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 Post subject: How do you handle....
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:12 am 
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Bar owners/managers that have no intention of allowing karaoke into their venue because it will "degrade" their bar.  I tend to see this a lot.  Most seem to feel that karaoke is an absolute joke and scoff at the idea of booking it.  

Is there any way to turn this around?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:25 am 
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purpletib @ Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:12 am wrote:
Bar owners/managers that have no intention of allowing karaoke into their venue because it will "degrade" their bar.  I tend to see this a lot.  Most seem to feel that karaoke is an absolute joke and scoff at the idea of booking it.  

Is there any way to turn this around?


Why even try to pursue a club that thinks karaoke is a joke & turn their thinking around?  If it didn't happen to work as most hosts cannot guarantee a following will come into a new bar, then it will reinforce their way of thinking that karaoke is a joke.  Move on to the next bar & let it be.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:34 pm 
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There should be good arguements in favor of karaoke though, that's my main point.  Since when did it get such a bad image here in the US i guess is the more important question here.  I just don't get it.  In every Asian country karaoke is so huge it is a part of everyday life.  Here it is as if the fad is over with.  Why?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:06 pm 
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purpletib @ Sun Apr 20, 2008 7:34 pm wrote:
 Here it is as if the fad is over with.  


...Yeah, just as I was starting to get into it!  I've only been karaoke-singing for about 2 1/2 years!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:24 pm 
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Speaking with whatever authority attending karaoke in 25 states and provinces gives me, I find it is nowhere near like the fad is over. It depends on the area, of course. But short of Jackson, WY and Flagstaff AZ, I have found it everywhere. In all the places I have gone on my current trip -- 10 cities -- it is alive and well.

Some people may argue that it is no longer in its heyday, with big hugely-attended shows. But there are many,  many small shows where people sing and have fun on a daily basis. Karaoke is self-limiting -- a lot of regulars will go where they can sing more, and so shows grow only so much.

When karaoke was new and a novelty, you had tons of first-timers to feed the big shows. But now that most people know what it is, the strategies of 15 years ago won't work any more. I have heard a lot of talk here that it is "lowballers" who have killed it, but that is just something to point a finger at.  Except in nightlife and vacation areas, shows are going to be smaller and more subdued.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:34 pm 
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Actually, when karaoke was first starting out here in the US, I did go to a couple of venues and parties that had it--but I didn't sing.  I didn't have the nerve then!  

I'm not sure if this is really on-topic, but you know what I hate?  When the most recent info you can find on a place says they have karaoke at such-n-such night, at such-n-such time, and you go there, all ready to sing--only to find out the place no longer has karaoke (and in some cases, they haven't had it for a few years)!  I've gotten so that I'll call ahead if I'm not sure.

I've never heard the term "lowballers"--I assume that's like calling someone a "redneck"?  Here in St. Louis, people often use "hoosier" also, but I know that word has other meanings elsewhere (like in your neck of the woods, Mcky! :D ), often with more positive connotations.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:55 pm 
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Laura @ Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:34 pm wrote:
I've never heard the term "lowballers"--I assume that's like calling someone a "redneck"?  Here in St. Louis, people often use "hoosier" also, but I know that word has other meanings elsewhere (like in your neck of the woods, Mcky! :D ), often with more positive connotations.

Lowballers is what the hosts here call people who have large collections of illegal song downloads on a laptop, and who do a show for $100 or less. They operate "crappyoke" shows, and are the demon which is ruining karaoke.

There is some truth to it, but not as much (in my opinion) as some think. I see lots and lots of different hosts, and a big percentage of the hosts who do long term shows have large legal collections. Out of 15 shows I have gone to so far on this trip, 11 looked to be completely legal. Two were definite download - laptop jobs, and two looked to be large legit collections supplemented with downloads.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:03 pm 
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OHHHH!  So it refers to certain kj's!  I thought it referred to certain customers.  Thanks for clearing that up!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:16 pm 
Firstly, there was a similar thread of late discussing how to approach owners/manager who complain that Karaoke clientele don't spend money

As to viability of Karaoke, my guess is that it's most popular in "small towns".  Personally, I've never lived in a small town setting.  And in the bigger towns, I've seen many forms of entertainment come and go.  I imagine this occurs because the larger towns have more alternative forms of entertainment available and more competition.  So, the larger towns are often the first where a form of entertainment dies.

And as I keep telling folks on this forum, what we have going on in S Florida is in many ways unlike what some of you experience.  For one, we don't have many shows with rotations larger than 15-20.  If a show starts at 9pm and ends at 1am and the crowd doesn't really show up until 10-10:30, what do you do with your show until then.   And if a large number of the people leave between 12 and 12:30, what do you do then?  Now, I am not suggesting that this is a common scenario, but it does happen, frequently.

And, often those heading out are not going home. There are lots of choices here in Florida.

