Today, we have a guest article from our French friend Jean-Luc about the best Karaoke bars in Moscow. We are not really experts of Karaoke and that is why we have asked him to write about his favorite Karaoke places in Moscow. Enjoy the read and as usual, please comment at the end and let us know, what you think about it!
Hello, my name is Jean-Luc. I am a huge fan of Karaoke and I would like to give you some information and advice on Karaoke bars in Moscow. I will not tell you about all the karaoke places in Moscow, because firstly I do not know all of them and secondly it depends on what you are looking for. I will tell you about those, which I know, and I will give you my ranking with my criteria of choice. That of course, is totally subjective and my personal opinion. I advise you to call the bar before going there, to get an update on the rules and entry fees, because these can change over time.
The word Karaoke comes from the Japanese words “Kara”, which means “empty”, and a diminutive of “okesutra”, meaning “orchestra”. I have traveled a lot in Europe and I can say that Moscow is the European capital of Karaoke Bars with more than fifty establishments. The Karaoke World Championships were held here in the year 2010.
What else you need to know about Karaoke in Moscow?
1.) The Catalog of Songs: the AST catalog is used in most of the karaoke venues, you can download it to your smartphone or some Karaoke bars have a tablet available, where you can choose the songs. In this catalog, you will find songs in Russian, English, French, German, Spanish, Italian ….and many other languages. In many places there are often professional singers, who are there to help you with the technical aspects, but also sing with you, if you want.
2.) Prices: There are different prices on weekdays (Monday to Wednesday / Thursday) and during the weekend. Price A is the weekday fee. Price B, the weekend fee. The majority of the bars use the “deposit” system, which is a pre-paid minimum fee, which you can use to order drinks and food. This can be a deposit per person, or per table. Most bars offer a club card with a discount for frequent visitors.
Price A (weekdays): Deposit from 1000 Rub to 5000 Rub per person. Some do not require any deposit, but you also have to have a table reservation. In my opinion a deposit larger than 2000 Rub per person, during the week is too expensive.
Price B (weekends): Deposit from 2500 to 7000 Rub per person. The table deposits range from 12000 Rub to 25000 Rub. For me a 3500 Rub deposit per person, is reasonable, more than that is too much.
3.) Sing a lot, a little or not at all: Size matters! In a venue with 10/12 tables you can sing 2 songs per Hour, which is a lot. There is a rule when a table exceeds 5/6 people they have the right to sing 2 songs each turn. I want to point out, that in some karaoke bars customers can pay for singing more than one song, when it’s their turn. This is not very correct, I guess you decide if you will come back to this place or not.
4.) The atmosphere? The Face Control?
Most expensive Karaoke Clubs, have “face control“, a guy, who decides who gets in or not. For more about face control, see Chris’s article. In many places, they often put music between 2 songs, to dance a little bit. That limits our singing time even more and not everyone will appreciate the dancing pause.
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