Games of bingo normally conjure up images of trips to local town Mecca and people sitting down in an orderly fashion to play a nice quiet game of eyes down for a full house. At Bongo's Bingo the entire concept is flipped upside down, combining the classic game with a rave for the millennial party-hungry generation.
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This fun-loving event supplies crazy prizes, a mad blend of tunes and the odd singalong. Add to that, men dancing in milkmaids outfits and encouraged table dancing and the result is an unbeatably enjoyable atmosphere.
The bingo night that combines the fun of Legs Eleven and Two Fat Ladies with intermittent dancing on tables and pub quiz-style challenges was a raucous affair in June and now the organisers have. Jonny Bongo says: “Demand for this is already huge as tickets go on sale today. We are absolutely thrilled to be announcing this crazy weekend in one of my all-time favourite cities. It’s the perfect weekend to amp everything up. So not just Bongo’s Bingo but boat parties and live shows from very special guests who we love and loads more. BongosBingo streams live on Twitch! Check out their videos, sign up to chat, and join their community.
Bringing another exciting element to the show for this summer, UK garage legends So Solid Crew play as residents.
Starting in Liverpool in 2015 by Jonny ‘Bongo' Lacey and Joshua Burke, Bongo's Bingo has since then branched out to Amsterdam, Australia, Dubai, and many clubs across the UK. Now taking over Eden in San Antonio for the 2018 season, it runs every Tuesday night until 25 September.
This mad mix brought masses of Ibiza holidaymakers, stag and hen do parties to Eden last Tuesday night.
Bingo Bango Bongo
The Spotlight clubbing team - consisting of Holly, Kane, Paul, Steve and me - also went along to witness this new clubbing craze in action. We could not have been more surprised. Here's what we thought of it.
Bongo's Bingo is brilliant unashamed fun
Stephen Hunt, staff writer
To say I viewed Bongo's Bingo with thinly-coated ire would be an understatement. Still, this self-confessed curmudgeonly old git attended in any case. Here comes the 180-degree confession: Bongo's Bingo is brilliant, unashamed fun.
Loads of ticker tape, ropey drag acts and prizes, which include bottles of spirit, 18-inch bedroom apparatuses and even cash prizes. What's not to like? Made up that I got to dance to Stayin' Alive and Dancing Queen in an Ibiza super-club in 2018.
Any event with the cojones to set off CO2 canons to Gloria Gaynor gets my seal of approval. I arrived a reluctant sceptic and left with a membership card and a branded dabber. Gutted I didn't walk away with the sex toy, though. There's always next time - and there will be a next time!
Bongo's Bingo is all about randomness
Kane Allen, clubbing intern
Coco Pops, Philip Schofield and a double-ended dildo are all the signs of great Ibiza party. Throw in the chance to win money and cheap booze and you've got yourself the perfect night in San Antonio.
I thought I had an idea of what Bongo's Bingo was about. I was wrong. It was so much better. The Christmas Day countdown after the number 33 was called to the tune of Fairytale Of New York left me with laughter-induced stomach pains.
If this all a bit confusing, then perfect. Bongo's Bingo is all about randomness, fun and trying to concentrate on the numbers, which is actually easier said than done.
Henry the Hoover
Michael Tomlinson, photographer
There aren't many times I'm absolutely flabbergasted by what I experience in Ibiza clubs, but Bongo's Bingo definitely was one of them. It's one of those of parties that you can't help but just smile and laugh at the madness that's happening around you.
From people dancing on tables to top banter from the MC bingo caller, there's so much joy to be had at this crazy event.
As for the music, it's a real melting pot of dance music and school disco tunes. A banging combination, the soundtrack provides enough nostalgia to get your on your feet dancing every single time.
Then Blow Ya Mind (Club Caviar remix) was dropped. This hard house corker elevated the excitement in the room tenfold.
Most bizarre and funny part of the night? When the Henry the Hoover prize was presented, offered up like a scene out of the Lion King to dramatic orchestral music.
So Solid Crew joined the bongo sensation
Holly Woulfe, clubbing intern
What a wacky collection of tunes - it was near enough impossible to keep your arms by your side with tunes like the Macarena and hits from S Club 7 blasting out the booming sound-system of Eden.
Bongos Bingo Finish Time Manchester
This is the perfect event for stag/hen parties to jump around on the tables and go wild as it rains confetti throughout the evening. It's just fun, fun and more fun. The excitement of the game and heavy encouragement from the hosts saw a few broken tables and stools – more signs of a smashing party!
Bongos Bingo Finish Time Results
So Solid Crew joined the bongo sensation performing everyone's guilty pleasure and sing-a-long chart-smasher 21 seconds. By this point, the venue truly went bonkers with drag acts and dildos escalating the randomness and having the crowd in stitches.
A nice little break away from heavy club nights with the chance to win a mixture of bizarre prizes from henry hoovers to a few cheeky glasses of pink gin and lemonade, a personal favourite of mine which I, unfortunately, missed out on by one number – gutted! I will most definitely be back next week to try my luck again and party with Ibiza's most weird and wonderful.
Chaos, carnage and commotion
Paul Heilbron, clubbing intern
Bongos Bingo Finish Time Liverpool
The end of the pandemonium looms, the final prize of the final game is finally upon us. Chaos, carnage and commotion have been the delightful dishes served to us by the shedload.
We have a CALL! 500 euros to the lucky lady in the back.. hold on to your inflatable ducks we have another twist to proceedings. We have a simultaneous CALL.. that can mean only one thing, DANCE-OFF!