So, now to your specific question.  I offer a whole lot more than karaoke and I let every venue know what I can do.  When they hire me, they will have a night of entertainment, one way or another.   And if it ends up being a night of pure karaoke, great.  If that's what the audience wants, that's what they'll get.  Unlike another poster I know, I don't determine what the audience wants.  The audience let's me know what they want and every show is different!!!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:34 pm 
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ericlater @ Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:16 pm wrote:
As to viability of Karaoke, my guess is that it's most popular in "small towns".


...Without pity?  (ROTFL!!!  I couldn't resist!!!!! LOL )


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And as I keep telling folks on this forum, what we have going on in S Florida is in many ways unlike what some of you experience.  


And that answers my question about where you are.   :D  My husband has been working somewhere in FL, but dumb me, I don't remember where!  I'm hoping my son and I can go visit him sometime this summer.  The issue here is $$$$$!  It's usually cheaper for Paul to fly up here and visit Jonathan and me.  Then I have to play chaffeur and drive him around everywhere--ugggggghhhh... :P  :)

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:52 pm 
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The bar owners you refer to have their minds made up because all they have been exposed to is "bad" karaoke.     KJs that don't know anything.  KJs that have the smallest investment possible.  KJs that know nothing about building a karaoke crowd.    KJs that have crappy sound systems.   All the singers were nothing but drunk screamers.    Which is pretty typical for most KJs.  Etc...  Etc...etc..

This has been the biggest problem for quality KJs since karaoke started.    How to over come the collective damage done to our image by inferior KJs.

Now unless you have everything and all the experience you need to show them (probably with a free show) that you can indeed build a good karaoke night out of nothing, you are barking up the wrong tree.  You will never convince them about the power of a good karaoke night and it's income potential.  Karaoke is still a very popular entertainment form and it can make a bar a lot of money when done correctly.  If they tell you they tried karaoke and it didn't work, they are right.  The KJs they've had up until this point have not worked for any and all of the above reasons.    

:banghead:  This is you talking to those bar owners.  How long to you want to keep it up?     You need to find the closest bar to them that wants to take a chance on you and prove them wrong.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 5:08 am 
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Now I know why I'm not a kj!  As such, I think I'm in the minority on this board.  But without you wonderful kj's, the music wouldn't keep playing.  And it helps to know what you all think about us crazy people that like to get up and sing.   :D

As I mentioned before, I know of one bar in this area that cut back their karaoke hours (the bar owners decision, not the kjs').  They are now down to 3 hours on Fri. & 2 1/2 hours on Sat.  Is that ridiculous or what?!?  But I was there this past Sat., and do you know what happened?  After karaoke was supposed to be over (10:30), the kj asked if people still wanted to sing, and they did.  So they kept the karaoke going!  By then the place was packed anyway, so when I left (a little before midnight), there were still people singing!  I hope this sends a clear message to the bar owners:  WE WANT OUR KARAOKE!!!!!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 5:28 am 
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[font=verdana] SW, your post gave me a chuckle.  My son’s first gig was Saturday night at a bar in an out of the way town, about 15 miles from the more populated area. The only bar in that town of I would guess, maybe 3 to 400 population.  Totally bombed, couldn’t even get the patrons to look at the books, let alone sing.  Then he got his Friday night show here in town. Just the opposite, was nearly SRO.  The second Friday night he worked there, I noticed the owner from the first bar was in the club, with a very confused look on his face. I guess some places just aren’t karaoke bars no matter what you do, or how good you are.  I think the DUI laws have something to do with it too.  People don’t barhop the way they used to.  Too much risk of getting caught, not that I am advocating driving drunk.  :no:   :drunk:  [/font]

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 6:24 am 
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When karaoke was a novelty it was a draw in it's purest form. After years it became boring.  Unless you can provide a total entertainment package then you will get a negative response from bar owners. Karaoke has evolved in different ways in different areas. Here it takes a high energy no silence show with a mixture of Kj/Dj and the ratio varies with the size of rotation and the crowd. Each show is different.


When you have done outside all-nighters, private parties and wedding receptions then you would know what people want and what fills the bar. Maybe it still works there but 30 drunk singers does not draw crowds here anymore. That's about all you are going to have is 30 drunks. If you want the old purist type karaoke that's fine but it's becoming less of a draw. I would suggest getting the top 150 from every decade including every genre. Also you might want to learn the difference between Tejano and New Mexico music.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:00 am 
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TTowntenor @ Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:25 pm wrote:
purpletib @ Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:12 am wrote:
Bar owners/managers that have no intention of allowing karaoke into their venue because it will "degrade" their bar.  I tend to see this a lot.  Most seem to feel that karaoke is an absolute joke and scoff at the idea of booking it.  

Is there any way to turn this around?


Why even try to pursue a club that thinks karaoke is a joke & turn their thinking around?  If it didn't happen to work as most hosts cannot guarantee a following will come into a new bar, then it will reinforce their way of thinking that karaoke is a joke.  Move on to the next bar & let it be.


