(small print – I have only ever attended Bingo in the Bongo’s Bingo style, so I can not compare it to any other Bingo games yet I have a feeling, that even if I did attend another style of Bingo, I would still think the same!)
Bongo’s Bingo….have you heard about it yet? If not, the whispers will be coming your way soon, then they will become voices and then they will become screams…..”MAKE SOME NOISE”…sorry, every time I think of it, I just shout that out, not even sure if they say it at the event but I say it anyway!
How did I find out about Bongo’s Bingo?
I saw a post on “I’m Bored North East’s” https://www.facebook.com/Imborednortheast/ page. Scott who is the owner of the page, posted a video of Bongo’s Bingo, prior to that I hadn’t heard of it, bit out of the loop unless it is a Beer Festival or a live music event.
Anyway, I watched it and I wanted to be there, they were playing a 90’s Tune that I love and people were dancing on benches, it was like the Apres Ski vibe that I love. I immediately thought “I must go” so I messaged my friends to see who fancied it and a few came back with a “YES” as it is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, so not everyone was keen!
After seeing the video, I went straight online, thinking that I would be able to get some tickets, they had officially gone live a few weeks prior, what a fool I was? I now know that when tickets go on sale, they sell out in minutes, so I was being incredibly optimistic ( a tad naive) thinking that I could buy them a few weeks after they went on sale.
So we just needed a fresh batch of tickets to go on sale, so it became a waiting game, then then it happened. I saw that they were due to go on sale, so I rallied the troops, checked who wanted to go and waited til 6pm. 6pm came and it was like juggling hot plates, the system was simple but I checked the date we wanted, no tickets were available, I thought the site must have crashed as it was 0.15 seconds after 6 ( or thereabouts) so I tried another date, same, arghhh what was happening? My sister was trying as well, she managed to get 2 for a date that my friends and I couldn’t do, I tried again, nope, then a third release became available, for the date that we wanted and I actually managed to get some, I felt like little Charlie when he found that Golden ticket in the chocolate bar!
Now, I could just tell you all about the amazing night that we had, yet I think you should experience that yourself, so instead, I am going to tell you my tips for how to get tickets and my tips about the night itself.
My Tips for succeeding in buying tickets
(these methods have worked for us so far, we have had 3 successful attempts but obviously these methods can sadly not guarantee tickets)
*Ticket buying is not for the faint hearted, firstly sign up to the https://www.bongosbingo.co.uk so that you will then be notified when tickets are due to go on sale, if Newcastle is your nearest venue “like” the Newcastle Chronicle’s Facebook page as they have been putting posts on, which have been my most recent alerts, to remind me to buy tickets https://www.facebook.com/NewcastleChronicle/
*Tickets have so far, for Newcastle dates, always gone on sale at 6pm.
*My advice is to get all of your group’s money into one friend’s account, the most you can buy at once is 8. Buying individually would be difficult as one may get a ticket and one may not, so this is an easier option to bulk buy in your group.
*Pick a date that you want to go, but then have back up dates picked already, as once they go on sale you will have no time to message friends and wait for replies, so get the back up plan in place, for last night, we had the 3 dates all in order of preference.
*I would then have multiple people trying at the same time for different dates, if 3 dates are going on sale, have 3 people, one trying to buy each night e.g. tonight I was going to try for Saturday tickets on my laptop, Thursday tickets on my phone and my Sister was going to try for Friday tickets.
*The reason that I suggest the above, is that if you are the one that is successful in selecting some tickets, you can hold them in your basket for a bit, 7-10 minutes ( not exactly sure how long, as it is always a blur) and that is enough time to call the person who has the bank card with all of the money in to get their details to buy everyone’s tickets ( obviously you need to trust the people you are buying for, don’t include people you can’t trust in your group, not that you would and I am probably pointing out the obvious)
I imagine this is what it feels like trying to get Glastonbury tickets, as I know that they go super fast too.
UPDATE- 3/10/2018 – We attempted to get tickets last night for the Bongos Bingo with Five night and Bongo & the Beast, it appeared that the whole of Newcastle was also attempting to buy tickets, it took us nearly one hour to buy some. My updated advice is to chill, don’t go into panic mode, just log on to their page at 6.30pm and then start trying at around 6.45 pm, if it is going to be as manic as it was last night. I may need to ask Bongos Bingo if they will pay for some botox for me, for the added “I can’t get tickets for any dates even though I have been trying for 45 minutes” wrinkles and maybe a new finger print. I am also fearful for what may happen, the next time that I see that turquoise screen with the pink “TRY AGAIN” button!
My tips/ observations about the night.
