Having just completed my degree, I have been feeling pretty old and grey with a hazy cloud of existential dread following me everywhere I go. To my joy, as I was busy procrastinating from job applications and thinking about the dreaded ‘future’, I received an email allowing me to live out my student days one more: an invitation to the infamous Bongo’s Bingo.
For those of you in Liverpool who have been living under a rock, Bongo’s Bingo is the ultimate bingo/rave hybrid, and it’s just as weird as it sounds. This bizarre combination of impromptu raves and the chance to win a mobility scooter amongst other prizes, including big cash prizes, has meant that the Liverpool based event night is now a worldwide success. You can buy tickets for events in Amsterdam and Ibiza, as well as across the whole of the UK.
Tickets for the average night in Liverpool are £17 at it’s original home of the Camp and Furnace. It is slightly less for the ‘student only’ events at the Liverpool Guild of Students (it’s also easier to get a hold of tickets!).
So, upon the revelation that my Liverpool days are numbered, I had an opportunity to party like a true student once again, I gathered the troops (including our Sphinx Fashion editor and deputy Arts and Culture editor) for a night to remember.
It’s an early start, we arrived for 7 o clock which, for me at least, is a good 4 hours earlier than I am used to, but it all added to the excitement. It also isn’t an event I would recommend getting glammed up for, but more of that later. The tables are lined up in rows and I would definitely advise you to get there early to get a good seat, some pretty weird things happen on the main stage and it would be a crying shame to miss them! The music comes on and everyone is on their feet. I think one of the many reasons for Bongo’s success is their ability to play an eclectic mix of current and past tunes that everyone loves, without coming across as overly cheesy or trying too hard. Every song is good, and there is something for everyone.
There is no dance floor for you to dance on however, instead you get up on your bench (NOT the table) and dance precariously on your wobbly seating at every opportunity. This is where I have promptly noted on my phone to never wear a skirt to the event again, as I was very aware that I likely flashed everyone around me every time I clambered on to my bench. We also lost a lovely bingo sheet due to one of my friends being overly eager to jump on his bench, and thus became an unfortunate observer of the game rather than participant: treat your bingo sheet with care people.
The night consisted of a lot of alcohol, dancing and weird prizes. Particular favourites included the Henry Hoover, a double ended dildo, a big fluffy Unicorn and the ultimate dream… a mobility scooter. I was ONE number away from winning this by the way (I needed the number 1 funnily enough) and was absolutely devastated to not live out the fantasy of flying down Smithdown in that bad boy. Little compares to the excitement of having your friends gathered around as you edge closer to a potential big win, with the inevitable ‘brave’ one of the group ready to go if the infamous dance off was necessary (quick tangent: a dance off is the horrifying thing that happens when two people happen to call Bingo for the same prize, the person who gets the prize has to win a hilariously awkward dance off where two drunk and rather unimpressive dancers do some kind of a slut drop/caterpillar and humiliate themselves in front of everyone for our pleasure). Alas, no granny mobile for me, just a big pint spilled all over me via another impromptu rave.
The particular event that we attended was for a reason however, and all of this drunken silliness was for a very important cause which is worth noting. Bongo’s Bingo are doing a series of charity events which raise serious money for charity. Our event was for CALM, (The Campaign Against Living Miserably) a ‘leading a movement against male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK’. This event was not only a fun night out, but also one with a good conscience. There are more charity events over the summer in Liverpool and hopefully even more in the future.
Bongo’s Bingo is an event that just has to be done when in Liverpool, it’s a weird but truly unique experience and well worth the bruises!