Bongo’s Bingo reveals expansion and new jobs plans as ticket sales recover

The founders of Bongo’s Bingo are expecting to return to pre-pandemic levels by April as the company takes on new staff and eyes expanding further across the UK and abroad.

The Liverpool-headquartered company held its first show in the city in April 2015 with the aim of reinventing bingo for a new generation.

It now hosts events in more than 40 locations across the country as well as in the likes of Australia, Dubai and Ibiza.

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Founded by Jonny ‘Bongo’ Lacey and Joshua Burke, the company “endured many challenges during the pandemic” but is now seeing “huge ticket growth” again with January’s sales over 90% of capacity and January and February’s combined at 78%.

Mr Burke said: “The pandemic has been awful for many parts of the economy and the nightlife industry has been badly damaged.

“The essence of our shows is hundreds or thousands of people immersed in playing bingo, dancing to music and winning crazy prizes.

“So navigating our way through lockdowns, different restrictions and endless challenges has been incredibly tough on our business, from adapting to outdoor shows to social distancing.

“Now though we can see customer confidence is coming back quickly which is brilliant.

“Some locations like Liverpool, Sheffield, Lincoln, Birmingham and London are sold out for months ahead.

“We are a very ambitious company and have got big plans for 2022. We are already investing in new staff, a bigger office and expansion of our shows in the UK and abroad.

“Bongo’s Bingo is established in Dubai, Australia and Ibiza and we want to be back in those locations and also more around the world.”

Jonny Lacey and Joshua Burke, co-founders of Bongo’s Bingo

Mr Lacey added: “Right now I can feel the confidence coming back, but it’s not been easy. From ‘freedom day’ last summer and into the winter we recovered well and found some stability until Omicron hit hard and through December demand fell.

“There were a lot of customer no shows and I was approaching the New Year with big concern.

“But what we have seen since the turn of the year is remarkable and the night life industry is looking stronger again.

“Our January shows are over 90% sold of the total tickets and for January and February combined this is almost at 80%.

Bongo’s Bingo

“We feel by April we will be back to our pre-pandemic levels which is way ahead of previous projections.

“People are seeking out our kind of escapism at our shows and I think we are reaching the moment where we really have to live with this now, we can get on with the things we enjoy again.

“Nightlife and events have struggled for consistency for so long now and it feels stability is finally coming back again in terms of bookings, planning and strategy.”

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