How to Host the Ultimate Karaoke Party

karaoke party

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Hosting a karaoke party is a great way to get friends and family together to celebrate an occasion or just to have a fun night together! It does take a bit of planning though. That’s why we have put together this ultimate guide full of tips and ideas to help you plan the perfect karaoke party, no matter what your budget is.

Here’s everything you’ll need to get sorted to make your night a success. 
 
  • Essential karaoke kit
  • Song List
  • More Games and Entertainment 
  • Karaoke Party Theme 
  • Party Food 
  • Drinks and Shots 
  • Decorations and Supplies 
  • Party Lights 
  • An MC 
  • Strict Budget 
  • Guest List and Invitations  
  • Venue 
There’s plenty to think about, so let’s get started! 
 
Take a look at this ultimate party supply pack to get all the essentials for your event. I was surprised at how cheap I could find this one on Amazon

Essential Karaoke Party Equipment

There are a few pieces of equipment you’ll need to buy in order to host a karaoke party, but exactly what you’ll need depends on what karaoke setup you want to go for. There are two main types of karaoke setup.
 
1. Using a Karaoke Machine
2. DIY Karaoke Party Setup 
 
Now don’t worry if this has confused you, we will take you through the differences between the two so you can decide which is best for your karaoke party. 
 
Firstly, here’s a diagram to show how each setup works. 

DIY Karaoke Setup

Karaoke Machine Setup

DIY karaoke without a machine
karaoke setup at home

Karaoke Machine

DIY Karaoke Setup

Easy to set up because it’s an all-in-one system

Allows you to choose the perfect pieces of equipment for your needs

Fast to connect, most karaoke machines can be setup in under ten minutes

More compatible with a range of audio software such as YouTube, karaoke apps and CDs

Budget karaoke machines are available to make them a cost-effective option

Helps to create a higher quality sound output for professional use

We think that buying a karaoke machine is the best option for a party. There are so many available with great features at an affordable price, which means it’s the fastest end easiest way of setting up a karaoke party. But if you want some more information to make a decision, take a look at our guide on everything you need for karaoke
 

Choosing a Karaoke Machine

So if you’ve decide to go for a karaoke machine, now you’ll need to think about which is the best one. There are so many different brands and models available, that it’s easy to get something that isn’t the best option for you. That’s why we’ve gone into detail on the 12 best karaoke machines to help you choose the perfect one for your party. 
 
This ultimate karaoke machine purchasing guide will take you through all the different kinds of karaoke machine, how to choose the best one and how to set it up too. It’s split into categories so you can choose the best karaoke machine based on your budget, audience and different styles. So head over to the 12 best karaoke machines to help you choose the ideal one so you can get your party started! 

Choose the Karaoke Party Songs

It’s up to you how you want to sort out your karaoke songs. It’ll also depend on what audio instrumental source you’ve chosen. If you’ve gone for pre-loaded CDs then you’ll be more limited than if youve chosen YouTube for example. 
 
If you have a bit of freedom to choose your karaoke setlist though, take a look at our list of 250+ karaoke songs. It’s full of ideas for loads of categories like 80s, 90s, 00s, duet, male singers, female singers, love songs and more! It’ll also give you some advice on how to choose a karaoke song and singing tips to make your performance a show stopper!

Make it a Competition

Adding a competitive element to your karaoke party is great fun and gives it an extra edge to make it a bit more interesting. Some karaoke machines come with software that rates each performance, which is perfect if you want to turn your karaoke party into more of a game. Head over to our 12 favourite karaoke machines to find the best options that include this feature.
 
But if your karaoke machine doesn’t offer this feature, then you can either get a few people to act as judges or ask all your guests to get involved and rate each performance out of 10. The scores can all be added up at the end to give a winner. Don’t forget to get a prize too! Alcohol, chocolates or joke prizes work well, try not to take it too seriously! 

Keep Your Guests Entertained

Just because it’s called a karaoke party, doesn’t mean it has to be the only form of entertainment. It’s a good idea to have a few other games planned or at least kept in mind to make sure your karaoke night is interesting and has a bit of variety. 
 
Here’s a list of the best karaoke party games that you can include.
 

Guess the Song

The singer gets to choose a song to perform and then the rest of the players have to guess the artist and song name. Each player gets a go at being the singer and the person with the most correct guesses at the end wins!
 

Mix it Up

Put pieces of paper with different song titles and pieces of paper with famous singers on in separate bowls, mix each bowl up and then get a player to choose a piece of paper from each. They then have to perform the song in the style of the famous singer. This is really funny if you choose plenty of different song and artist styles. For example, you can get a Meatloaf style performance of Taylor Swift’s Love Story to give you plenty of laughs!