Okay here are a few points about the night which may benefit you.
- Get there early, especially if you are in a group. What is early you may ask? At Christmas, they said that the doors opened at 6.30pm, we arrived there at 6.25pm as we knew we wanted a seat ( the 23 year old me would never have thought that the 38 year old me would be dictating her night out by making sure that she found a seat, yet playing Bingo stood up would not be easy!) We weren’t sure if everyone who attended was able to have a seat but don’t worry it looked like most did, just a few who came in late had to squeeze themselves in and just a few late comers were standing near us as they wanted to be near to their friends but there were no seats near them. At 6.25pm the queue must have been 150 deep, so get there early and wrap up warm for the queue, it was like a wind tunnel but we were there on a very cold night.
UPDATE 3/20/2018 People are getting there much earlier now, we once were first in the queue, first I tell thee, when we went at 5.50pm, yet a few weeks later we went at the same time and people had been there since 5.30pm so we had around 30 people in front of us. I could not imagine going and not being near the front and being able to see the stage action close up.
2. You will be searched before entering, the security team are very friendly and professional.
3. In my opinion don’t wear a ra ra skater dress and/ or don’t put a hole in your tights, just as you put them on but have no other tights in the house, which means that you have to wear them with a huge hole in a private area! I say not to wear either of these items and will explain why in point 8.
4. When you get in, I would suggest don’t go for drinks first, go and find a seat, especially if you are in group, as the later you get there, the less chance of sitting together.
We saw some quite heated discussions between people who had arrived late but wanted to share their friends table and it was too late as you can’t really keep seats for more than one or two, especially if large groups come in, it isn’t the School dining hall!
There are lots of long tables with benches, so go and grab a seat, I would suggest going near the front if you’d like to be part of the action and further back if you would like to play it safe for your first one. You may get Coco Pops in your drink and in your hair, if you are near the front ( yes, you read that right!).
5. Once you have your seats, send someone off to the bar, drinks aren’t cheap but they aren’t extortionate, I think a bottle of wine was £16 so that is reasonable but cans of Red Stripe were £4 each. I was on Lime & Soda, probably one of the very few people not drinking alcohol, I had had one ( seven) too many at a work night out the week previously so one was a little fragile, in all of my drinking alcohol days I have never been as drunk as I was that night ( anyway that is irrelevant to you)
6. You are given your bingo book and a red pen when you get into the venue, there are 6 games or cards, whatever the proper lingo for it is, well there were 6 the night we went. It really is Bingo, I know many people don’t think that you actually play real bingo but I can assure you, you do. On each game/ card whatcha ma call it, you play for a line, then for 2 lines and then for House.
Make sure that if you call “Bingo”
, make sure that you definitely have all of the numbers or be prepared to be mocked and by mocked, I mean you will be chanted at, by the whole crowd and not with ” You made a mistake” it will be a little harsher, take the nick name for a man called Richard and then add the word “head”, some will even do actions to you too! It is all in jest though!
7. At random moments they will play a song, related to a number that has been called or just because they want to and this is when you can get up and dance on your bench, pick your bench sharers wisely, if someone looks too drunk before the night starts I wouldn’t pick their bench to share, their balance or lack of balance later may affect you..negatively!
8. You will be ( if you choose to, it is not compulsory) up and down on your bench, like a yo yo, it is a great work out, this is why wearing a Ra Ra Skater dress like I did was not wise, trying to sit down like a lady and not flashing was an effort.
Also the downside was that when we were dancing on the bench, a lady on the bench behind me was excited and put her arms in the air and as we were quite close she lifted up my ra ra dress yet I had Ninja reflex skills to save my derrière being exposed ( and remember where the hole in my tights was??? that could have been a tad embarrassing) I am 100% not wearing a Ra Ra style dress the next time I go!
9. Shoes, you will be hopping up and down on a bench, some of you will handle it in stilletos, I actually took my shoes off ( I know, I know) so that I could hop up and down easily as I do not have grace to hop onto a bench in high heels, a few of the girls around us followed suit and took their shoes off too!
10. They have great prizes, the prizes included a life size unicorn, chocolates, a cow with wheels that an adult could ride on, this was the prize we all wanted to win, you can win money too. One of my friend’s won a bottle of tequila, you collect alcohol prizes at the end of the night.
UPDATE- 3/10/18 I still have not won anything, granted the last time I went, even if I had won, I may not have remembered as I did not remember getting a selfie with Micky Pickles but my phone has the proof that we did!! My friend Lynn, who won the tequila also won, wait for it, a mobility scooter!!
