Overview of Bongo's Bingo
Bongo’s Bingo offers a unique and immersive bingo experience that combines the thrill of the game with raves, audience participation, dancing and wild partying.
Bongo’s Bingo was founded in 2015 when Jonny Lacey, otherwise known as Jonny Bongo, and his friend Joshua Burke decided to take on a new challenge: to breathe life into traditional bingo and transform the UK’s nightlife. Since that first event in Liverpool in 2015, Bongo’s Bingo has brought the perfect mixture of playing and partying to every corner of the globe, with bingo events taking place in nearly 50 locations, including everywhere from Dubai to Ibiza, and from Amsterdam to Australia.
Rather than attending your local bingo club and joining a game, if you want to get in on the action with Bongo’s Bingo, you simply find an event that’s taking place at a venue near you and purchase your tickets.
As you might have guessed, Bongo’s Bingo isn’t for the faint of heart. While its events certainly aren’t the place to go if you’re after a quiet and relaxed night with friends, they’ll be right up your street if party vibes, plenty of energy and bags of fun are your scene. No matter your age (as long as you’re over 18, of course), you’ll enjoy Bongo’s Bingo social events, and you’ll also be in with a shot of winning a range of bonkers prizes, from karaoke machines and huge pink unicorns to mobility scooters and Henry Hoovers. What’s not to love?
What to expect at Bongo’s Bingo
Preparing for a night at Bongo’s Bingo is best approached as though you were going to a rave, because in many ways that is very much the case! Comfortable clothes that make you want to party are the order of the day, as you’ll be up and dancing from pretty much the moment you arrive.
Being punctual is recommended if you want your pick of the benches at Bongo’s Bingo, where you will be greeted and given a wristband, bingo ticket, raffle ticket and a felt tip pen when you get there.
The seating at Bongo’s Bingo is in the form of long benches, so get ready to meet some new friends as the event kicks off with some big tunes under the disco lights. Then, when you hear the unmistakeable call of “Let’s play bingo!” it is time for the games to begin.
Bongo’s Bingo games
After a quick demonstration for newcomers, the game takes off at a quick pace under the guidance of enigmatic hosts like Jonny Bongo, Micky Pickles, Jimmy Sweets and Matty Powers.
The format is a familiar one: players play for one line first, then two lines, and then finally a full house. However, some of the additional rules and rituals of Bongo’s Bingo are far from ordinary!
If you call bingo in error you will be pointed out and treated to no small amount of ridicule from the riotous Bongo’s Bingo crowd, and if two people shout bingo at the same time, the game will be decided by a dance-off!
There is a prize draw after each game in which the raffle ticket you were given on your way in gives you the chance to win some cold hard cash.
Also, be warned that games tend to last around 90 minutes at Bongo’s Bingo, mainly because of the large number of classic pop, rock, dance and disco tunes that get blasted out along with nearly every other call!
Bongo’s Bingo prizes
Bongo’s Bingo is definitely more about the good times, the atmosphere and the dancing than it is about the prizes, but you may find yourself winning some weird and wonderful things along the way!
Past prizes have included Henry Hoovers, life-size celebrity cardboard cut-outs, boxes of cereal, and space hoppers! There is a cash prize on offer too in the prize draw, along with drinks, inflatables, and some rather ruder prizes that we won’t mention here.
Food and drink at Bongo’s Bingo
Food is not really a central part of the plan at Bongo’s Bingo, which takes place at venues all around the UK and abroad with fully stocked bars ready to fuel your night of fun. Opportunities to grab more drinks are provided throughout your Bongo’s Bingo experience, but don’t be surprised if you end up with confetti in your cocktail!
Some venues do serve food at Bongo’s Bingo events, tending more towards fast food options like hot dogs and burgers rather than full meals.
Venues and tickets
By checking bongosbingo.co.uk you can find out where the wildest show in bingo is headed to next, with events regularly being staged in halls, theatres and clubs in the United Kingdom’s major cities.
Manchester’s Albert Hall, The Grand at London’s Clapham Junction, and Blackpool Tower are among the famous venues to have played host to Bongo’s Bingo, which often takes place in historic, spectacular settings.
Bongo’s Bingo events tend to open their doors at around 6pm, with bingo games starting around 7:30pm once everyone has had chance to have a drink and get settled in.
