Review: Bongo’s Bingo at Southampton Engine Rooms


Bingo, not as you know it, but how you should.

After three years as a student in Southampton, I thought I had experienced everything that the city’s nightlife had to offer. Safe to say, the launch of Bongo’s Bingo has completely changed all that.

As students, we’re always promised bouncy castles and ball pits at events only to never see them. So, when Bongo Bingo promised a night of bingo like no other, with raves, dancing on tables, and the widest variety of prizes you could imagine, I was sceptical.

Walking into the venue, we were immediately greeted by five tables that covered the length of the room, making seating a free-for-all, but ensuring you’d leave with friends that were strangers a few hours before. However, because I was with a big group, we did have to split up into two groups in order to get seated – next time we will just arrive sooner.

Bongo’s Bingo is composed of six games, and within each game there are three chances to win: complete a line, two lines in the same box, or a full house. As promised, there were prizes that were so bad that they were good – for one line, some of the prizes were:

  • Coco pops
  • A giant (like inconveniently but amazingly giant) inflatable duck
  • A magical unicorn
  • A Phillip Schofield cut out

The prizes for two lines were more suited for the alcoholics within us, and included:

  • 6 litres of Lambrini
  • A bottle of Jägermeister
  • A bottle of Gordons special edition pink gin.
  • A bottle of Vodka

And for a full house, the lucky winners received a cash prize, ranging from £40 in the first round, to £500 (!!!) in the final round.

Between all the calling of numbers, we were entertained thoroughly by the DJ’s number relevant music choices (e.g. 7 = S Club 7, 50 = 50 Cent, 45 = Brimful Of Asha etc.) We were all encouraged to get up and dance on our benches, but not the tables because ‘that’s just stupid’.

Of course, with all the music and dancing and alcohol available, there were a few false bingo calls throughout the evening. Those false claimants were not forgiven lightly, as they were forced into a walk of shame back to their seats to chants of ‘dickhead’ from the rest.

I am not a lucky person, and was honestly aiming to win the Coco Pops or the Phillip Schofield cut out at a push. Somehow, I ended up winning the full house in the fourth round, and received £100 cash there and then! Obviously, this sweetened my night slightly and there was tequila on hand at the bar to celebrate, but even without I would have had an amazing evening.

The lucky winner of the final bingo and the grand prize of £500 was third year Geography student Tianna Barefoot, who was out celebrating her 21st birthday.

I can without a doubt say this was one of the best nights I’ve had out in Southampton, and I will be first in line to go again when they return.

Bongo’s Bingo is a bingo event that travels throughout the UK. Though there is no new date for Southampton yet, dates for other cities can be found here.

Still not sure what to expect? Check out the event below:


About Author


2nd year English Literature student from Wales. Big fan of indie/rock music, food and my dog.

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