Questions about singing at our events
WOO HOO! No sign-ups, no book, no problems! If you want to sing a song, just come right up and ask the host: they’ll get you set up right away. Not sure what to sing? Choose any song from our catalog of thousands or just ask your karaoke host: if we can get it, we will!
Actually, speaking of our song list: our primary supplier is Karafun, who provides us with music, lyrics, and licensing for over 40,000 tracks at the time of this writing. We also use tracks from a number of other licensed suppliers, but due to copyright and licensing we won’t be able to use YouTube tracks or songs you provide: sorry!
Great! Karaoke is better with friends! We’ve got multiple microphones to make that happen. But make sure you get permission from whoever’s singing before you join them on stage: we won’t turn on the microphone unless they give us the thumbs-up.
(Also, if they’re already rocking, don’t demand they give you the thumbs-up. Let them be awesome.)
Sure! We want you to be the best you can be! Just let us know a couple songs before you’re supposed to sing so we have the time to set things up and download tracks if necessary. No harm, no foul!
Even if you get up to the stage and panic, we can fix it for you! Just let us know you want to sing something else and we’ll let the next person go so we can update the list and you can get a chance to get yourself together. It’s no problem, we promise!
Good news: you don’t have to! We can change the key of any song in our catalog. Just submit your song and then swing over to tell us how much to move it up or down (we adjust in half-steps, e.g. B# to B). Starting a song a couple half-steps up or down is pretty much imperceptible to most folks without perfect pitch, so feel free to ask– it’ll be our little secret!
Looks like great minds think alike! But yeah, we won’t play the same song twice in a night. Some hosts do! We’re not them. When you sing a song someone else has already sung it invariably becomes a competition, and we are very much not about that. With thousands and thousands of other songs, we’re happy to help you pick an even better alternative, though!
Ooh! This is a good one! Our hosts set the microphone volume every song every time based on the room, karaoke track, and how you’re holding the mic. But it’s totally fine to get your host’s attention and ask them politely to turn your voice up, too.
That said, if we’re not cranking the volume, it’s almost always because we’re worried about feedback, and that’s often because the singer is unwittingly doing something strange with the microphone. Here are some tips for perfect technique:
Hold the microphone within three inches of your mouth. Really! The farther away you hold it, the more your host has to amplify it and the more likely you’ll hear nasty feedback.
Point the top of the microphone directly at your face. Microphones are designed to pick up sound in a very specific region, so if you sing into the side of the mic, we won’t hear it unless we boost the sound, and that can cause feedback.
Don’t cover/cradle/hold the head of the microphone. This is a big one that has become super common, unfortunately. Again, any time you block the microphone’s natural pickup, you’re blocking sound and risking feedback. Your favorite pop stars can hold the microphone in wacky ways because they’re usually lip-syncing!
Please do not. Our equipment is made to be replaceable, but it’s not invulnerable. If you screw up our stuff you’re going to ruin the night for everyone.
(Also, we have your name and a room full of witnesses.)
Maybe! Still, shut up about it. It takes courage just to show up and sing, so they automatically get our love! Pop Up Karaoke performances are not open mics: karaoke is about entertaining, not being the next contestant on The Voice. If you can’t have fun watching other people have fun, our shows are probably not the right place for you.
By the way: NO BOOING. Even if you’re booing a friend (and honestly, why would you do that?!) we’re going to ask you to knock it off. The second time we’ll ask you to leave. We don’t know the difference between you heckling a friend and heckling a stranger, so don’t make it weird. Plus, it makes people outside of your circle worried that you might boo them. So don’t do it. Thanks!
Questions about our residencies throughout Chicago
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Let us know as soon as you arrive and we’ll plan for a little something special for them, time permitting. We can’t bump you or them up the list, though– we want everyone to have a good time!
We hear you! Here are some insider tips and tricks to maximize your time with us:
Get here early! Most of our residencies start at a slow time of the night. The earlier you get here, the more you can sing!
