Independence Karaoke (IDK) is the Philly area's first social, team-based karaoke league, and the League Affiliate of United Karaoke. Though structured like the other competitive "ball" leagues, you don't need kickballs or bocce balls to participate with Independence Karaoke - just a bit of courage.
For the benefit of newbies and vets, we polled past performers to give their advice on what you can expect:
THIS IS A SOCIAL LEAGUE - GO MEET PEOPLE
IDK is more social than any other league you'll ever join. As a result, IDK vets wish they made an effort to meet and hang out with people on other teams earlier in the season.
DIFFERENT NIGHTS, DIFFERENT VIBES
Different nights have different vibes. Every performer plays a role in crafting that vibe - your night will be what you want it to be.
THE IDK COMPETITION
Every week, teams are arranged into a random one-to-one matchup with another team for three (3) rounds. The first two (2) rounds are solo rounds; the third round is a group performance. Anyone at the bar can vote at VoteIDK.com. Select a matchup and click "Vote" underneath the team you liked better. Change your vote as often as you like, but multiple votes don’t count - only the last one you cast.
BE FAIR OR GO HOME
Vote the way you want to be voted. Don't be that guy/gal who abused the system to get ahead. C'mon, it's karaoke. Remember, do unto others, karma, etc.
The team with the highest number of votes in a solo round receives four (4) points. The team with the highest number of votes in a group performance receives six (6) points.
WEARING YOUR T-SHIRT
Wear your IDK T-shirt above the waist while performing. This allows everyone to see what team you're on, it lets the bar know that you're over 21, and it lets IDK know that you understand the risks of being in a karaoke league. There are many different ways you can wear your T-shirt so that it still counts; ask a vet for some advice.
DON'T BE A JERK
Don't be mean! Also, if other teams are still performing, that's not a good time to go elsewhere and rehearse.
CHANGE KEYS INSTANTLY
You can ask an emcee to change the pitch of a song - the emcee can make it higher... or lower!
THEME WEEKS ARE ANNOUNCED ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE
The regular season is comprised of eight (8) weeks with at least five (5) of those weeks being "theme" weeks. Themes will be announced the Monday before in a league-wide email.
SONGS CAN ONLY BE SUNG ONCE PER SEASON
Your team manager has to submit songs to IDK at least 24 hours in advance. Since songs can only be sung once in the regular season, you should tell them what you're singing as soon as possible so they can make sure your song is still available.
INVITE YOUR FRIENDS
As important as it is to make friends at IDK, you should invite your friends! They'll be a big help in getting you over your initial IDK jitters, and your friends will be able to vote for you. However, since the rest of the bar votes as well, the number of IDK performers usually outnumbers the amount of friends you bring. If a team brings a lot of their friends, go over and say hi! That will also make it more likely they will vote for you.
TO REHEARSE, OR NOT TO REHEARSE
Some teams get together outside of IDK to rehearse. You should find time to chat with your team before the season starts to decide what type of team you want to be (competitive, laid back, etc.). All are acceptable - it depends on how time-consuming you want IDK to be in your life.
Many of the teams that seem uber-competitive DON'T REHEARSE. They just have a batsh*t amazingly good time and go "all out" because that's how they have fun!
SAFETY FIRST, SAFETY ALWAYS
IDK advises all performers to be mindful of the "Cori Rules" What is a "Cori Rule?" Essentially, IDK wants to remind you that our bars allow us to come every week because we respect their venue. Don't climb on the rafters, don't jump on the stage, don't throw anything off the stage, and clean up after yourself.
CHOREOGRAPHY, COSTUMES, PROPS, AND SETS
Some teams use choreography or bring elaborate props. This is not a requirement. But it doesn't always hurt to consider something outside the box.
THERE MAY BE EVIDENCE
IDK is not just about being social; it's also about social media. At any time, someone may be taking your photo, tweeting about you or putting your performance on YouTube. Keep this in mind as you participate with IDK.
IT'S NOT ABOUT SINGING
You don't have to be a great singer to do well, you just have to be creative and have a good time on stage.
SONG CHOICE MATTERS
Think again before you sing something cliché; your fellow IDKers will thank you. And never sing 6+ minute songs.
IDK IS CONSTANTLY IMPROVING
IDK is constantly looking for ways to improve. If you have comments, suggestions, or questions, email to email@example.com. But we do ask for your patience. IDK is less than two (2) years old, and the people running things all have full-time gigs - they do this because they want to help YOU have a good time.
HOW SONGS ARE ADDED TO THE BOOK
If there's a song that's missing from the songbook, submit it at www.bitly.com/dksongrequest. Due to the complexity of purchasing and adding new songs, IDK will only add songs during Week 4 and Week 8. At the same time, we may not be able to get every song you want. It may not exist as a karaoke track or it may not be licensed for public performance.
INSTAFACETWEETING ON THE VINE
IDK is all over social media. You can like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/BeantownKaraoke, and you can follow IDK on Twitter and Instagram at @independencekaraoke. Actually, don't just like or follow us - engage with IDK!
Did we miss something? Is there something you feel we need to know about? Shoot us email and be sure to include what team you're on. Thanks!
We are just into performance and we love to win... and now we have an outlet in to express ourselves.
The More We Drink, the Better You Sound
I should tell you our unofficial motto: Anyone can kick a ball, but only ballers can belt a ballad.
We compete. It's not really about the winning; it's about having fun. But the competition is the fun.
Naughty by Nurture
Yes! Seize the mic! Seize the day!
We like you too!
I will follow you...