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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 6:04 am 
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Has anyone run a successful karaoke contest and could give some advise of the Do's and Don'ts associated with this kind of thing? Was thinking of running a 10 week contest for a cash prizs at the finals on the 10th week. The money for the cash prize will have to be split between me and club owner the big question is how much i can get them to fork over. If its big enough I'm hoping to see a increase in singers Per Bar night. Was thinking of using Crowd reaction with some judges for deciding a winner (hopfully they bring there friends down to help them win). weeks 1-9 the 1st place winners of that night gets a 25 dollar gift cert. for the bar they won at. On the 10th night we select a winner for the grand prize. If i can collect enough money three cash prizes can be awarded (Split 1,2,3).
Djpauly

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:51 am 
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Hi DJ.  I have been in a few competitions and here is my 2 cents worth !!!.

DO NOT go with crowd reaction !!!!!  How is that fair to the fantastic singer, who hands down can sing better, better performance, better song choice but unfortunately can't get enough friends to come and scream for him/her ?  Choosing the crowd reaction route will end in tears....... plus you will get a winner who is tone deaf but got lots of friends.  When you are putting money up as a prize, it has to be as fair as you can make it (you will still get some people moaning, but thats life. You will get accused of it being fixed and all sorts !!!  Doing competitions isn't for the faint of heart)

In my opinion, you need to get 4 unbiased judges (ie.. not the bar owner or staff, no relation to any contestant.... totally unbiased) This will not be an easy task, but it is the fairest way.

Another suggestion, I've found it works well if you have a male category, female category for the heats.... then the best of the best get to the semi-finals.  Have five female and five male per week for 10 weeks, put two through to the semi's. Have male semi night, loose 10 of the 20..... and then the same for females. Then in the finals everyone gets to sing one song, judges recess, vote out 10 (male or female). Then you got the 10 cream of the crop to sing one more song.  3, 2, 1 you got a winner

Good luck DJ

Di xxx


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:03 am 
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Do not use audience/crowd reaction it's never a fair way.  Some people that bring in a bigger crowd will almost always win.  The unfortunate that just walked in & got in the contest but had no one with them (but clearly was the best) will almost always lose, because the big crowd isn't voting for them, they are vting for the friend that they came in with.  Great for the bar, but YOUR reputation as contest holder will lose ALL credibility.  I have found even without the audience response catagory, that people will STILL bring in their friends.

We use vocal ability 1-50 (how there voice sounds - nice flowing or screamy, or strainy. Range), stage presence 1-30 (do they just stand there or interact with the crowd, entertain on stage - is this an enjoyable performance) & song difficulty 1-20 (does this song display vocal range or is monotone & bland for vocals).
Try getting at least 3 judges that aren't biased (at least 5 different judges for the finals) - musically knowedgeable - prefer that they don't know anyone in the club ie NOT REGULARS.

For the finals, try getting local band musicians, you'd be surprised how many are karaoke friendly.  Maybe a local dj personality, if you have a recording studio, maybe some of the engineers or producers.  You want people that are not genre locked but like all sorts/types of music.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:31 am 
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Hey Pauley, I may be the only KJ on this board that you will hear from who won't nag and complain about karaoke contests.  I do believe I am the only KJ around here who actually ENJOYS contests!

I have run several contests in a variety of formats, all of them successful with the singers going away looking forward to the next one.  Lemme try to tell you what I know.

First there is the standard karaoke contest like you are talking about.  Run a qualifier for a number of weeks with so many per week qualifying, then get all the qualifiers together at the end for a final.  The alternative is to run qualifying for a number of weeks and at the end of the qualifying period you take the top however many singers you want in the finals and notify them by mail.  The advantage to doing it the second way is that it guarantees that you will have the best singers in your final.  If you qualify a certain number each week, some weeks you may have a low turnout and a weaker singer may qualify when they otherwise wouldn't.  

As far as prize money goes, you shouldn't have to go into your poscket at all.  The club is the one who stands to make the huge profit, they should be the ones to put up the prize money.  The trick is, no matter how much money it is, you gotta make it seem like it's HUGE!  As an alternative, you may wanna beat feet and knock on the doors of some local businesses.  I've had good success in procuring gift certificates in exchange for being listed as a contest sponsor on all advertising media and in the finals program.  

Regarding judging, there is one thing you need to remember.  This is the most important thing you'll read in this post, so take heed.

YOU MUST N-E-V-E-R   AND I MEAN NEVER HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE OUTCOME OF THE CONTEST.  

