Bongo's Bingo is the antidote to boring nights out. The chances of winning a decent prize are pretty slim, but you’re not there for the prizes; you’re there for the buzzing atmosphere and nostalgic tunes.
I can almost still feel the horrific hangover from after the last time I attended Bongo's Bingo back in Eden Ibiza last summer. Nevertheless, it was totally worth it, so we couldn't pass the opportunity to go back for round two. The only change is that in 2019 the party has an exciting new home; Ibiza Rocks Hotel.
On this scorching Ibiza afternoon, we put on our swimsuits and headed to San Antonio's favourite poolside venue for continuous belly laughs, cringes and lots of tequila. Unsure if Bongo's Bingo is for you? Read our handy guide for a glimpse of what's in store.
Bongo's isn't one for the faint-hearted, so if you have no intentions of releasing your inner child then this isn't the place for you. If you're up for a laugh and have no problem dancing on tables, then prepare yourself for an out-of-the-ordinary party experience.
The insane daytime bonanza blends together a traditional bingo game with dance-offs, rave intervals, plus plenty of banter. Forget tame OAP's and tacky halls, Ibiza Rocks Hotel is quite the opposite. Expect wacky decorations, tons of confetti, cocktail jugs and lots of noise. The audience is young, fun and predominantly British.
The first game starts at 16:00. The rules are pretty simple: the first to win a horizontal line shouts ‘BINGO’, and then it’s the first to win two lines and, finally, a full house. But hold your horses - if you falsely call 'BINGO' you will be called out and labelled a dickhead. Expect to be jeered and scorned with a harmless bit of public shaming.
If two people shout ‘BINGO’ at the same time, a dance-off decides the winner. Let the games begin.
Less than 5 minutes in, everybody is dancing on the tables. With encouragement from the witty host Alex Zane and his two (not so glamorous) assistants, everyone goes wild to rave-heavy dance anthems like Darude's 'Sandstorm'. After every three or four numbers, there will always be a song blasted out that will be in relation to a number.
For example, number 5 plays 'Mambo Number 5' and 17 plays ABBA's 'Dancing Queen'. Without hesitation, everyone is up off the benches and jumping around.
Is it all dance music? The answer to that is no. Imagine a cheesy night-club or the disco room in an Oceana back in the UK. Of course, you will get energy-filled dance jams like Gala’s 'Freed from Desire', N-Trance’s 'Set You Free' and Alice DeeJay’s ‘Better Off Alone’ (all bangers!), but the bizarre playlist is mixed with all kinds of tunes.
Whether it be Christmas songs, jams from High School Musical, Westlife, Robbie Williams, Queen or Craig David, they are all classic songs that everybody knows the words too and ideal for sun-seeking holidaymakers! Let loose and have a good old knee's up to 'Cotton-eyed Joe'.
OK, so we can't promise you a luxury holiday or a fancy car - most of the prizes are actually pretty mediocre, boarding on lame! But it's all part of the fun and a strong element of what makes the atmosphere so jovial and hilarious. In fact, the determination to win a box of Co-Co Pops or a double-ended dildo was as if it was a luxury prize!
It's totally bonkers! The prizes get better as the afternoon goes on. The game begins with prizes like a pool inflatable, Henry Hoover, bouncy hopper, and Phillip Schofield cardboard cut-out (don't ask), to bottles of alcohol and the all-important cash prize. Whatever the winnings, it could be your lucky day so pay attention and don't be a 'dickhead'.
You just can't help but smile and laugh at the madness going on around you. You'll stick out like a sore thumb if you're sat on the benches with a resting bitch face. If you're invited up on stage for a dance-off, then twerking, body popping and break dancing are all encouraged. The crazier the better.
If you win a prize, expect to be called up to accept it with style. Whether that means singing a tune down the mic, showing off your party trick, stripping down or taking part in a challenge, winning is never easy but you've got to OWN IT.
With just 3 dates left of the season, Bongo's Bingo will come to an end on Wednesday 25 September. Dabbers at the ready, let's... play... BINGO!
Words: Holly Woulfe