Bongo’s Bingo reveals expansion plans and new jobs as ticket sales pick up
The founders of Bongo’s Bingo expect to be back to pre-pandemic levels by April as the company takes on new staff and plans to expand further in the UK and overseas.
The Liverpool-based company staged its first show in the city in April 2015 with the aim of reinventing bingo for a new generation.
It now hosts events in over 40 locations across the country as well as in 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 experiencing ‘huge ticket growth’ again with January sales exceeding 90% of combined capacity and sales January and February at 78%.
Mr Burke said: “The pandemic has been terrible for many sectors of the economy and the nightlife industry has been badly damaged.
“The essence of our shows is hundreds or thousands of people immersed in bingo, dancing to music and winning crazy prizes.
“So navigating through lockdowns, various restrictions and endless challenges has been incredibly difficult for our business, from adapting to outdoor performances to social distancing.
“Now, although we can see that customer confidence is coming back quickly, which is great.
“Some places like Liverpool, Sheffield, Lincoln, Birmingham and London are full for months to come.
“We are a very ambitious company and have big plans for 2022. We are already investing in new staff, a bigger office and expanding our shows in the UK and overseas.
“Bongo’s Bingo is established in Dubai, Australia and Ibiza and we want to be back in those places and also around the world.”
Mr Lacey added: “Right now I can feel the confidence coming back but it hasn’t been easy. Since ‘freedom day’ last summer and winter we have recovered well and found some stability until Omicron hits hard and until December demand drops.
“There were a lot of customers who didn’t show up and I approached the new year with great anxiety.
“But what we’ve seen so far this year is remarkable and the nightlife industry looks stronger again.
“Our January shows are sold out at over 90% of total tickets and for January and February combined it’s almost 80%.
“We believe that in April we will be back to our pre-pandemic levels, which is well ahead of previous projections.
“People are looking for our kind of escape on our shows and I think we’re coming to the point where we really have to live with that now, we can go on with the things we enjoy again.
“Nightlife and events have struggled for consistency for so long now and it looks like stability is finally returning in terms of bookings, planning and strategy.”