“We’ve had an after party the past few years, which has gone really well,” said Evan Blakley, executive director of the Chamber & Development Council (CDC) of Crawford County, “but we like to keep things fresh and try new ideas.”
Last year’s after party featured The Dueling Pianos of Andy Anderson and Mike Leeds.
“We were the first ones to bring them to the area and they were a big success here,” Blakley said.
The point of the after party is to put an exclamation point on the end of the BBQ fest celebration, he said.
“We want to go out on a really fun note and we like it to be casual and light-hearted,” Blakley said.
Something interactive with the crowd makes for a good after party event, he said.
The 2019 after party will feature a different kind of music performance.
“Karaoke came up in our discussions,” Blakley said. “We thought if we planned enough in advance and had our acts lined up in advance that we could make it pretty stellar and get some pretty good talent on stage.”
The contest will be similar those on “America’s Got Talent” or “The Voice.”
“Smoky Karaoke” will have a yet-to-be-determined panel of three judges.
“If you think you’d make a great judge, please reach out to us and let us know,” Blakley said.
“We’d like at least one of the judges to have a background in music or as a music connoisseur. We also want someone up there for personality to keep the commentary colorful.”
The judges will score the performers on a scale of one to 10 with half-points, as well.
“We’ll add up those scores, and there will also be a score based on the crowd response,” he said. “If there is a tie at the end, then it will be decided by crowd response.”
Six performers will be chosen to take the stage to perform a song of five minutes or less in length.
Individuals interested in entering should send a recording of their performance of a song to Blakley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The recording could be an MP3 or .wav file, but Blakley said a video recording would be better.
A mobile phone recording would be fine, he said.
Applicants have until September 13 at 4 p.m. to submit their song file or video.
“They don’t have to be singing the song they will perform,” Blakley said. “We just need their best representation of their performance and their voice.”
The Tri City BBQ Fest entertainment committee that booked the event’s bands will review and select the competitors for the karaoke contest.
The CDC will obtain the music-only version of the chosen performers’ songs.
“Any genre will be accepted,” Blakley said. “All we care about is entertainment value.”
He noted that for many or all of the performers, this will likely be the first time they are singing on a large stage with a large sound system in a concert-type environment.
“It will definitely be a level above your typical karaoke bar,” Blakley said.
Screens with lyrics will not be provided for the performers.
“They will need to know their song inside and out,” he said. “They can bring up a cue sheet to put on the ground but if that detracts from the essence of their performance that will be reflected in their scoring. It would be best if they had the song memorized.”
Prizes of $500, $300 and $200 will be given for the first-, second- and third-place performers, respectively.
Backup performers will also be chosen in case one or more of the primary six can’t perform.
“We will be accepting three backup performers who should be available to be on standby,” he said. “If you’re not in the first wave, you may still have a chance to perform and compete.”
The BBQ fest takes place on September 20 and 21.
For additional information, contact the CDC at 712-263-5621 or visit the office at 18 South Main Street in Denison.