There was a time not too long ago when bingo was stereotypically reserved for older women and any music to do with the game was probably more like a nursery rhyme than an actual hit. We’re thinking that even “B-I-N-G-O” wouldn’t get people hyped back in those days, never mind now.
More recently, ideas surrounding bingo, and the game itself, have evolved, mostly due to the introduction of online bingo. Gone are the days of boring, sombre number callers and borderline-napping players – this is 21stcentury bingo, complete with jingles and high-quality graphics.
It’s easy to understand why online bingo has become such a success over the last decade. First and foremost, it is extremely easy to access and requires no learning curve, so anyone who is interested in playing can simply log on, find a game and get into it with absolutely no difficulty. Then, there are the incredible welcome packages, deals and prizes that each site hosts in an attempt to attract brand new players. These are so competitive that sites such as Oddschecker, known mostly for their sports betting odds and tips, have even started comparing online bingo site offerings to ensure players get the best deals.
Then there are the bingo games themselves. There isn’t just the usual 90 ball bingo – no, there’s almost every variation on the game imaginable available online with great graphics, fun sound effects and, most importantly to us, jingles playing in the background to add a little more fun to the game.
The music that now appears on almost every online bingo game is undoubtedly a great way to help players become immersed in the game and is perfect for casual players who want a cosy night of gameplay to pass the time. However, for bingo players looking for a little more music in their lives, there’s an even more modern variation of the game available and it may quite literally rock your socks.
Though it is by no means the only bingo-nightclub crossover company out there, Bongo’s Bingo is perhaps the most famous– especially in the UK. It all began in Liverpool back in 2015, when co-founder, bingo caller and DJ Jonny Bongo was hosting a pub quiz. He soon found that the madder the quiz became, the more people seemed to enjoy it and so he decided to create a similar event based on bingo.
Now, Jonny Bongo and his rag-tag crew of strangely dressed entertainers Heidi and Susie travel the world, changing nightclubs into bingo raves. Prizes range from £600 cash to cases of Lambrini, and from soft toy unicorns to cardboard cutouts of Bruce Forsyth. If you’re really lucky, you might end up going home with a Henry Hoover, or even better, a mobility scooter. The company has appeared at clubs all around the UK and are now staples in Amsterdam, Dubai, Ibiza and even Australia.
So, what happens at a typical Bongo’s Bingo night, and what sort of music can you expect? Well, first and foremost it’s important to remember that although bingo is a huge part of a Bongo’s Bingo club night, it is nothing like the bingo hall outings that your grandmother may have regularly attended in the past. Yes, there are number sheets, bingo balls and even dabbers, but we can’t imagine there were many people dancing on tables back in the days when abandoned cinema halls became bingo central.
At Bongo’s Bing,o it would be absolutely baffling if players didn’t turn their benches and tables into their very own stages to dance and celebrate on. Dancing (or, well, raving) is actively encouraged throughout to the point where you’ll probably get your very own glow stick to wave around at some point or another. That said, not every single track that is played throughout the night could be considered dance music. Quite the contrary, it is a point of pride for Bongo’s Bingo players to know every single word to even the cheesiest of songs. Perhaps this is why The Vengaboys special did so incredibly well that time.
To give you an idea of the music that is being played at a typical Bongo’s Bingo night, here are a few examples.
Number 5: Staying Alive – Bee Gees
Number 6: Like a G6 ft The Cataracs, DEV – Far East Movement
When Coco Pops Are Won/Chucked Into The Crowd: I’m In Love With The Coco – O.T Genasis
Literally For Any Reason: Reach – S Club 7
Because It Is A Club After All: Darude – Sandstorm
The music is such a huge part of an average Bongo’s Bingo night that they have often invited special musical guests to appear at shows. These include The Vengaboys, B*Witched and S Club 3, with the former act ensuring tickets sold in just two minutes.
So, with the introduction of online bingo games complete with their own soundtracks, and even real-world-based games making a comeback with more music than ever before, it seems that music is becoming an integral part of how one of the world’s most popular games is played.
What does this mean for the music industry as a whole? Well, it means that artists that represent cheesy 90s hits are likely to stay afloat for a little bit longer, but also that there’s a chance bingo could become a popular topic in new songs. For instance, we wouldn’t be surprised if rap artists such as Nicki Minaj began mentioning bingo if they ever became aware of nights like Bongo’s Bingo. For now, we’ll have to just wait and see if this new found marriage between music and bingo has any long-term effects.