This time last week I had no idea what I was letting myself in for. I’d heard lots about Bongo’s Bingo, but I’d never been before. I’ve been curious about Bongos Bingo at The Boiler Shop since it launched, but just never got around to getting a group of friends together and actually buying tickets.
So what can you expect at Bongo’s Bingo? Dancing on the table? Yes. Nostalgic music that will make you feel like a teenager again? Yes. Bingo? Yes. But not as you may know it.
I don’t know about you, but if someone said to me “Do you fancy playing bingo?”, instantly I’d think of older ladies and gentlemen playing in their local pub on a Sunday night. Trust me, Bongo’s Bingo could not be further from that image.
When you arrive, you have to line up outside, and the queue gets long, so make sure you arrive early. The earlier you get there the better, as you need to grab yourself a table. 8 people fit on one table, and you have to share with others if yours is a smaller group. As I had a reserved table it was right at the front, which was great!
Once you’re in I’d suggest one person going to the bar while the others grab a table. The bar wasn’t very busy when we first got there, which I was surprised about. Actually, when I think about it, the bar never really got super busy. As for drink prices, I’d heard some people saying there were expensive and some saying they were cheap. My opinion? They were average. The was two cocktails for £10, but they came in those small plastic cups. I think cans of cider etc were £4 each. Not extortionate, but not the most purse-friendly, either.
Now for the good stuff – what actually happens at Bongos Bingo? So after you’ve arrived, got yourself a drink and table, the fun starts. The host – Micky Pickles – arrives on stage to play lots of cheesy music, along with two men dressed up in female costumes dancing to the music. As soon as the music starts the seasoned Bongo’s Bingo-goers were straight up on their seats, and so we joined them. Within minutes my friends and I were saying we couldn’t believe how good it was and that we definitely wanted to return again.
If you’ve never played bingo before then don’t worry as the rules are explained to you. Although, as I mentioned before, this is nothing like your average game of bingo. First of all, the prizes are pretty random. For the first line prizes ranged from a cut out of Phillip Schofield, a giant cuddly unicorn and a keyboard. The two lines you can win a bottle of alcohol, and then for a full house, you can win cash – with the biggest cash prize being £1,200! You know I was hoping for that money!
Throughout the games, when certain numbers are called songs are played and everyone is up on their seats again. I must warn you, I felt like I’d been to the gym the next morning with all the jumping up on the seats and climbing down again to get on with the game of bingo. It was totally worth it though.
The part of the night I was looking forward to the most was seeing 5ive. I (not so) secretly love 90’s bands – I saw the Vengaboys and Steps at the beginning of the summer holidays. The band came on at the very end of the night, and I was so happy we had a table right at the front as we had a great view. With the number of times I nearly fell off the seat from dancing a bit too vigorously, I’m surprised I didn’t end up on the floor!
If you’ve never been to Bongo’s Bingo GET YOURSELF SOME TICKETS. I genuinely can’t understand how anyone wouldn’t have a good time. The atmosphere is great and everyone was so friendly, I really want to go back soon.
Tickets went on sale last week, and most nights have already sold out, which shows just how popular these nights are. There seem to be tickets left for January 31st and February 14th – perhaps an alternative to Valentine’s night with the girls? Grab your tickets here, and keep an eye out on their Facebook page as I’m sure tickets for March/April will be released in a few weeks!