If there was ever a way to dispel the myth that bingo is just a game for grannies then Bongo's Bingo is surely it!
The hippest incarnation of the popular game has been a huge hit in Liverpool for the last eight years. Camp and Furnace is a converted warehouse which is a unique combination of restaurant, bar, music venue and event space.
Every Thursday night it becomes a new kind of bingo hall where revellers play the game and enjoy the madness. The bingo nights are hosted by Belfast native Jonny "Bongo" Lacey, a popular club DJ and radio presenter whose quiz nights are now legendary. Indeed, Jonny Bongo organised the biggest pub quiz night ever held.
Bongo's Bingo does feature the traditional bingo elements of number cards and dabbers but there is a bit more to it than that. Games are punctuated by rave intervals, catwalks on the tables and general madness. There are completely terrible prizes, a few decent ones and a great deal of drinking throughout the night. Jonny Bongo has mastered the art of bingo calling with a twist and is assisted by his sidekicks Sweaty Betty and Peggy! The events sell out every week, with many people being turned away at the door.
Now Bongo's Bingo could be coming to a venue near you. News of the madness in Liverpool has spread and clubs further afield are keen to host this unique form of entertainment. The Albert Hall in Manchester has already welcomed Bongo's Bingo and the event is going down a storm. It is now a permanent fixture on Tuesday nights. Canal Mills in Leeds have also booked Jonny, so who knows where he might end up next? Wherever that is, if you fancy giving Bongo's Bingo a try, get in early as you are unlikely to be the only one heading for the fun.
It was only a matter of time before someone took bingo to the next level. While online bingo has sparked a huge surge in the popularity of the game, it is still a great way to socialise too and Jonny Bongo has certainly found a winning bingo formula.