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As a host, one of the best tools to help set the tone of the show is your Trivia playlist. In fact, you can even think of your Trivia playlist as your co-host. Not only does your song choice keep teams entertained and energized, it also helps keep the game on track. A good playlist has popular songs that fit the audience’s preferences, but a great playlist takes it a step further. Here are some of the best industry tips to help you create the ultimate Trivia playlist.

Written by

Brianna LeCompte

I still remember attending my first Trivia night back in 2013. A group of my coworkers were discussing some options for happy hour venues and when we saw that a spot down the street was hosting a Trivia Night, we decided to go for it. I was instantly hooked. When the opportunity arose to join the Last Call team, I was ecstatic. Working with a talented and creative team to spread my love of trivia across the country-what could be better! I currently manage sales and outreach in our west coast areas. Outside of work, I love to travel and am also an avid equestrian and Disney movie lover.All Posts
Podcast Episode 38 Round 2

Choose songs that meet a few basic criteria

There are several reasons a song is played while teams discuss their answers. First, it provides a level of ambient noise so teams don’t overhear each other. Second, it gives teams a rough idea of how much longer they have to turn in their answer. And third, it helps keep the game upbeat and entertaining.


With that being said, make sure that each song you pick accomplishes all of these things. Try to avoid songs that include drastic changes in volume, or that take a while to pick up, as this can cause teams to inadvertently overhear each other.


Also, it’s best to choose songs that are 3.5-4 minutes in length. If your song is too short, teams won’t have enough time to answer. But, if your song is too long, teams can lose track of time. Of course, you can offset this with 30-second warnings, and a last call for answers. However, teams tend to get wrapped up in the game, so it’s best to allow your Trivia playlist to help players keep their timing.


Lastly, since your song choice helps set the tone of the game, pick songs that are fun and upbeat. This will keep teams in good mood and give them something to jam to once they’ve turned in their answer!

Choose songs that tie-in to the question

One way to keep audiences engaged and show that you put thought into your music selection is to select songs related to the question. In fact, this can make creating your Trivia playlist one of the best parts of hosting!

For example, if the question is, “What color is peridot, the birthstone for the month of August?” you could play a song like “Material Girl” in reference to gemstones, or “True Colors” in reference to color.
This is a great way to keep the game entertaining, but make sure not to give away the answer with your song choice! Take, for example, the question above. Since the answer to this question is green, don’t play the song “Green Light,” or a song by the band Green Day. These would give away the answer, which takes the fun out of the game and makes it unfair for teams that knew the answer.
In other words, your song choice should be relevant without giving teams a freebie. This will take your Trivia playlist to the next level!
Podcast Episode 6 Round 2

Consider the preferences of the audience and venue

It is always wise to talk to the owner or manager of the venue about music preferences before you host your first show. Whether they have a specific list of preferred genres and artists, or no preferences at all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

At the end of every show, make an effort to talk to the teams and ask for feedback. This is a great opportunity to ask for any music requests for the following week. As long as the player requests are within the bounds of any restrictions given by the venue, it provides you with another way to build connections with your teams.
As a general rule, avoid songs with profanity and vulgar language. Even if this was not specified by the venue, it’s best to keep a positive and professional image for your brand as a host.
Podcast Episode 25 Round 2

Keep things interesting

The tips above will help you create the ultimate playlist for hosting Trivia for bars. So, does that mean you should stick to this playlist week after week? Of course not!

Remember that you are there to entertain the audience, and keeping things fresh is one of the key factors of entertaining. Create a new playlist every week so your teams aren’t hearing the same songs over and over.

This also gives you the chance to throw in some fun, seasonal songs. For example, play Thriller during your show the week of Halloween.

Some hosts do have a “signature song,” which they play during every show or use as a sign-off. This is a way to add a personal touch to your shows if you choose, but be sure to read the room. So, if your audience doesn’t like 80s music, don’t play “The Final Countdown,” during the last question of every show. Maybe they’re more of a “Bye, Bye, Bye” crowd.

Your Trivia playlist is an awesome tool for taking your show to the next level. In addition to keeping the game fair and timely, the songs you pick also set the tone for the players. Follow the tips above, and you’ll have teams asking to share your Spotify playlist every week!