The stigma that is attached to bingo has always stopped me from going to play for big prizes. Please tell me how many 20-something year olds head down to a bingo hall on a Friday night? Very little. Well, until now.
I was recently invited along to Mecca Bingo in Southend-on-Sea, to review a brand new event they have called the #BigBingoBash. It's the coming together of women of all ages and helps to promote that bingo can be for any women of any age. It's a mishmash evening that combines bingo, live entertainment and gameshow surprises all in one.
I was super excited to head along on a recent Saturday night with a few female family members. Southend-on-Sea in Essex are the first Mecca Bingo club to hold this event, but it will be opening up across other branches soon, so definitely keep an eye out to see if one is announced soon near you!
The event kick started at 6pm and we headed inside after parking the car in the free car park outside in the Greyhound Retail Park. We was presented with envelopes by the PR, which contained meal and drink vouchers for the evening. They was very generous and I think we was given 6 drink vouchers each!
Feel free to keep reading and/or watch my vlog of the event that night. I mean, you get to see me dancing! Don't forget to like and subscribe too :-)
We started the evening off by grabbing a table and watching some live music entertainment. The hall soon started filling up, so we decided to head to the bar and order some drinks and food. There is one bar in the main area, so to avoid queuing up again, we ordered a few drinks each.
The menu was basic but had something for everyone; with quick fast-food options. We ordered a mix of cheese pizza, burgers and warm tortilla chips with all of the trimmings. It's all you would really want whilst drinking and awaiting to play bingo!
By the time 7pm hit us, we was allowed to enter the bingo hall. The bar inside wasn't serving spirit drinks, so we had to head to the original bar in the first hall. My only negative is that this was a bit annoying having to carry lots of drinks back from one hall to another. Once we got more drinks in, we headed to the front of the hall near the stage and took our seats.
We mingled for a little while and was then greeted by a friendly bingo host. He welcomed us all to Southend-on-Sea's Mecca Bingo and enthusiastically told us we was all in for a night to remember.
He welcomed on another lady who was another host and she explained how bingo worked. I am so glad they did this as I have never played a game of bingo in my life and I'm sure there was a lot of people in that room in the same boat!
We was treated to an opening of singers and dancers, which was very Pontins-UK-Holiday like; cheesy but brings a smile to everyone's face.
We was all given booklets with our bingo games inside and markers to play with. The first game soon started and the numbers were called out by the bingo host man. They also showed up on screens around the room which was really good incase you missed a number he had previously shouted out.
By the time the first game ended, neither of us had won anything but we were rearing to go for the next game. The evening was a mixture of traditional bingo and other number games; ones that didn't take as long as bingo and allowed you to win either smaller or bigger prizes.
I think we was on our forth game and my Auntie made us all jump by yelling out BINGO! Her numbers had to be checked by the lady host and was then verified to be a winner. She won a smartphone projector, so was over the moon!
My tweet about this even showed up on the big screen!!
I sadly didn't walk away with a holiday or an extra £100 in my back pocket. However, I did win a Mecca Bingo #BigBingoBash mug!
The event finished at around 11pm and this was when the 'party' starts. A dance floor opens with karaoke and people can keep on drinking and mingling until their heart's are content. Or actually until 1am when the event finishes. There are also plenty of fruit machines in the first hall, should you fancy trying a new game!
We had a really entertaining evening and it made such a change to get out and do something different with some special ladies in my life.
I thoroughly recommend the Big Bingo Bash event nights. It allowed women of all ages to get together and enjoy an evening of games and entertainment. I even spotted a few men here and there too!
Disclaimer: In collaboration with Mecca Bingo. All thoughts and content belongs to myself.