can reserve for private events as well. Essential thing is to make everything easy and fun for your customer to use.

With Singa Business you have self-service optimal features on the software — check more details from singabusiness.com.

Best for venues that

  • Look for affordable karaoke concept and want to provide a shared, communal karaoke entertainment for their guests

Pros

  • Not cost-heavy to run
  • Staff-free
  • Communal activity for the guests

Cons

  • If you want karaoke be the main attraction for your bar, hosted karaoke of karaoke rooms can be a better solution, as self service experience can suffer if there is a lot of audience. You know, things can get chaotic!
  • If there is no KJ to take care of the sound mixing while the various singers grab the mic, you might get some really loud performances as well as some voices that barely get heard over the music.

Karaoke Room

Karaoke rooms provide a great night of fun for your customers — room full of friends and all the karaoke you can sing. Karaoke rooms are originating from Asia, but nowadays are found in cities like Stockholm and London with various styles in concepts.

Singer and party lights in a karaoke room at Star karaoke in Gothenburg.
Karaoke room at Star karaoke in Gothenburg.


👉 Read more about karaoke rooms by downloading a free karaoke room business guide here.


Best for venues that

  • Have a dedicated space of spaces they can separate as karaoke rooms. (Note: some soundproofing might be in place!)
  • Look to provide their customers a fun night of singing in the peace of with their own group!

Pros

  • Not much staff needed to operate the karaoke
  • predictable income with bookings
  • Can be started at a venue on the side of other type of a vibe. Lot's of different ideas and themes can be done in a karaoke room!

Cons

  • You'll need some bookings management, and might need some marketing to get the bookings going

Karaoke Events

Karaoke events — whether a big one-off event or a recurring event — can be a great asset to attract guests and provide memorable experiences to your audience.

Outdoor Karaoke

With outdoor karaoke events, only sky is — quite literally — the limit. During the summer season, you can easily pull together a terrace karaoke, or a pop-up event somewhere in the area, such as a park or a beach, if your city's authorities allow this. Or make it a big and collaborate with festival or concerts to pull together a go-big-or-go-home karaoke event.

However, not only summer season is good for karaoke, as Christmas time outdoor karaoke events and other snowy karaoke activities can be a great hit — just make sure you have warm drinks to sell and a heart-warming atmosphere!

Karaoke Party

Another concept for a energetic, big time karaoke party evening is to make it a bit different for most karaoke parties — you know, oftentimes there are songs that get the people going, and then there are songs that tune the people into more mellow mood and cool down the atmosphere. Well, if you want to make it a Party with a capital P, here's what you can try.

1) Come up with a pre-made playlist for the night, filled only with karaoke bangers.

2) Hire a high-vibe host to run the party and make sure people know what it's about and who can some up on stage and sing.

3) Let the party start! The excitement stays up, as there is no karaoke queue, and anyone can have their turn at any given moment, and a party song after a party song keeps the energy up the roof.

Singa has been doing karaoke parties around like this at special occasions, and they have made a name to be nothing less than legendary. If you want to collaborate on an event with Singa, you can talk to us.

Conclusion

We are happy to help you to find the best karaoke solution for your venue. At Singa Business we have experience with helping venues with different needs and we are always happy to chat. Contact us at here or email us as sales@singa.com.