Karaoke Contest

Welcome to the Kumoricon Karaoke Contest! The Kumoricon Karaoke Contest is an exciting and entertaining vocal competition featuring your favorite anime, Asian pop, and video game songs. This event brings the spirit of friendly competition and the excitement of vocal performance to the convention stage by featuring a diverse group of passionate and talented singers. If you enjoy singing, come sign up for our contest, or just come and cheer on your fellow fans!

Please email karaoke@kumoricon.org if you have any questions.

Rules listed below were for the Kumoricon 2023 Karaoke Contest. Rules may be changed before entries for the 2024 Karaoke Contest open. Please review the final rules before entering.


The contest is open to all registered convention attendees. You must have a valid Kumoricon badge for the day of the contest. There is no additional cost to register for the contest. You may compete in both the Kumoricon Idol and Karaoke Cosplay Hybrid contests if you so desire—the two competitions will be held back to back as a single show.

General information

Contest entry will run through the entry deadline, or until all spots are filled, whichever occurs first. Entries are first-come, first-served.

Additional at-con entries will be placed on a waiting list. Forms can be found at the Programming Office or in the Karaoke Lounge. Please ask Karaoke Staff for forms. All at-con entries (and any additional waiting list entries) will be accepted in the Karaoke Lounge. To be assured a spot in the contest, we highly recommend that you enter online early in the entry period before the convention. Please note though that every year, we get some cancellations and no-shows, so even if you are on the waiting list, your chances of being in the contest are still very good.

All pre-registered contestants are required to check in at the Karaoke Lounge 30 minutes before the start of their spot in the auditions. Once the auditions start, only the names of those who have checked in will be called. For check-in, you will need your Kumoricon badge and the music you will be using in the audition, which must be in audio CD or MP3 format. You must specify the songs you are going to sing when you enter the contest.

Contestants who do not have the required formats will not be allowed to participate.

Contest categories

There are two categories of competition: Kumoricon Idol and Karaoke Cosplay Hybrid. Contestants may compete in both categories.

Kumoricon Idol

Contestants are judged on vocal ability.

There can only be one person on stage. Entries with more than one person on stage must compete in the Karaoke Cosplay Hybrid.

All Idol entrants must have a karaoke version of their song so that we can truly hear your voice. There will be absolutely no exceptions.

Karaoke Cosplay Hybrid

Contestants showcase the perfect mix of cosplay, singing, and choreography.

Both solo acts and groups will be allowed to enter, but all members of the group must sing, either as lead or as a backup. Backup dancers are not allowed. If the number of group members exceeds the number of microphones, you will have to share (3 mics will be provided).

All members of the group must perform in both rounds to be eligible for a prize.

Once you have checked in, you may not switch group members. Adding, subtracting, or substituting group members in between rounds of the contest are prohibited.

Contestants may only compete for one group.

Song selection

Songs must be from the following categories: anime, video game, J-rock/J-pop, K-pop, C-pop, or parodies (parodies are only allowed for Karaoke Cosplay Hybrid).

English or other non-Japanese songs from the dubbed version of an anime series or video game are acceptable. (For example: the German theme to Sailor Moon, or songs from Robotech.)

We do not allow English songs that were not originally created for an anime series, or straight covers of such songs (for example, Fly Me to the Moon, or a "popular" song used as an anime series theme song, or AmaLee covers). English songs which are not significantly changed or adapted from the original version are not allowed. If you are in doubt as to whether a song is acceptable for the contest, please ask Karaoke Staff before entering and we will make a ruling.

Be prepared to sing at least two different songs. If two people make it to the final round with the same song, one or both will be asked to sing an alternate for the final round. You may sing your first choice for the audition round. Preparing a third song is recommended but not required.

You may sing the same song for both the audition and the final round. Contestants competing in both Kumoricon Idol and Karaoke Cosplay Hybrid must have a different song for each contest. At auditions, you will be required to sing a piece from both styles so that you can be judged for each category separately.

Songs are limited to the following lengths:

  • Audition round:
    • Idol – 2.5 minutes (TV version, or 1 verse and 1 chorus)
    • Hybrid – 4 minutes
  • Final round: 6 minutes

Songs longer than these limits will be faded out when the limit is reached. If the contestant wishes a song to be faded out early, they must indicate so to the Karaoke Staff either by placing the microphone back on the stand and bowing to the audience, or giving the "engine shutdown" (hand across the throat) signal.

Song formats

Contestants must provide their own music. You can either upload your song when you enter online or bring it in either audio CD format or as an MP3 on a USB flash drive. No phones, portable music players, MDs, or cassettes are allowed. Audio tracks with vocals are allowed for the Hybrid competition, but karaoke versions are strongly recommended. You will lose points in Vocal Performance if the judges cannot hear your voice.

We will make a reasonable effort to return your CD or USB to you, but we are not responsible for lost or forgotten CDs/USBs. It is the responsibility of the contestant to claim their CD/USB after the contest! Unclaimed CDs and USBs will be available in the Karaoke Lounge until the end of the convention.

Contestants must provide their own song lyrics if needed for auditions. Song lyrics must be the original lyrics from the original version of the song.

Lyrics must be memorized for the final round.

Contestants may not sing a cappella style—you must have a backing track.

Songs must be in their original format and may not be edited, remixed, or otherwise altered by the contestant or other party in any way.


Contestants will be assigned a numerical score by each judge based on vocal performance and showmanship. In addition, "Bonus Points" can be earned. Bonus Points can be earned for anything which, in the judge's determination, is exemplary. The scores from each judge are added together to come up with a total score for the contestant.

All decisions made by the judges are final.


There will be awards given for the following:

Kumoricon Idol:

  • First Place
  • Second Place
  • Third Place

Karaoke Cosplay Hybrid:

  • First Place
  • Second Place

All winners will receive plaques.


As a convention for anime fans of all ages, Kumoricon has certain standards of behavior which all convention attendees should abide by at all times. For more information, please refer to the convention code of conduct.

The following rules are in addition to the Kumoricon code of conduct that applies to all attendees:

  • All aspects of the act, including, but not limited to: costume, conduct on stage, and song lyrics, are to abide by no more than a PG standard. If you're in doubt, please email or post and tell us what you have in mind, and we'll work something out.
  • If any violations of this policy occur, Karaoke Staff reserve the right to disqualify offenders from the contest or terminate the act mid-song. In extreme cases, offenders may also be subject to convention penalties including loss of badge and removal from the convention.
  • During the contest, no interaction with the Emcee is allowed. Contestants may not touch or approach the judges' table. Contestants may not go into the audience or use an audience member in their act. Actions that encourage general audience participation as a whole, such as asking the crowd to clap, are allowed.
  • The only persons allowed in the performing area are the Emcee, Kumoricon staff, judges, and contestants. Friends, relatives, fans, mascots, managers, agents, and any other persons not actually performing in the contest are not allowed on stage.

Entry form

Entries for the Kumoricon 2024 Karaoke Contest will be opening closer to the convention. Watch this space!