Kansas City’s new “Choir Bar” only works with a packed crowd, admits Matt Baysinger, but professional vocal talent isn’t required.
“There’s no sheet music, no judgement, no solos, and no pressure,” he said of the “reverse karaoke”-style event wherein the masses — not an individual — belt out a popular tune. “We’re here to sing alongside the best people on Earth and share an evening of good, clean fun.”
The latest concept from Swell Spark, a Kansas City-based innovator of interactive, experience-based entertainment, Choir Bar is set for a June 16 debut. It joins a growing catalog of offerings from the West Bottoms company, which includes popular brands Blade & Timber and Breakout KC.
“We’ll meet at the River Market Event Space with a few hundred strangers to learn a popular song as a three-part harmony, perform a few times as a big, amazing group, and upload a professionally produced video to share with the world,” said Baysinger, co-founder of Swell Spark.
Participants must be at least 18 to attend. Tickets are available online for $10.
“Choir Bar is really in line with our company culture. It’s getting people together for a shared experience,” Baysinger said. “We’re really excited about the potential to do something like this on a monthly or weekly basis — as long as we can get people to show up.”
One of the entertainment company’s simpler concepts, Choir Bar not only doesn’t require participants to necessarily be “good” at singing — they also don’t even need to know the song in advance, he said. In fact, the actual song planned for the June 16 event isn’t expected to be posted publicly until 24 hours before the social choir event.
“We might want to teach the song to them in a slightly different way than they’ve heard it on the radio, so there is a little bit of mystery to that aspect of it,” Baysinger said, noting the lack of preparation by potential singers is a good thing.
“There’s a big yearning for community for people who come from musical backgrounds,” he added. “And we’re excited to be able to cater to that with something pretty nonchalant and low-key.”
Swell Spark was named one of Startland’s Top Kansas City Startups to Watch in 2018, in part because of the rapid growth of its Blade & Timber axe-throwing concept, as well as the ongoing development of new business verticals.
The company opened a second Kansas City-area Blade & Timber location in May with 12 lanes at Leawood’s Town Center Plaza.