Time to bust out your best, knee popping, hip twisting, dad dancing jigs guys - there's 500 big ones to be won! Contestant one confidently steps up as if she were an extra in Step Up. The crowd was rocking her moves are grooving. Contestant two has a lot to live up to here. DJ spin that..
The beats are rocking, the moves are.. lacking! Contestant two definitely did not have moves like Jagger.
A holiday trip would not be complete without a raving game at Bongo's Bingo. Time to grab your dabbers. First it's eyes down and then it's arms up at this wildly enjoyable event. You'd be mad to miss it.
If you’re reading this, you probably have a love for all things bingo. You might even be a bingo veteran who has had their fair share of wins and losses over the years. But have you ever played a game of bingo after a rave interval? Have you ever had to take part in a dance-off to win a cash prize? If the answer to either question is no, you clearly haven’t heard of Bongo’s Bingo. Read on to find out if this crazy event is your cup of tea…
Image source: Independent Leeds
One of the main disadvantages to bingo is that many people nowadays think it’s a game for pensioners—confined to old and outdated bingo halls. It’s certainly one of the attributing factors to the decline of bingo halls over the years. In light of that, a mad genius by the name of Jonny Bongo decided to change the game of bingo forever. Bongo is more than used to hosting nights of madness; after all, he holds a record for organizing the biggest pub quiz night ever held. You can find out exactly how Bongo’s Bingo works below. So if you’re a bit bingo-obsessed, or you’re looking for something new, keep reading!
What Is Bongo's Bingo?
Bongo’s Bingo gives your favourite traditional game a special twist. A typical night at Bongo’s Bingo consists of several rounds of bingo interspersed with rave intervals, dance-offs and catwalks down tables. It’s essentially bingo played over pitchers of cocktails and beer, with frantic dancing to 90’s pop music and celebrity entertainment. Past celebrity appearances have included David Hasselhoff, Five, S Club and the Vengaboys. The evenings are of course, hosted by Jonny Bongo. But he’s not alone—he’s helped by his trusty sidekicks Sweaty Betty and Peggy.
One moment you’ll be playing bingo without a sound in the room, and the next you’ll be dancing on the tables to whatever fast-paced number Jonny Bongo plays. The middle of the event usually consists of a 15 minute rave involving the night’s celebrity entertainment. The lights will go out, there will be glowsticks aplenty, and you’ll probably be covered in confetti by the end of it. You might think you’re great at multi-tasking (it’s one of the great health benefits of bingo after all), but have you ever gone from dancing on a table to trying to find a called number on your bingo card?
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What Prizes Are There?
Bongo’s Bingo usually starts things off slow with rubbish prizes consisting of boxes of Coco Pops, stuffed animals and a Henry Hoover. Funnily enough, however, these rubbish prizes are house favourites—there’s always a fluffy pink unicorn up for grabs which gets people more serious than a cash prize! Not to mention, the lucky winner of the box of Coco Pops always has to make a big decision—they can keep the box, or they can ‘make it rain’ all over the crowds of people near the stage. Needless to say, it’s clear which option people usually go for! Don’t worry, there’s much more on offer in the way of prizes. Bongo’s Bingo has had incredible prizes in the past, including a sailboat, a Porsche and a holiday to the Caribbean!
If you think that’s as thrilling as it gets, you’re way off! If you end up calling ‘Bingo!’ at the same time as someone else, you’ll be pulled into a dance-off where the best dancer takes home the prize. Before you tell us that nothing would ever tempt you to get up on stage to dance, you should probably know that past events have seen people showing off their moves for a whopping £1,000 cash prize! And it’s not even about how well you dance—you have to be a crowd pleaser, or you can kiss that money goodbye. You’re probably best off leaving your dignity and anxiety at the door, especially if it might cost you the big bucks!
Image source: Camp and Furnace
How Much Does It Cost?
Tickets typically cost anywhere from £2 to £6, depending on how big the event is. The prizes come out of the entry fee, so if you’re going to one of Bongo’s special events, the entry fee might be slightly higher. Of course, this doesn’t include the cost of refreshments which are practically an essential aspect of the night—you won’t find many tables without a pitcher or two. Before you start dreaming about chugging down pitcher after pitcher, you should bear in mind that the best prizes come later in the evening. Plus, you’ll want to concentrate on the numbers!
Think making a false call is tough in a bingo hall? You’ve never been to Bongo’s Bingo! If you make a false call there, you’ll be faced with jeers and a few obscenities from hundreds of people (depending on the venue).
So Why Should I Go?
When you play bingo, it can be pretty disappointing when you don’t win anything—we all know what the stages of losing at bingo can be like after all! Plus, it can be irritating when you want to chat with your friends—one of the reasons online bingo is so popular is because you can play and chat at the same time. Bongo’s Bingo has the solution to these problems—while clubbing all night can be tiring and regular bingo might seem boring, Bongo’s Bingo is full of bingo and non-stop madness. With a variety of great (and rubbish) prizes, not to mention raves and dance-offs, you’ve got an exciting night ahead of you!
This crazy event started out in Liverpool, but has since been selling out in cities including Manchester, Cardiff and Leeds. If you live further south and still want to get in on the action, you could also try out Bingo Academy. They put on similar events with an emphasis on teaching you the bingo basics while you party the night away!
By this point, it’s easy to see why Bongo’s Bingo always receives a Full House whenever it’s in town. So, if you’re up for a hectic, fast-paced night of bingo with a party atmosphere, you should see if it’s in your town anytime soon. Beware: 100% involvement is not optional!
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