I'm with T on this one. I'd move on and find a place that welcomes you.

The funny thing is I've actually experienced the opposite. I started in a bar that the owner didn't like karaoke, but found he had to have it to draw a crowd.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 1:19 pm 
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Competition is so fierce here that finding places that don't have karaoke that DON'T have a negative attitude towards karaoke is not easy.  I didn't plan on driving more than 30 miles to do a gig, and I hope I can stick to that, but so far any bar I've spoken to within 10 miles of me (about 15 that DON'T currently have karaoke) wont even give me the time of day.

Some places Have beaten around the idea, but getting them to commit to even one show has led to nadda.  Who knew booking gigs would be this hard?  :O

I'll keep working at it, but for those that tend to have the attitude "karaoke is crap" will have to wait until I can develop a following and I have a chance of proving them wrong.  With any luck, I'll be able to book at least three nights a week.  It certainly wont be as easy as I thought it would though!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:17 pm 
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In my experience...every bar draws its own crowd.   I have a following BUT...the chances of them following me to every bar 5 nights a week is very SMALL.  A handful MAY.  (NOT hundreds, not tens)  And not every night.

Attracting a crowd to a bar depends on many things that have been discussed in other threads recently.    Look for my posts on it.

I have started many new bar karaoke nights where nobody i knew was there.   NOBODY.     After 15 years of this you would think i would have bus loads of people coming to every show.   NOT so.   A hand ful may come to check out the new bar but then they never come back.    But they are regularly at their favorite karaoke night.  

People get comfortable at certain bars and the only time i ever see them is on that bars karaoke night.  They don't migrate from bar to bar.    They don't cross rivers or certain bridges or take the toll road or go past certain town borders.  It's their comfort zone thing.  I can't explain it any other way.   But i never count on seeing too many of my "other" karaoke bar night regulars.  If i see them i'm surprised.

You are finding out that these bars have a very bad taste left from horrible KJs that traveled before you.    It's like all bikers are Hell's Angels.    All Karaoke nights are full of crap KJs with drunks "trying" to sing.     It's just not you.   We all are still trying to get past the sterotype of what they preceive is karaoke.   It sucks and that's why i get so adamant about KJs that are just trying to make a dollar and in the process screw everything up for the KJs that actually make a big investment and know what they are doing.

I have worked one job in my town in 15 years and the bar owner quit before i could get a crowd coming.    99.9% of my jobs have been out of town.    5-10-15-20-30 miles away.    Not what you want to hear with the price of gas but, it's the price of doing business.

Your only chance (very small) of getting work in these bars is to have singers talk your karaoke up to them.   Word of mouth advertising.

Gas up the tank and drive.   My best advice.  Your future lies beyond the yellow brick road...  Just hope the good word will spread back to town.  But don't count on it.   It seems the only KJs working in town are jerks and they must be real cheap.  I do have some jobs close to my town.  But the closest is still between 5-10 miles.  The farthest is 30 miles away. :O


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:30 pm 
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sidewinder @ Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:17 pm wrote:
I have started many new bar karaoke nights where nobody i knew was there.   NOBODY.     After 15 years of this you would think i would have bus loads of people coming to every show.   NOT so.   A hand ful may come to check out the new bar but then they never come back.    But they are regularly at their favorite karaoke night.  


Don't you have email contacts/websites/MySpace?  Some of the best ways to get the word out to your customers.  MySpace is especially effective these days.   I have probably close to 750 email contacts alone (from club goers over the years)that I will send out announcements for club events, new music info, special offers, new clubs we are working, etc..

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People get comfortable at certain bars and the only time i ever see them is on that bars karaoke night.  They don't migrate from bar to bar.    They don't cross rivers or certain bridges or take the toll road or go past certain town borders.  It's their comfort zone thing.  I can't explain it any other way.   But i never count on seeing too many of my "other" karaoke bar night regulars.  If i see them i'm surprised.


But on the other hand, there are people that will follow hosts to where they go.  Now if you are running multiple rigs, then they may stay at the bar they are comfortable, if you are moving around nightly then chances are they will go to sing where you are.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:56 pm 
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How many of the 750 contacts show up?

You are lucky to get 1%.  Never 10%    Telling people you have a new gig is one thing.  If they come is another.

Maybe if i paid for their gas and drinks. LMAO


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 3:00 pm 
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purpletib @ Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:12 pm wrote:
Bar owners/managers that have no intention of allowing karaoke into their venue because it will "degrade" their bar.  I tend to see this a lot.  Most seem to feel that karaoke is an absolute joke and scoff at the idea of booking it.  

Is there any way to turn this around?



They have been to karaoke where the KJ allowed any and every activity they could think of and the crowd was totally out of control.  I would think the exact same thing if i didn't know there were actually good KJs that knew how to run a controlled show.   That's the secret. :O    They are telling you they want no part of the "karaoke" they saw.    Show them you don't run an out of control show.   Edit your song book.  Tell them you have eliminated the problem music.


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