Managing A Karaoke Show Singer Rotationkaraoke singer rotation

The Singer Rotation is defined as the queue of singers at a karaoke show. The next rotation starts again when returning to the first singer in the queue.

Regular Participant is defined as a patron that not only attends the karaoke show regularly but also represents value to the venue, adds to the atmosphere of the night, or a combination of both. They are given preferential treatment, usually singing one or two more songs than other participants on any given night. They are often asked to sing with first timers who are a bit shy to go up and perform by themselves. These are the people who ensure the continuity and viability of a Karaoke Night and are treated accordingly. Regular attendance alone does not grant the benefits of a Regular Participant.

Principles
The following outlines the Karaoke Sydney Method of managing a singer rotation. It was developed by Sydney’s leading karaoke hosts. And is based on the following principles.

- Patrons that represent value to the venue are encouraged to become Regular Participants.
- Patrons are encouraged make karaoke a part of their weekly entertainment schedule.
- Patrons enjoy an upbeat encouraging atmosphere.
- Patrons do not want aggressive, rude or intoxicated people participating. Nor do they want people behaving in a dangerous manner.
- Ability should not bias a participants opportunity to sing at a karaoke show.
- There should be equity in opportunities to participate based on the above principles.
- The event should promote the venue as a place to socialise.
- People place a high value on their recreational time.
- Participation among people new to a karaoke show is encouraged.

The Karaoke Sydney Method Of Singer Rotation
Participants are added to the singer rotation in the order they put their songs in once the show has commenced. However putting songs up prior to the show start time does not mean they will go before those that put there songs in once the show starts. Prior to the show starting the host is setting up. Disturbing the host to put in a song request may lead to the show starting slightly late and therefore should not be encouraged. Participants who put in song requests prior to the show starting will be put in arbitrarily at the discretion of the host. Putting songs in prior to the show start time should be discouraged. Regular Participants may be given priority in the singer rotation.

A participant must make their way to the stage promptly. They should be called three times then the next participant is called. The participants name should appears on screen during this process. The singer has about 30 seconds to respond and be on their way to the stage. If the singer comes up after the Host has announced the next singer they are put up directly after the performer who was last called up to perform. 

When the first Singer Rotation exceeds 23 participants, previous singers, based their order in the singer rotation, should be reinserted into the rotation every alternative song. The exception to this rule is for participants who have been in attendance since the start of the show. These people should sing before anyone sings their second song.

Karaoke Show

Crowd at Karaoke Monday O’Malley’s Hotel, Kings Cross

Singers who join after the first Singer Rotation should be slotted in to the Singer Rotation after the next 3 existing performers in the queue. If there are several new participants in rapid succession, the first should be put in after the next 3 performances, then alternate between new singer and existing singers.

Duos And Group Performances
Participants who sing as a duo are treated as if they have sung half a song. Therefore each of their individual positions in the Singer Rotation will be dropped halfway down the rotation. The exception to this is if they are singing with a first time singer for the night, in which case the song is counted as the first time singer’s song. This process relies on subjectivity. For example if the singer is requested to sing harmonies it won’t count against them. Participants who encourage someone to sing with them just so they can get an extra song should be treated as if they are singing alone. Those that try to Game the system should not be encouraged.

Groups of 3 or more who sing together should get an 2 extra song per rotation when singing in this group. This can also be subjectively governed base on the reasons above.

Special Consideration
A Regular Participant can request to be brought forward in the rotation if they have to leave before their turn. This should only be done so long as they have not sung within the last 7 songs. And only if it is practical. If that patron then decides to remain and wants to sing again they are dropped back to the end of the next singer rotation. It should be emphasised to the patron requesting to be bumped forward that is is an occasional entitlement only. Host discretion is advised.

Guest of Honour
Often people come to a karaoke show as a group to celebrate a Birthday, a Hens Night or a Work Party. The Guest of Honour (Birthday Boy or Hen) in a group should get an extra song every second rotation. This also requires some subjectivity. In the final hour of the karaoke show preference is given to any Guests of Honour, Regular Participants, and valued participants who have been there all night. The logic behind this is that an entire group has come to the venue because of the Guest of Honour and the guests may not be singing but are there for the Guest of Honour. So it is assumed that songs that they are entitled to go to the Guest of Honour.

Disruptions
If a singer is disrupted by another patron the Host should ask the person causing the disruption to leave the performance area and give the singer space. If they ignore this instruction or do not comply, security or the bar manager is informed. The offender is then barred from participation. The exception to this is if the person is obviously a friend and encouraged by the singer to join them. The singer must give their consent for someone to join. It is not enough that the person who wants to join in is claims to be a friend of the performer. The Host should ask the performer, at the first opportunity, if they know the person. Only if the singer knows the person should the Host proceed to ask if that person can join the singer on stage. If the Host feels that the singer has only complied out of politeness they should not let the disruptive person join the singer on the stage.

If a patron is rude, intimidating or aggressive the Host should notify Security or the Bar Manager at their first opportunity. The disruptive person is then barred from participation in the karaoke show. They may be ejected from the venue.

When the Host say no more songs they should mean it. However if a patron can logically explain that they have accidentally been missed in the singer rotation the Host should concede and put them in as the next singer. The Host should explain to the audience that they missed their turn which is why they are next to sing. That person is then returned to their original place in the singer rotation after their performance.

Ending The Show
In the last half hour of the karaoke show the Host should announce that there will only be five more songs and announce the next four participants who will definitely be singing. This makes closing the show easier and avoids disappointing participants. Should participants feel they have not been fairly treated this can be address with time to actually do something about it. In most cases one or two more singers can be accommodated without going over time.

Conclusion
A well managed karaoke show can create a community of valued customers. The benefits of this to a venue will manifest in more than just 
financial terms. Managing the Singer Rotation is one of the critical issues for a Host. If done well it greatly enhances the value of the event to the venue. Patrons are likely to invite friends and visit on other nights of the week and increase their weekly spend at the venue.


It should be obvious that the benefit to the venue is a prime consideration of this Singer Rotation Method. It also place a strong emphasis on patrons feeling comfortable and welcomed. If these considerations are not prioritised a Karaoke Night can struggle to succeed and usually don’t last long. That is in no ones interests.

The leading contributor to this article was our sponsor Karaoke Samurai.


This article relates to Karaoke Show Singer Rotation.