You have to maintain the appearance of neutrality for the sake of your business.  This is important because there are always going to be singers leaving your contest piszed off because they think they got screwed.  Just make sure that they know it was the judges and not you who screwed them.  You don't want to lose singers at your shows because they feel that YOU screwed them.  Just stick with the attitude of "I just play the music and make each singer sound as good as I can" and you'll be just fine!

Speaking of judges, you gotta find some judges who you believe can be fair and somewhat objective.  If you go the sponsor route, you could ask some of them if they'd like to be judges for the final.  Using crowd applause as a judging tool is a recipe for disaster unless you happen to own an applause-o-meter.  Let the judges choose and let them take the heat.  Most people will bring their friends anyway.   If you want to have a "fan favorite" award settled by audience applause, that's a different story.  

The last two contests I've been involved with have been set up tournament style.  We've set up three different divisions for people to choose from, so that even poor singers can compete and win prizes when they otherwise wouldn't be able to.  It also makes it much easier on the judges because they don't have to compare each singer to the entire field.  They only have to select the winner from a two-singer pairing.  The tourney format also makes it a little more exciting as the singers try to track and predict their progress through the brackets.  Using this format also requires the finals to be held on two separate evenings, a fact that any club owner will enjoy!

If you've got any other questions, please feel free to emai me by using the link at the bottom of this post.[/code]

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 11:22 am 
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All Sounds like great advise ... i can see the crowd reaction as partial judging could lend itself to be a problem. As for getting the bar to fork out the prize I wont be able to get blood from that stone. I can squeez alittle from here and there like the weekly gift certf.  but if i can get 35% more people in to the bar for 5-10 consective nights i'll have a leg to stand on when i rework the karaoke pay scale. Judges seem to be a hard thing to come by (at least unbiased ones) I can see what might work here and what wont.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 2:18 pm 
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Well Paul, it seems to me that you are putting yourself into a hole here.  The way I see it, karaoke contests should be profitable for all parties involved.  If you've gotta come out of pocket so the VENUE can make a ton of money just so you can hopefully get them to POSSIBLY throw you a bone it doesn't sound like this is a worthwhile proposition for you.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 3:03 pm 
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While impromptu contests can be fun if you offer a small prize like a t-shirt, etc; a larger contests HAS to have an air of formality to seem credible.  For judges, I recommend checking the local college in the vocal department.  Look for vocal coaches, etc that know a good voice when they hear it.

I would have the bar put up something to the prize money.  If they want to reap the rewards they need to invest.  Talk with the liqour distributors as well.  I've seen drawings for snowboards, bikes, grills, and plenty more.  They often give away t-shirts, and other small gifts.  One contest I was in had t-shirts and hats for every contestant that was in the finals.  They had small cash prizes for the first 3 places, and the grand prize winner got a big screen tv from a local store.  TV was free but delivery was $150. Some might get upset at that, but when it's an $1800 tv they don't seem to mind.  It was mainly to help defray the costs of getting the TV to Alaska more than anything else.

Since the contest will be bringing in patrons I recommend that either you consider doing it at a venue that gets behind the contest or drop the idea.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 3:22 pm 
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Well If the Bar donates the 25 gift card every week thats something..... i just dont think i can get them to pay out 200 for the grand prize also... Im running the # kinda low here I was thinking more like 1000 in prizes 500 to 1st place and so on. in my situation im combining 8 bars (all the ones I work At) for this contest. If i can get a increase in the karaoke singers i have something to bargan with. Plus if i have some packed nights here i could stand to make more from overtime or a high ring out in the register. The booty has to be high to attract the singers and any bar will go for a split on the prizes as apposed to asking them to foot the whole bill. We all have to advertise and we put aside something for that. im thinking if i use that money to get singers to my shows then they will see the better quality music and sound system i should gain a few more regulars and build on that.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 7:39 pm 
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Talk to the liqour distributors about donating prizes as well.  This works especially well when the bar is willing to run a drink special as well.

Talk with other businesses about promoting with the karaoke contest as well.  The only problem I see with your contest is what bar gets the priviledge of having the finals?  It's likely to draw a larger crowd than the weekly contests and it's possible you could offend one of the bars management  by not holding the finals there.  Just something to be careful with about running a contests across multiple bars where they are putting up some of the prize money.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 8:52 pm 
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I once was involved with a multi venue contest in conjunction with a local entertainment newspaper.  Each participating venue paid a fee to be part of the contest (in exchange they got the benefit of a lot of advertisment in the paper and the big bump in bar take for the nights the contest came to their venue) and the place that held the finals paid a much larger fee to host the finals because of the income that would be generated.  This allowed us to offer prize money of nearly 2000 dollars.  Add in other nice giveaways from liquor and beer distributors and everyone came out ahead!

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