Review: Bongo’s Bingo Newcastle

Lifestyle Editor Jaymelouise Hudspith shares her experience of the increasingly popular event

Jaymelouise Hudspith
5th January 2018
Image: @bongonbingoncl

It’s bingo but not as you know it, this mash up of bingo, cheesy music, dancing on tables, men dressed up in hilariously revealing costumes, and let’s not forget the weird but wonderful jackpot prizes, it really is something that cannot be missed.

Now a regular fixed event at The Boiler Shop, located just behind Central Station. If you ask anyone about Bongo’s Bingo they’ll find it hard to describe, but will all unanimously agree it is one of the best nights out in Newcastle. Last Friday I headed down to the venue with three of my friend’s ready for the promise of a night unlike any other – bongo did not disappoint.

Doors for the event open 6:30 – 7:30, I would recommend getting there as early as possible as seats are first come first served, the long rows or tables with benches either side reminded me more of the school dinner hall rather than a bingo hall. So it’s a tight squeeze, espeically when the staff come around asking you to shuffle down to make space, so be prepared to cosy up with a few strangers.

Each time prizes get bigger, better and slightly wackier than the last

Queue 7:30, the lights will dim, the music will play and two skimpily dressed men in a scarecrow and mini mouse getup, referred to by the DJ and bingo caller as dirty Daisy and dirty Darla. Immediately they had everyone up on the benches dancing away their cares, for new comes (who’ve not had nearly enough to drink) it can seem a bit daunting and chaotic but once you let go, you’ll be having the time of your life.

There are six colour coded games, each with three chances to win; one line, two lines and a full house. Each time the prize gets bigger, better and slightly wackier than the last. Prizes included a space hopper, endless alcohol and some night changing money.

You may scoff and think it’s only bingo, it’s easy but you’d be wrong. By the last game you’ve had quite a fair bit to drink and you’ll be up and down on the benches as the DJ plays hilarious related songs, my favourite was the Irish classics every time number 33 (in your best Irish accent please) was called. The real stress comes when your friend takes a trip to the toilet or the bar and you have to mark off two booklets at once without missing a number. Word of warning ladies don’t wear heels or you risk ending up falling flat on your arse.

Sadly, this did not happen on the night I went but apparently if two or more call at once then there will be a dance off on stage for the prize. Speaking of the toilet and bar, they do give you intervals, aka a mini rave but the queues were crazy long so I’d personally take the risk of missing a few numbers.

It’s no surprise really that this has quickly become a sell-out event with the latest batch of tickets selling out in 13 minutes. It is hands down one of the best nights out I’ve had, it’s the perfect mix between a bar crawl and a club night out.

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