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7 things you need to know before going to Bongo’s Bingo
Written by
Emma Joyce

It’s a miracle! After the first ever Bongo’s Bingo at Paddington Town Hall, someone’s agreed to have them back again in August. The bingo night that combines the fun of Legs Eleven and Two Fat Ladies with intermittent dancing on tables and pub quiz-style challenges was a raucous affair in June and now the organisers have announced their return – this time to a ‘secret location’ within five kilometres of the CBD.

Tickets will be available from Friday August 4 at 4pm. And set an alarm, as tix sold out within five minutes last time. Unsure whether Bongo’s Bingo is for you? Read our handy guide to the super loose, absolutely bonkers bingo night based on its debut in June.

Don’t expect a quiet game of bingo
Less than five minutes in, everyone’s dancing on tables. It’s encouraged by host Jonny Bongo (but also discouraged by the RSA marshals and venue management) so at the first Sydney event it was like rave version of whack-a-mole – once you coaxed one partygoer off the tables, another popped up in their place. They take their raving as seriously as the dabbing – dabbing bingo cards that is. Expect to hear a nostalgic mixtape of Technotronic’s ‘Pump up the Jam’ followed by Craig David’s ‘7 Days’. By 9pm we’ve seen two women flash their boobs. It’s just that kind of night.

People dancing on tables at Bongo's Bingo
Everybody get up, sing it!
Photograph: Supplied

At least 80 per cent of the crowd are British
Does that put you off? You may want to reconsider booking tickets, unless of course you’d like to learn some ‘culture’ before your next trip to London. Par exemple, watching a room full of people drop to their knees for a Westlife ballad or kick up their heels for ‘Cotton-Eyed Joe’. There’s some questionable stereotyping of the Irish, German, French… Let’s just say the banter is true to Bongo Bingo’s home nation. On opening night, Jonny Bingo’s first question was “Anyone here a Scouser?” ‘Australian’ came fourth or fifth on the list.

Dress like you’re on Love Island
It helps to wear as much glitter as possible. Or as much hair spray as possible. Or fake tan. All of these tools will help you blend in with the fun-loving crowd, and they’ll also make you more loveable if you do get invited on stage to, say, perform in a dance-off for cash-money. Don’t know Love Island? Geordie Shore is also prerequisite viewing. As with every Bongo’s Bingo, there’ll be cross-dressing ‘absinthe fairies’ on stage, called ‘Slutty Susie’, if that helps paint a lurid green picture. They do a mean ‘Galway Girl’ whenever the number ‘33’ is called.

Two men wearing green dresses holding a dildo
Meet Slutty Susie and Slutty Sue
Photograph: Supplied

Expect shit tinnies and bland hot dogs
Imagine the banquet hall of a Harry Potter movie. Now imagine it’s littered with red plastic cups like a giant game of beer pong, and the floor is decorated with parmesan hot chips. That’s what Paddo Town Hall looked like during Bongo’s Bingo and the better prepared you are for that the more fun you’ll have. We also recommend wearing white to really show off the red wine spillage, which is once in every second Take That song.

They’re not messing around with prizes
Fifteen litres of booze were given away at the Paddington night. Each game had a beverage attached to it: tequila, gin, goon, absinthe, and Jägermeister. On the first line you win just the bottle, on the send it’s the bottle plus a toy (we’ll elaborate), for a full house it’s three bottles of that round’s liquor. The ‘toys’ were the best prizes though – you could win a space hopper, a Henry Hoover (see point #2), a piñata, a cardboard Justin Bieber, a box of Coco Pops, a six-foot tall teddy bear, a stuffed pigeon, a rocking horse, a jumping castle and a double-ended dildo. Plus, crisp dollar bills – from 100 bucks to 1,000 smackeroos.

Man showering crowd with coco pops
Milky milky cocoa puffs
Photograph: Supplied

Undercover police officers also joined the party
It’s no surprise that the next event’s location is secret. We witnessed partygoers getting searched by plain-clothed officers and subsequently asked to leave. Paddo Town Hall was also a mess after the first event – even though it was all over by 10pm. Plus, there were some frustrated winners who were told they couldn’t drink their winnings immediately – instead they got to take their bottles of tequila home. Maybe this time it won’t be so wild… But we suggest partying within the law on this occasion.

You’ll hear Darude’s ‘Sandstorm’ at least once
This might be the only bingo night with a dedicated 15-minute ‘rave break’. To truly make the most of Bongo’s Bingo, warm up with Alice DeeJay’s ‘Better Off Alone’ and fill your pockets with glow sticks. They’ll bring the shower of Coco Pops, streamers and b2b bangers.

Ready to bingo? Bongo’s Bingo will return to Sydney on August 25 & 26. Secret location. $55. 6pm.

Find many more things to do in August

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