American Idol Coming to a Backyard Near You this Summer

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Entertainment Booking Web Site Notes Surging Demand for “Idol” Themed Parties; Ryan Seacrest Look-Alikes Wanted in Connecticut

When the campus recreation department at DePaul University wanted to get more students involved in their social programs, they new exactly what to do to guarantee a packed house: throw an American Idol Party. Party planners across the country – from suburban soccer moms to professional fund raisers – have hit the Internet looking to replicate the addictive formula of the hit Fox reality show for their own birthday parties, bar mitzvahs and summer barbeques., the nationwide entertainment booking Web site said that over the last six months, they have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people booking American Idol-themed parties. CEO Michael Caldwell says the trend is consistent with a movement toward people throwing more lavish parties for a variety of occasions.

“This goes way beyond glamorized karaoke; people are really out there looking to recreate the drama of the American Idol show in everything from nine-year olds’ birthday parties to bridal showers to Hawaiian luaus,” said Caldwell. “One of our customers in Middletown, Connecticut was actually looking for a Ryan Seacrest look-alike to emcee his backyard version of the show.”

The trend seems to know no traditional boundaries for party format. Recent customer requests have come from a maid of honor looking for a hula dancing instructor to teach bachelorette party attendees how to wiggle their hips, then grade their performances with the trademark rancor of Simon Cowell; a matriarch planning a Motown-themed family reunion complete with a round of “Family Idol;” and a church group organizing a faux “Idol” event in which contestants would sing bible songs.

While American Idol-themed events have hit a fever pitch on, the site has noticed a broader trend of homegrown party planners going over-the-top for their backyard events. Consistent with the lavish parties thrown by high-flying corporate executives and the modern day debutante balls depicted on MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16,” Americans are pushing far beyond the old entertainment standbys. Elvis impersonators, fire jugglers, Circ du Soleil-style acrobats and tribute bands have all been in hot demand over the last year.

Along the way, the nine-year-old has emerged as a clearing house for entertainers. The Web site provides entertainer profiles, audio clips and video clips and also includes detailed customer reviews on featured acts. Ranking performers in five categories – overall satisfaction, professionalism, accommodation, overall talent and level of recommendation – the feedback function also features written reviews from previous customers.

For further information contact John Roderick at J. Roderick, Inc. Public Relations, 631-584-5808.


Bedford, NY-based, is the eBay of entertainment, where party planners of every type can find – and preview – the perfect talent for their landmark events. Covering every genre from string quartets to acrobats, the site offers detailed descriptions of every act, along with audio and video clips and client feedback ratings. Founded in 1997 by a pair of entrepreneurs with musical backgrounds, the company has emerged through the dot-com boom and bust as a serious player in the entertainment business. The site currently features over 2,500 entertainers for hire, specializing in corporate events, club gigs, private parties and weddings. For more information, please visit the company Web site at

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John Roderick
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