It’s been around for over a decade, but Musical Bingo (“the Original.London’s most interactive club night”) has found a new South London home – last night it was in Brixton’s Dogstar pub. You can also find events in Liverpool and Brighton, and it describes itself as “Like regular bingo where numbers are axed with glorious pop tunes!”
So, what’s it really like? I went along to the Brixton night on Thursday 12th April to find out.
First order of business was to find the place. It’s located upstairs in the Dogstar, separate from the regular part of the pub downstairs – this is probably wise, as the event gets loud very fast. You’re allocated a table, and there’s a bit of faffing about until the event starts at 8.00pm (doors are at 7.10pm) – there’s a bar in the corner, and plenty of players made good use of this.
The event itself is made up of three rounds – each are themed. For example, the first theme was “Queenz of Pop” (we do not take responsibility for the weird spelling here) – this meant you could expect hits by female pop icons such as Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Adele, and more. Every card has nine squares, and there are prizes for one line, two line, three line and full house – but you can’t win with a diagonal (only horizontal or vertical). Every round plays in the same way – the first verse and chorus of each song is played, and you mark off the title/artist if it comes up on your card. Basic bingo but with music! Because of the length of the songs, the game takes a bit longer than a regular game of bingo, even though the cards are only 3×3.
There was a pretty enthusiastic host (this writer completely forgot his name and can’t find it on the website, so apologies for that – just know he managed to tongue-tie himself trying to say the word “bingo”), and a range of slightly tacky prizes (there was Toblerone, cocktail sets, and unicorn headbands up for grabs). With people steadily imbibing more alcohol over the course of the evening, the event got crazier and there were a lot of “Liars” – players who thought they had won when they actually hadn’t – guess drinking will do that to you. Glowsticks were distributed, and everyone got waving to “Living On a Prayer” during the second round. If you managed to tie with someone for a prize, then there’d be an extra head-to-head round – dance-offs and “Chubby Bunny” contests were held between winners. If you managed to get full house, you’d get a prize that you could choose to gamble by answering a question – win and you’d get the original plus an extra prize, but if you got the answer wrong, you’d lose BOTH prizes (which some unfortunate person managed to do, only for my friend to win it instead).
There was also a small competition to win a bottle of prosecco by coming up with a funny comment for the event’s Instagram post – these were read out throughout the night.
The event costs £12 per person and runs every week in various locations – upcoming events are being held in Shoreditch and Brighton. It’s a very simple twist on ordinary bingo but makes for a fun night out, no matter your age (it seemed to be popular with millennials, judging by half of the turnout last night looking to be in their thirties or younger), and there are plenty of opportunities to win prizes – and even if you don’t win, you’ll likely have fun singing with everyone to massive pop hits. You can find more information on their website, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages.
Want a taste of Musical Bingo? Check out their video below.
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