 

Don’t Forget the Lyrics 

This is a classic TV game that you can play at your karaoke party at home. Write a famous song on a piece of paper and then choose a section of the song and write the lyrics from a few lines but skip a few words out. Add plenty of pieces of paper with different examples on to a bowl, mix it up and then get each player to pick a piece of paper and say the missing lyrics. If they guess correctly, they can either perform the song or nominate another player to sing. 
 

Other Games

You can also include some drinking or board games too to switch things up. Cards Against Humanity, Pictionary and Joking Hazard are great games to play at a party with a small group and can be good as a quick break between the singing. 
 
Here are a couple of ideas to get you started. But if you want some more inspiration, then take a look at our list of the 10 best drinking games
 

Back to Back

What You’ll Need:

  • Just your drink!

Number of Players: 6+ players 

How to Play:

  • Two players stand back to back holding a full drink. 
  • The other players should get in a circle around them and shout “most likely to” style questions
  • The two players in the middle can then drink if they think they are the most likely
  • If they are the only one to drink, then you can move onto the next question
  • If neither player drinks to the question, the players must both drink
  • But if both players drink to the question, then both of them must drink again!
  • The game continues until one player finishes their drink.

Drunk Pass the Parcel

What You’ll Need:

  • A small prize
  • Wrapping paper
  • Some music

Number of Players: 10+ people

How to Play the Drinking Game Version of Pass the Parcel:

  • First you’ll need to wrap the prize in a layer of wrapping paper. Wrap the present again but underneath the layer, have a truth or dare written on a small piece of paper. Repeat this so there are around 6-10 layers.
  • Get all the players in a circle and pass the parcel around until the DJ stops the music. 
  • Whichever player the music stops on, must unwrap a layer and do the truth or dare written on the paper.
  • Keep going until someone unwraps the prize!

Karaoke Party Themes

Giving your karaoke party a theme is a great way to take it to the next level. But what theme should you go for? 
 
Decade themes are a good idea because you can choose the karaoke songs for a specific decade to fit in with the vibe. Take a look at our ultimate 80s party theme ideas for tips on drinks, food, decorations, outfits and much more! 
 
Don’t forget to have a look at our list of the top 20 party themes too for some inspiration!

Karaoke Party Food

Every party needs some food to keep the guests happy, and a karaoke party is no exception. How much food you need to provide depends on what time your party is. If it’s later in the night, you’ll only need to provide some light snacks to keep everyone going. But if it runs over a mealtime, you’ll need to provide something more substantial. 
 
You can either make it yourself, grab some supplies from your local supermarket or ask your guests to pitch in and bring a dish each. Not sure which option to go for? Take a look at our guide on everything you need to know about party food to help you decide. 
 
Here’s a list of our favourite snacks that are perfect for a karaoke party.
 
  • Charceuterie boards
  • Flatbreads
  • Loaded nachos
  • Jalapeno poppers
  • Cheese board
  • Tacos
  • Chicken wings
  • Halloumi skewers 
  • Sliders 
  • Pretzels 
  • Baguette pizza
  • Pigs in a Blanket
  • Sushi
  • Deviled eggs
  • Prawn Cocktail
  • Stuffed mushrooms
  • Dough balls
karaoke party food

Karaoke Party Drinks

It’s also a good idea to offer a range of drinks at a karaoke party to keep your guests refreshed. Make sure you offer some non-alcoholic options so there’s something for everyone. We’ve made a list of the 10 best alcoholic and non-alcoholic party drink recipes that are really easy, fast and taste great. Here are a couple of great recipes to get you started! 

Long Island Iced Tea

  • Rum 17.5ml
  • Vodka 17.5ml
  • Gin 17.5ml
  • Tequila 17.5ml
  • Orange Liqueur 17.5ml
  • Sugar Syrup 17.5 ml
  • Lemon Juice 17.5ml
  • Lime Juice 17.5ml
  • Cola
The Long Island Iced Tea is very easy to make but definitely packs a punch! Shake the lemon, lime, sugar and alcohol with ice. Then pour into a chilled glass filled with crushed ice and top with cola.

Lemon and Basil Spritzer (non-alcoholic)

Ingredients:

  • Soda/ lemonade 250ml
  • Basil leaves
  • Sugar syrup 25ml 
  • Juice from 1/2 Lemon 

Cut the lemon into quarters, add a few basil leaves and the sugar syrup and then muddle in a chilled glass. Fill the glass with ice and top with soda or lemonade. 

Why not offer some shots too? They’re a fun addition to a karaoke party and can be used as prizes or forfeits for any of the singers, depending on how they taste! We’ve put together a list of the 10 best party shot recipes, so take a look! But here’s a couple of great karaoke party shot recipes for some inspiration.

