Tag parties are awesome fun! Combine socializing with friends while ringing incredible and paint-peeling chords is one of the best ways a barbershop junkie can enjoy an evening! Add to that great tagmeister(s), lots of singers, gourmet food & drink, and plenty of quality tags to sing, and you have yourself a tag party!
I invite you to use this time-tested/multiple tag party tested formula to host your own party. I have included many variables; use them all if you wish, none of them, or just a few, it's up to you!
Darwin's formula for a successful "Tag Party"
I have found that having my tag parties on a Saturday evening works well for a couple of reasons: (1) there is much time available for cleaning/decorating the venue before and after the party and (2) time as well for singers to travel to and from the venue.
My tag parties typically begin at 5:00 PM with singing, eating, drinking, socializing, singing, and more singing until the singing stops; as late/early as 9:00 AM the next morning!!
Guidelines for Hosting a Successful Tag Party!
The first four Items are critical for a successful Tag Party!
- Find a Saturday date that does not conflict
with other Barbershop/Sweet Adelines events in the area.
- Find a great venue/location for the Tag party.
- A big house that has a large room upstairs
and downstairs, bedrooms, kitchen, garage, etc.; seven to ten rooms
for multiple Tag singing sessions at the same time.
- A host that does not have a problem with
decorating the house, alcohol in the house, and no time limit for
the Tag party to end.
- A central location with plenty of parking although not a deal breaker.
- Get a commitment from seven to ten Tag
Masters to attend and teach Tags.
- Advertise the Tag party 3 to 6 months in
advance to all Barbershop/Sweet Adelines choruses, quartets, singers,
- Invite a quartet or two to sing a couple of
- Invite volunteers to help with the house
- Create a check list of all items needed for
the Tag party.
- Arrive on the day of the Tag party at noon to prepare the house for the Tag party.
- Hang a large "Welcome to the Tag Party!"
sign. Many large copy centers like FedEx or Kinko's can print out
large black and white signs, 24" by 10', for about $20.00.
- Decorate the house with framed Tags,
candles in every room, ribbon streamer hanging across the rooms, and
lighted strings across the room.
- Post "No Tagging Here" signs on host
- Set up the Bar area with plastic cups, felt
pens to write their name on the cups, ice, and a selection of
- Set up a table in the kitchen or dining
room with a protective plastic table cloth, paper plates, plastic
silverware, napkins, etc.
- Set out chips and dips in the two largest
- Set out lined garbage containers; one in
each large room.
- At the entrance, set up a guest sign in
book, pen, large Welcome poster and the house ground rules.
- Set out Barbershop Tag Teaching Guidelines
in every room.
- Give the host a framed Tag, a couple of Kleenex boxes, and package of Toilet paper as thank you gifts; we find that our hosts appreciate the paper gifts!
The Tag Party
- Begin teaching/singing Tags as soon as you have four voices.
- When teaching a Tag to a Quartet - use the
Barbershop Tag Teaching Guidelines to successfully teach the Tag,
sing the Tag a couple of times making improvements each time, then
invite a singer watching to sing the Tag. Then teach another Tag.
- Teach a Tag to a group of voices.
- Use the Barbershop Tag Teaching
Guidelines to successfully teach the Tag and sing through the Tag
a couple of times making improvements each time until the group
has confidently learned the Tag.
- Then invite four voices to make up a
quartet to sing the Tag with the rest of the group listening.
After the quartet sings through the Tag, make a suggestion for
improvement and have the quartet sing the Tag again.
- Next, invite another foursome to sing the
Tag and if four new voices are not available, just replace
individual parts with new voices. After the quartet sings the Tag,
make an improvement and have the quartet sing the Tag again.
- After all singers in the group have had an opportunity to sing the Tag in a quartet (that want to), teach another Tag to the whole group.
- Invite an organized quartet to sing a
couple of songs.
- Have fun, make new friends, learn new Tags, eat gourmet food, and sing another Tag and ring those chords!
- Consider making the Tag party and annual event with several mini Tag parties sprinkled in throughout the year.
Go here to download helpful tag party document examples!