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Things to Know About Korean Karaoke Bar Culture

by | Sep 20, 2023

If you haven’t visited a karaoke bar recently, you may be surprised to learn that karaoke is big business in 2023. 


In North America, karaoke is associated with tiny stages in bars and singing in front of strangers.

But in Korea, they have a different take. And it’s gaining popularity across the world. 

In South Korea, people don’t do karaoke; they noraebang!


What Is Noraebang?

Noraebang (Karaoke), as it is known, roughly translates as “sing room.” 

Unlike North American karaoke bars, noraebang involves booking a private space for you and your friends. It is an incredibly popular social activity and a customary outing for friends and co-workers. Noraebang is synonymous with Seoul’s entertainment districts and a huge part of the culture.  

In Korea, noraebang is not just something to do; it’s the destination. It’s where you end your night after food and drinks, happily singing your heart out until the wee hours of the morning. 

In fact, many noraebang establishments are open for morning sessions and throughout the day. 

For many, booking a single room to practice by themselves before the next evening out with friends is pretty commonplace.


What You’ll Find in a Private Noraebang Room 

For starters? Lots of K-pop! 

Noraebang rooms tend to be dark spaces with ambient lighting. Most venues will include:

  • Two mics
  • At least one video screen
  • A remote control
  • A songbook filled with songs 
  • Possibly a tambourine

There is a scoring system in place that will assess your performance, but very few participants allow a bad score to diminish their fun!

Should you ever find yourself in such an establishment in South Korea, there are also certain rules everyone is expected to follow. For example, it is customary not to repeat a song that someone else has already chosen. To do so would be considered rude. 

Depending on the venue, you may be asked to remove your shoes before entering. And if you’re hoping to sing with a group of friends in the evening, you’d better have a reservation!


Coin-Operated Booths

Of course, this type of venue isn’t the only way to get your noraebang fix while in Korea.

A thousand won (approximately $1 CAD) gets you four songs in the small coin-operated noraebang booths around the city. These areas are brightly lit and are generally big enough to accommodate two people. 


It’s Easy to See Why Noraebang Is So Popular

Imagine a karaoke experience that’s more about laughs than overcoming your nerves. 

So, how does one enjoy the Noraebang experience back home in Canada? If you live in the Calgary area, you are invited to experience the noraebang experience for yourself. 

Whether it’s for a work function, a birthday, or a bachelorette party, Galaxy Karaoke Bar is the place to sing in Calgary, especially when you’re not a singer!  

At Galaxy Karaoke Bar, you can channel your inner Axl Rose, Beyonce, or a BTS member, one song at a time. 

Book now to reserve your spot.