The Evolution of Karaoke

Like many businesses post-COVID-19, the karaoke industry has needed some changes to it’s approach in order to be considered “safe” to attend.

Physical Distancing isn’t enough, really. You have a ton of people sharing a microphone, sharing markers or pens, and passing books filled with song options around (presumably covered in beer and other such liquids). This is all, pandemically-speaking, problematic.

A few karaoke businesses are actively evolving and instituting a number of measures to combat this.

Do you live in the west side of Winnipeg? If you were to head over to the 4th Line Pub tonight, you’d be able to participate in their karaoke night, where they have added the following regulations:

🕺Dance floor remains closed
🍺 Seated Service Only
💺 Limited Capacity
✖️ No Group Songs
🎤 Mic Cleaning after every song, option to bring and connect your own personal microphone & optional Mic covers for purchase through Karaoke Anonymous

The most notable evolution they, and more specifically their contracted company Karaoke Anonymous have added, is an online song search where you can look up one of over ten thousand songs from your phone, which avoids any and all sharing of books, and cuts way down on patrons pestering the host (generally in close proximity) to ask things like “do you have Country Roads?”

Usually 4th Line Pub’s events are well attended, but they have made special preparations to bring back the fun.

Tim Grant, 4th Line Pub’s official Event/Fun Planner, says they are “definitely” sufficiently prepared for tonight’s return of Karaoke Thursdays. “Just got off a call minutes ago with the owners who are prepping as though we are getting inspected tonight,” Grant said.

They are printing the rules, posting them on the doors and on every table. They’re not taking any chances, Grant assures us. “No messing around with the rules, fines are too much.”

If you live in the south of Winnipeg (St. Vital or St. Boniface, perhaps) maybe you will go check out The Limelight Karaoke Bar‘s event, “Live Band Karaoke/Jam Night ft. The Next Best Thing” over on St. Mary’s Rd. Not only can singers participate, they also encourage jamming with the band if perhaps an instrument is more your … “jam”.

They have a $5 cover charge, but refer to it as “reverse cover”, as they will provide you with a microphone cover and a drink ticket (good for an alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage).

Like the 4th Line Pub, The Limelight also has a policy of seated service only, to limit human contact and allow for the full physical distancing effort.

Safety is key, and the karaoke companies in town get that, just like every other business should. At the end of the day, they want you to feel comfortable and safe at their events.

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Mark Adam

Mark Adam is the Operations Manager for The WPG Magazine.