We were introduced to Swap Meet and Beta Level (the lovely folks who put it on) shortly after moving to Los Angeles. Swap Meet is a night of free karaoke in a basement in Chinatown with haphazardly placed Ikea furniture. The directions are sketchy, the bathroom door is a tarp, and we absolutely can’t get enough of it!
Swap Meet is one of our favorite Saturday night activities in Los Angeles. What sets this place apart (other than free admission) is that it’s significantly more interactive than your standard sitting-and-watching-someone-sing karaoke. It is not uncommon to be singing a song and suddenly find that someone you’ve never met has joined you onstage to be your backup. Doors open at 10pm – but don’t get there that early unless you plan on sitting around alone for an hour or two until people show up, we did that our first time.
If you plan on going, make sure to write down these hilarious but surprisingly accurate directions to Betalevel:
Address: 963 N. Hill Street (Chinatown) Los Angeles
1. Find yourself in front of “Full House Restaurant”
2. Locate the alley on the left hand side of Full House.
3. Walk about 20 feet down the alley (away from the street).
5. Notice dumpster on your right hand side.
6. Take a right and continue down the alley.
7. Exercise caution so as not to trip on the wobbly cement blocks underfoot.
8. The entrance to Betalevel is located 10 yards down on the left side, behind a red door, down a black staircase.
Since the place is also home to theater shows, galleries, etc., free karaoke only happens on the last Saturday of each month. We are planning on heading over there tonight, and you should too!
As always, if you have any questions or want to know more about how to get there, what to bring, what to expect, etc…feel free to email us at LADecostified@gmail.com.
And to give you a better idea of what Swap Meet is all about…