Tickets are released in phases, and you can pick yours up for as little as £5 if you are among the early birds, or up to £15 if you leave it a bit later.
Bongo’s Bingo Q & A with Jonny Bongo
- What is the Bongo’s Bingo experience?
We find that Bongo’s Bingo unites players for nights of magic and mayhem in a wild immersive experience. As the UK’s original bingo rave phenomenon, we’ve rejuvenated the quintessentially quaint British pastime of bingo with nostalgia-induced revelry, rave rounds, dance-offs, audience participation, en-masse Karaoke, crazy prizes, mad moments and much more in a dose of pure and unadulterated escapism.
Since launching in April 2015, Bongo’s Bingo is now the most talked about night out in the country with millions of tickets sold.
- Why is your event/show different from other live Bingo events?
For us it’s all about the experience for every player at every show we have across the UK and beyond. We immerse everyone for a few hours in pure escapism and invest heavily into making Bongo’s Bingo the ultimate bingo night out – the production, the prizes, the hosts, the dancers, the special guests and more all create a truly unique experience which is a world away from any other bingo events.
We pack in as much detail as we can. It’s mad how things like a Henry Hoover has become I think the most popular prize to win but equally, the joy from winning Coco Pops or a space hopper is unbridled. But it’s more than just winning – it’s literally being there and sharing the experience with your friends, family and everyone in the room.
We’re proudly at the fore of the UK’s experience economy and competitive socialising – a lot of people are looking for immersive nights out over passive ones.
- Where did the idea for Bongo’s Bingo come from?
Myself and Joshua Burke – we are Bongo’s Bingo’s founders – came up with the idea based around a raucous pub quiz I had been hosting for years in Liverpool. Combining this with Josh and his years of promotion across the city, we wanted to create a completely different night out. So, some of the energy and chaos from the pub quiz evolved into the DNA of Bongo’s Bingo. It’s been a completely crazy journey ever since that show in April 2015 to where we are today.
- When did you begin running shows/events?
Our first show was in April 2015 in Liverpool. We now host shows in over 40 locations around the UK and globally and are proudly the original and defining bingo rave night out. Last year we also took our XL concept across the UK, with crowds of over 3500 people per show in Liverpool which was mind-blowing to see.
- How do you see live bingo continuing to evolve in the next decade?
Bingo has been around for centuries so we’re certain live bingo like ours will continue in its popularity over the next decade. Bingo itself is a shared social experience just more low key and the original game is played and celebrated by us at Bongo’s Bingo. And of course, we have amped everything else up considerably.
Competitive socialising is all about playing and competing with your friends and family, but also feeling engaged and connected with the whole room and that’s what brings everyone together because Bongo’s Bingo is also a shared social experience.
Feeling immersed in our experience is key. We believe that the demand for shared immersion will deepen looking at the years ahead – ultimately people want to be together as one having fun with us, that’s why they keep coming back to us and we keep having new customers too. We want everyone to leave with a big smile on their faces – and they always do.
- Bongo’s Bingo considers Liverpool its ‘spiritual home’. Why?
Well, Bongo’s Bingo started in Liverpool and our HQ is in the city. Also CONTENT is the Bongo’s Bingo’s purpose built venue and an iconic setting for our shows on home turf – so the city is very much our spiritual home.
- Bongo’s Bingo is arguably the most successful and biggest Bingo Party brand in the UK, if not the world. Do you feel any responsibilities in being at the forefront of the bingo party movement?
Well, that’s class of you to say so! We believe this too and of course being the original bingo rave is important to us. But we don’t rest on our laurels – we’re constantly refining and innovating and adding new details, working on new partnerships, prizes and plans which all help enhance the experience for everyone.
We work hard to create something which at its heart respects traditional bingo whilst being totally new. It’s an honour more than anything to be regarded at the forefront of the bingo scene and we are immensely proud of how far we have come and of the huge ongoing support from all our customers. Ultimately, it’s all about having as much fun as possible with us.
For tickets and info: www.bongosbingo.co.uk
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Jennifer is a writer with over five years of experience in the online casino industry. She has a First Class Honours in Media and Journalism and specialises in writing online casino reviews, slot reviews and gambling news content. Public relations are also other areas of interest for Jennifer and she has worked across these industries before setting up her own content company.