Mad Dog Shot Recipe

What you’ll need:

  • 1 oz (30ml) Vodka
  • 3/4 oz (22.5 ml) Raspberry syrup
  • A few dashes of hot sauce
Difficulty: 2/3
 
How alcoholic is a Mad Dog shot? 2/3
 
How to make a Mad Dog Shot:
 
  • Add the raspberry syrup to the shot glass first
  • Layer the vodka on top by pouring it over the back of a spoon
  • Add a few dashes of hot sauce on the top 

Kamikaze Shot Recipe

What you’ll need: 

  • 1 oz (30 ml) Vodka
  • 1/4 oz (7.5 ml) Orange liqueur (blue curacao or Cointreau works best!)
  • 1/4 oz (7.5 ml) Fresh Lime Juice

Difficulty: 1/3

How alcoholic is a Kamikaze shot? 2/3

How to make a Kamikaze shot:

  • Shake all the ingredients in a shaker with ice 
  • Strain into two chilled shot glasses

21st Birthday Party Decorations and Supplies

In addition to your karaoke kit, you’ll also need some essential karaoke supplies too. These include napkins, cups, plates and cutlery. You can pick these up from your local party supply store, Ebay or Amazon. Or why not head over to an online party store for some themed supplies and decorations? 
 

Shindigz is a great online party supply store that you can use to find great decoration ideas with over 34,000 party supplies for every occasion and next day delivery!  

Stumps Party is another awesome party supply store offering custom event supplies and regular deals and discounts. 

Karaoke Party Lights

Adding some party or disco lighting to your karaoke night is a great idea to create the mood. If you’ve chosen a karaoke machine with built-in party lights, then you’re good to go. But if not, then think about getting some disco lights to project onto the dancefloor area or stage. It’s almost an essential at any karaoke party and is a sure fire way to get everyone in the spirit! Here’s our favourite karaoke machine that includes an impressive light show!

Head over to our 20 favourite karaoke machines to find the best options that include this feature.

Get Someone on the Microphone

If you’re serious about making your karaoke night the event of the year, get someone on the microphone to act as an MC. It can either be yourself the host, or one of the guests. They’ll be able to announce each singer and their song choice, and can also reveal the results if you’re adding a bit of competition to your karaoke party. It’s a great idea if you’re hosting a karaoke night for a large number of guests. 
 
You’ll just need another microphone hooked to to a speaker for this to work and not interfere with your karaoke system. 

Set a Budget

You’ll need a strict budget to make sure your karaoke party doesn’t end up costing a fortune. Make sure you think about a realistic figure before purchasing anything and then keep a track of it. The best way to do this, is by using an excel document. The formulas will help you easily keep track of how much you’ve spent and how much money you’ve got left to make sure you never go over budget. 
 
Be sensible about your spending and keep your expectations realistic. It’s really possible to host a brilliant karaoke party on a budget. There are some excellent quality low-cost karaoke machines to help you do this. Think about how many guests you’re inviting too, and how much it’ll cost to provide food and drinks. 
 
Take a look at our quick budget party planning tips for some ways to help keep your karaoke party spending in check. 

Sort out your Invitations

There are a few things you’ll need to think about before you can send your invites. 
 

Guest List

Once you’ve got to grips with your budget, start thinking about your guest list. Use your budget to guide you on the size of your guest list, and be careful not to get carried away inviting too many people. Head over to our guide on how many people to invite to a party for some tips on how to create the perfect guest list. 
 

Best Time for a Karaoke Party 

Once you know your guest list, then start thinking about when you should host the party. Usually, karaoke parties are best when they’re held later at night. We think the best time is around 9PM for a karaoke party. It’ll give you plenty of time to enjoy yourself without having to rush or finish too late in the night. Most karaoke parties last around 3-4 hours, so think about how long you want yours to be before setting a start time. 
 

Choose the Venue

You’ll also need to choose a venue for your karaoke party. You can host it at home if your guest list isn’t huge and you have a decent size space, or you can hire our a venue. Some venues are made specifically for karaoke parties, and even  come complete with all the kit, refreshments and decorations. 
 
After you’ve decided everything essential, you can send out your invites. Aim to do this around 2-4 weeks before your karaoke party. Here are the main things you should include.
 
  • Date and Time
  • Venue
  • Theme
  • Dress Code 
  • Plus One Policy 

Our favourite way of creating professional looking invitations easily is to use Canva. It’s a website that allows you to create a range of graphic design media using a range of ready-made templates. They look great, are really easy to create and you can print out as many as you need. 

If you want an easy and quick way of sending your invitations, make a Facebook event. It’ll allow you to add everyone in one go, and keeps a track of everyone’s response so you know exactly who’s coming.

So that’s it! Now you have plenty of ideas to plan the perfect karaoke party. We hope you have a great time!

Don’t forget to take a look at our party planning timeline to make sure you’ve got everything covered. It’ll tell you everything you need to do at each stage of the party planning process so you can create an amazing party without any stress or worry about forgetting anything! It even includes a free printable party planning checklist to make sure you stay on track. 

And have a look at the 20 best karaoke machines.

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