Entertainment trends come and go as often as the 507 bus. One day we’re axe throwing and the next we’re bowling with cocktails. One month the trend is for off-West End shows and the next it’s for food that looks like it’s been concocted in a mad scientist’s lab. But there is one trend that has been around for some time and remains popular: drag queen bingo. But what is drag queen bingo – and what does it tell us about the future of entertainment?
What is Drag Queen Bingo?
The essence of the game is simple: you play bingo, and the numbers are called out by a drag queen. The game merges the live performance of the art of drag and cabaret with the traditional game. Drag queens treat punters to a show and then involve them in the bingo game. Of course, drag queens are known for being risqué, so there is a heightened level of amusement and comedy infused into the event. The concept blends two of the oldest industries together.
Drag is growing in popularity, especially in the UK after the launch of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK in 2019. As such, many people have already seen an array of shows and performances. So, by adding an easy-to-grasp and popular game such as bingo into the mix, the shows feel fresh.
Plus, being able to do something themselves helps engage audiences. Not only will they leave with a new appreciation for drag queens and the artform, but with a new fondness for the game of bingo. Despite both being age-old concepts, their blending represents the future.
How is Bingo Changing?
Drag queen bingo isn’t the first and won’t be the last adaptation of the traditional bingo game. To attract new audiences, bingo has had to adapt its image away from the stereotypes. For instance, Bongo’s Bingo took venues by storm when it launched in 2015. The nightclub event was built around a game of bingo. Players would engage with bingo, but they’d also be treated to dance-offs, wacky prizes, and a fully-fledged night out. This helped introduce bingo to a new generation of young adults.
To take advantage of the popularity and the benefits afforded by digital technology, bingo has also been harnessed in a new format there. Online bingo takes the essence of the game and uses the latest in technology to deliver it in a new format. As the vast range of new online bingo sites attests, competition has grown so strong in the industry that each site is offering unique welcome bonuses to attract customers. Some are throwing in free bingo tickets while others are promising the chance to win cash back. This shows its growing popularity online too.
Drag queen bingo is an experience not to be missed. It brings together the very best of live performance and the game of bingo to create something greater than the sum of its parts. But it’s not the only example of how taking a traditional game and decorating it with what’s popular at the time helps the tradition continue. The game of bingo has been around for centuries, so it’s no surprise that it’s found a foothold in the world of digital technology, in nightclubs, and with the latest trend of entertainers.