May 31, 2024 - News

The new nightlife trend: Bingo raves

Bingo night at a club.

The crowd at bingo night at a club in London. Photo: Courtesy of State of Play Hospitality

Bingo, here and elsewhere, is taking the urban nightlife scene by storm, vaulting from a Rotary Club favorite to the centerpiece of alcohol-and-nacho-fueled dance parties.

Why it matters: "Eatertainment" has become the hottest new restaurant trend since the pandemic.

Driving the news: Bingo-themed nightclubs, raves and pop-up parties are showing up in cities nationwide — including Austin — strewing confetti on partygoers as they giddily dot their bingo boards ("B15!").

  • "Burlesque, Circus and Drag Acts are available as Bob's Bingo Party Package add ons," per the website of Austin-based drag-queen Bob, which advertises both adult-oriented and family-friendly bingo parties as a way to spice up fundraisers, birthday parties or family Zoom get-togethers.

What they're saying: "We've flipped the traditional game of bingo on its head and turned it into a 3-hour long interactive stage show complete with dance-offs, rave rounds, lip sync battles, throwback anthems, confetti showers, CO2 cannons (and) conga lines," reads the pitch from Bingo Loco, which stages a bingo rave party tonight at Vulcan Gas Company on East Sixth Street.

  • Prizes include international holidays, cars, air fryers and lawnmowers.

Zoom out: Restaurateurs say they make more money per customer if they offer darts, pickleball, golf or other activities along with burgers, beer and wings.

  • Trendy hobbies like cornhole and axe-throwing are giving way to once-geriatric pastimes like bingo and shuffleboard as young people seek novelty in their partying.

Catch up quick: Here's a bingo explainer for those who are new to it.

  • Meanwhile, classic Austin bingo halls, like Capitol Bingo, advertise that they're "creating a quiet and friendly environment."
  • And, of course, there's always Austin's very special chicken bingo game, at Little Longhorn Saloon and C-Boy's.
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