Put in your next song immediately. Get that next song in right away! Heck, put it in before you come up– we’ll add it to the rotation immediately after you sing.
It’s fine to change your mind. It’s okay to put your name in even if you’re not 100% sure of the song you want to sing. Just be sure you talk to us about changing your song at least two singers before your turn so we can make sure it’s ready to go for you.
Let us know you’re coming! We’re happy to reserve tables at our residencies for regulars, and we can even save spots in the rotation if you check in ahead of time.
Don’t tip us! Of course, please do if you’re having a great time, but don’t tip us hoping we’ll move you up in line! Now that most banks charge for refunds, we won’t be able to give you your money back if you don’t get to sing.
Here’s how our rotation works: as a new singer, your first song gets bumped up to two spots after the last new singer request in the rotation list. Then your next song gets added to the bottom of the rotation after you sing. (You really needn’t bother requesting a bunch of songs at once– you won’t sing any more often and honestly, we’ve found that people who put in a batch of songs tend to forget what they’ve requested and end up in a panic on stage! We don’t want that for you!) That way, new singers get cycled in quickly without shutting regulars out. And in the last hour of our shows, we don’t bump new singers up, period.
By the way, duets count toward the first person in the request, so if you want to sing a song with a friend, make sure you put YOUR NAME FIRST. It can be pretty awkward when someone has to turn down your duet on stage in front of everyone because they want to sing their own solo request first!
Sorry, we don’t do that. No offense to those karaoke hosts who do, but that’s not our thing.
Seriously, we’ve had to turn down tips as high as $200. It’s one reason why our regulars trust us and keep coming back to our shows.
But here’s what we can do for you at certain venues: an extra hour. It depends on the night, the venue, and the staff’s availability, but in some cases we can run long to accommodate you and anyone else already in the song queue. Pricing is $75 at minimum and requires payment in advance, so be prepared!
We promise we’re as sad about it as you are! We want everyone to sing as many songs as they can, but our venues do have a hard cut-off. Our hosts always read off the names of upcoming singers for the last hour of our shows, so if you want to squeeze in a song at the last minute, please listen to the host, watch the screen for your name, and above all please stay in the room! If you’re not there when we call your name we’ll have to bump your name down so others who are ready to sing can get their chance.
Even if we can’t get to your particular song, everyone gets a chance to sing at the end of the night! Our hosts always close the night with a group song that everyone can sing along to. Don’t be shy– join us!
Even with tens of thousands songs in our catalog it still happens! And sometimes we have to remove songs that we had just last month. Licensing is weird. If you’re at our show, just come up and ask us about it: if we can legally purchase it, we will! If you’re at home brainstorming before your next visit, fill out our Song Request form and we’ll email you back as soon as the song’s available.
By the way, that word “legally” is doing some heavy lifting there. We err on the side of caution, so just because you’ve seen it on YouTube doesn’t mean it’s actually available. And no, we don’t play songs off of YouTube. Sorry!
Yeah. We struggle with this one. It’s problematic, and absolutely antiquated, but for a huge number of folks Rocky Horror Picture Show was their first introduction to any non-hetero identity and we’re uncomfortable erasing that. (But as always we’re open to your thoughts!)
This is Chicago. We don’t sing R.Kelly in Chicago.
Questions about throwing a birthday party, house party, office party or any other kind of karaoke night
Hooray! Our typical rates start at $350 for two hours, which includes a dedicated host, audio, lighting, and special effects. There are no hidden fees: setup, teardown, and everything in-between is included in your pricing. We’ll talk directly to the manager at your location and make all the arrangements for you: all you’ll need to do is get your song list ready!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a proper quote and plan the perfect party!
Absolutely! We have setups for any space, whether that’s a one-bedroom apartment or an expansive single-family home! Our typical rates start at $350 plus a $100 private residence fee– setup, teardown, transportation, and equipment included.
Contact us at email@example.com for a quote!
Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuup. We specialize in events in strange places (and have already covered 3 out of 4 places in the question, in case you were wondering). We have several setups to fit your craziest whim, including entirely battery-powered rigs that’ll go darn near anywhere. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss– and we give discounts for weird!
Here’s a great option for the budget-minded: early open! We can open up to three hours early at any of our residencies just for you and your friends for half the typical private party price*, starting at just $75/hr all-included! Contact us at email@example.com for details and available dates.
* Some venues may charge a nominal room fee at peak times. Inquire for details!
Questions about lights, sound, special effects, and physical access
Our shows use a number of lighting setups for enhanced visuals and to create a party atmosphere. While we do use spotlights, color changers, and similar effects, we do not use strobes and avoid pulsing any effects at speeds above 3Hz. Even so, we are 100% happy to chill out the lights for your performance! Just let us know– we have several static scenes we can run and have no problem dimming anything that might trigger you.
We make heavy use of fog machines at most of our shows. We use Chauvet High Performance Fog Fluid almost exclusively, which is water-based, non-toxic, non-flammable, and unscented (and here’s the safety sheet). As with everything else we do, your comfort is important to us: if you’d prefer us not to use fog during your performance, just let us know. Be aware that the room will likely have a bit of a haze throughout the show, especially in our smaller venues.
For those who are hard of hearing, most of our setups have the ability to broadcast sound directly to a hearing device via a standard 1/8″ jack on our wireless in-ear monitor bodypacks. It’s best to ask before the show so we can ensure we have a bodypack available for you, but if you’re having difficulty hearing, don’t hesitate to text us during the show at 773-769-7464 and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.
If you have vision issues, we can make a number of changes to the screen to make the lyrics easier to read, including increasing the contrast and raising or lowering the monitor height. Just ask!
Overall sound levels
Obviously this is karaoke, so we can’t entirely control our singers’ volume, but we do our best to tamp down any amplification over a certain level. If the overall sound level is a problem for you, we can provide individually-packaged foam ear plugs available upon request. Also, we display upcoming singers at the top of our screens; if a particular song is just too much for you, we won’t mind at all if you leave the room and come back when your song is ready to go.
Allstar has a flat surface leading to its front door and is level throughout the venue. The performance area is on a stage that is 4′ wide by 4′ deep by 8″ high. Lyrics are displayed on multiple screens in the venue and we are happy to bring microphones and a personal lyrics screen down to the floor in front of the stage for your performance.
Carol’s has a sloped surface leading to its front door and is level throughout the venue. The performance area is on a stage that is only accessible via full-step stairs, but lyrics are displayed on multiple screens throughout the venue and we are happy to bring microphones and a personal lyrics screen down to the floor in front of the stage for your performance.
High Dive’s main entrance has a single step; there is a secondary entrance one door east (at Dante’s Pizza) that has a sloped surface leading to its door and will allow you access to High Dive. The venue is level throughout. The performance area is on a stage that is 4′ wide by 4′ deep by 8″ high. Lyrics are displayed on multiple screens in the venue and we are happy to bring microphones and a personal lyrics screen down to the floor in front of the stage for your performance.
Joe’s on Weed St. has a sloped surface leading to its front door and is level throughout the venue. The performance area is at ground level.
On special occasions performances will be on the venue’s rooftop; these events will be clearly marked, as there is no elevator to that level.
Konak has a sloped surface leading to its front door and is level throughout the venue. The performance area is on a stage that is only accessible via full-step stairs, but lyrics are displayed on multiple screens throughout the venue and we are happy to bring microphones and a personal lyrics screen down to the floor in front of the stage for your performance.
R Public House has a flat surface leading to its front door and is level throughout the venue. The performance area is on a stage that is 4′ wide by 4′ deep by 8″ high. Lyrics are displayed on multiple screens in the venue and we are happy to bring microphones and a personal lyrics screen in front of the stage for your performance.