11. There were parts where you rave, rave like it is 1999 and you feel like you are back in Ikon or Planet Earth ( well those were a few of the Clubs in Newcastle, you may have had a similar type of club with sticky floors, flashing lights and proper 90’s dance TUNES)
During the rave part, they throw out glow sticks into the crowd, another reason to be near the front. They also have some dry ice, or something like that, we, being near the front, could literally just see our hands, one of our friends was on the other side of the table, we could not see her at all, for all we knew she could have fallen off and we were none the wiser!
I loved it and I would suggest that everyone tries it, it may not be for everyone but you won’t know that until you try it, what have you got to lose?
UPDATE 3/201/18 I STILL LOVE IT….SO MUCH SO THAT I AM TYPING THIS IN CAPITALS. Recently I saw a post about a 91 year old lady going to Bongos Bingo for her birthday, this is now my life goal but on the grounds that Micky Pickles is still the DJ, so please can Bongos Bingo ask him to sign a contract until 2071!
My lovely friends at work, who are now also Bongos Bingo fans ( I am a little obsessed, in a good way) bought me a ticket for the Bongos Bingo night with Cascada and presented me with what is possibly the best card that I have ever received and that I will ever receive…TA DA:
Look at it…
(Non updated info below)
I have seen a few ( just a few, like 1%) people who haven’t actually been and they have been making negative comments where they are presuming 1) the type of person who goes to these events and 2) about the night itself. They are wrong, they have never been and when I was there, I saw people of a variety of ages, having the best time.
I appreciate that being in our late 30’s, that there could be fewer our age, than say, people in their early 20’s, yet saying that, around us I would have said that there were quite a few people around our age, I could tell this, as when an Iconic 90’s tune comes on, you can just tell who was one of the people to hear if first time round in Ikon or Planet Earth!
It isn’t just 90’s tunes, Dolly Parton, Bryan Adams and many more songs made an appearance too.
My friends and I loved it so much that we are back there in February and March…we will no doubt be there many more times too. My sister is joining us too, hopefully more friends will brave it soon too.
UPDATE- 3/10/2018 – I think we have been every month except two, although we have been twice in some months. The last time we went was August Bank Holiday weekend and this is the longest without going and it feels very long, yet we have 2 night’s each month coming up so I am happy (ish) to wait another 15 days..15 days!!!
Ooh before i forget, the DJ https://twitter.com/MickLedwich11 was immense, that guys energy could provide the North with power for a few nights, I kid you not! He certainly knows how to keep a crowd energised, along with his backing dancers. I am not going to lie, some bits were a tad crude for me, being the lady that I am ( I am!) ( I would definitely not take my Mum with me!) but overall it was one of the most random and probably the best nights out that we have had for a while, I think our official title would now be “Bongo’s Bingo Groupees” !
UPDATE-3/10/2018- Still agree with all of the above, he makes the show, no offence to any other Bongos Bingo DJ’s as I can not judge as I have only ever seen Micky Pickles but I can not imagine the show without him, I know there are many who think this too.
The photo that I do not remember taking with Micky Pickles!
UPDATE- I would take my Mum now as I am immune to the crudeness, well apart from the double ended dildo prize, I NEVER WISH TO WIN THIS, in fact even if I did, I would stay quiet as there are many things in life I wish to do, yet being the equivalent of knighted with a double ended dildo is not one of them! 😉
The Creators..sorry…The genius creators!
Once I had been to Bongo’s bingo I had to know who came up with this idea, I had actually thought it was an Australian concept, I was wrong it was created by Jonny Lacey from Belfast and Josh Burke from Liverpool ( I think). Google them to find out more but I love seeing entrepreneurs turn their ideas into reality and they have certainly done it in style. Well done to them both for making Bongo’s Bingo so darn good!
Here is the link to a video from the Evening Chronicle’s Facebook Page to give you a taste of the night https://www.facebook.com/NewcastleChronicle/videos/1657658974326702/
I have remembered, as I was about to go live, if you are going to go to the Newcastle venue, at the lovely Boiler Shop, the entrance to the venue, is not the entrance that you used to use to get into the Boiler Shop Steamer ( sounds like a riddle), we found that out last time. What was the entrance is now the back of the venue and there is no way to get in that way, you get in now through South Street ( see map link below)
As I am out of the loop, I hadn’t been to the Boiler Shop since the Steamer left, so I was expecting the toilets to be outdoors in the cabins but they are not, everything is under one roof now,the cabins are gone and in fact I think they used to be where the new entrance is ( it sounds like another riddle and if you never went to the Steamer then this will be completely lost on you!)
Google map link to find the venue:
Find out more: