Touring the UK, it is a hark back to a jam-packed university night, but filled with more twenty-somethings and over-fifties than those nights ever were. If anything can be said for it, it’s that it’s all-ages fun. Silly, stupid, sticky fun.
The concept of Bingo Loco isn’t hard to understand. It’s bingo, but it’s bingo with streamers going off, sex toys foisted on the audience, and rows of people who have been drinking for too many hours all bunched together like a medieval banquet. Everyone is trying to keep track of the numbers being called but also trying not to slip off the benches you are squashed onto.
The overwhelming impression is of stickiness – the bingo book sticks to the table, and your shoes get glued to the floor and when you rest your elbows on the bar, you have to peel yourself free. You do get over it, though – it forces you to forget that the pandemic exists and that your clothes will smell of spilled white wine all week.
In very post-COVID fashion, it encourages getting to know the stranger sitting next to you, even if we aren’t quite post-pandemic just yet. But it’s nice, to forget about COVID worries for an hour or so, which the host announced was the very point of the evening.
In all, it’s ridiculous and incredibly uncultured. But the point isn’t to be deeper than that. Everyone in that room was having the time of their lives.
You get past the ickiness of having drinks tipped on your arms, and you can’t help but get up the table with the clumsy stranger next to you.
Although – do this with caution. There were definitely a few injuries from some careless footwork that will have hurt the next morning just as much as the liquor headache.