Bongo’s Bingo

When I used to think of bingo, what sprung to mind was something quite civilised that older generations might enjoy, an image which has been completely flipped upside down by Bongo’s Bingo. Now, whenever anyone mentions bingo I can’t help but think of double ended dildos, rowdy dancing on benches to cheesy songs, and men dressed in short dresses.

It seems that the success of Bongo’s Bingo has sparked a national movement as events have started to pop up all over the country, both from Bongo’s Bingo and other similar events. The night started off in Liverpool and launched in Leeds in December 2015. Now, tickets sell out weeks in advance and sometimes even within minutes!

I don’t know whether it is due to the fact that the night starts so early and therefore drinks beforehand are rushed, or down to the exciting atmosphere, but I think most will agree “Bingo Drunk” is on another level, which means that quite often the best way to remember the night before is the inevitably long snapchat story that seemed a great idea to make at the time.

The music includes guilty pleasures such as tracks from The Fratelli’s, Natasha Beddingfield, Stormzy, Coldplay and even Busted – songs which everyone secretly knows all the words to and can’t help but get on the benches and dance. This dancing carries its risks and I have friends who have come out with black eyes, split lips and questionably coloured bruises from the benches collapsing.

Not getting distracted by everything that is going on and sticking with the game takes skill and perseverance – one second you’re dancing on benches, the next you have to avidly listen out for numbers. Constantly switching between the two is made even harder by the fact that the books get sticky with alcohol and pens run out. This means that most people struggle to make it past the first few rounds (usually having too much of a fun time to even notice the game is going on) so the longer you last, the better chance you have of winning the top prize. However, be warned that if you call Bingo at the same time as someone else for the cash, you could end up dancing or singing on stage.

Cash is given out for a full house, but before that there are prizes for one and two lines in a house which can pretty much be anything. Prizes are ridiculous, wacky and hilarious and include items like a fake horse’s head, alcohol, dildos, cereal and even a life sized cut out of Ainsley Harriott.

Bongo’s Bingo have given bingo, something that was perhaps a bit outdated for our generation, a completely new lease of life and, by pairing it with lots of alcohol and some banging songs, they have completely revolutionised night time entertainment.

Polly Hatcher


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