In what is becoming an embittered row, the massively popular Bongo's Bingo nights in Liverpool, are at the centre of a furious ownership battle.
The bingo nights, which started off at the Baltic Triangle venue Camp and Furnace, have grow to be one of the real success stories of the last few years. Sold out across the country, Bongo's Bingo is going global, with events already held in Sydney, Australia and Ibiza. The wild fusion of bingo, comedy and music began in 2015 and has grown in popularity at an exponential rate. However, a furious row has broken out over the right to stage the events.
The confusion began when the Camp and Furnace started advertising shows that were not connected to host Jonny Bongo – real name Jonny Lacey. Tickets were advertised by Camp and Furnace and sold through ticketing company Skiddle, for “Bongo's Bingo” August show. The confusion has led to an escalating war of words between the two parties.
Once the listing went live, Bongo's Bingo team threatened legal action. They also confirmed that neither Jonny Bongo nor any dancers would be present at the events.
Shua Ltd Staking Claim to Bongo's Bingo Ownership
Camp and Furnace state that the venue and its staff “invented, developed and financed” the Bongo's Bingo brand, and thus “always owned” it. This was disputed by Shua Ltd, the organisers of the Bongo's Bingo nights. A spokesperson said:
“On Tuesday 14th May 2019 Camp and Furnace Ltd, based in Liverpool, released tickets for a series of shows in August purporting to be Bongo’s Bingo brand (part of Shua Ltd), sold through Skiddle.
“These shows are not endorsed, affiliated or related to Shua Ltd or the Bongo’s Bingo brand in any way, shape or form and so will not be hosted by Jonny Bongo, any other hosts or any dancers employed by Shua Ltd.
“The Bongo’s Bingo concept was conceived and designed by Jonny Lacey AKA Jonny Bongo and Joshua Burke in April 2015.
“The company finds it incredibly disappointing that Camp and Furnace Ltd have chosen to release these tickets which have no relation to us or the true Bongo’s Bingo brand, and are in no way linked to the existing Bongo’s Bingo shows and concept.
“Shua Ltd wishes to make it clear that it has not issued consent for these Camp and Furnace Ltd shows in August and are not accountable for any tickets bought through Skiddle or Camp and Furnace Ltd, and therefore are not liable for any refunds or exchanges.
“We have instructed our lawyers as we intend to vigorously protect our Bongo’s Brand and to ensure that our large and loyal customer base always enjoy the Bongo’s Bingo phenomenon that they expect when they come to our shows.”
Camp and Furnace Response
A spokesperson for Camp and Furnace, who have a sign outside their Greenland Street Venue saying “The Home of Bongo's Bingo”, said:
“Camp and Furnace, and our staff, invented, developed and financed the Bongo’s Bingo brand from it's very first outing. It has remained and remains the regular home of Bongo’s Bingo.
“Camp and Furnace has always owned the Bongo's Bingo brand, and we look forward to seeing you at our August dates.”
Shortly after the spat erupted, Jonny Bongo took to social media to address the situation:
“I'm fuming, I can't believe it. Camp and Furnace have come out and said that they owned and invented Bongo's Bingo
“What? But I'm Jonny Bongo. It's Bongo's Bingo. Because it's my bingo. I can't believe it.
“Oh my god, I'm sure you have all been enjoying watching it. Make sure you've got your popcorn. It's going off.
“It's like that time they closed all the roads on a f*****g Sunday morning.”
In a later video Jonny said:
“It is a bit of a head melter this one and I can't really get my head round it.
But listen, thanks for all the support from all the true Bongo's Bingo fans that know the script.
The comments have just killed me off. So yea, no bingo today.”
Ben has been an massive bingo enthusiast and fan since playing at the seaside as a kid. Dedicated to bringing you the latest and best bingo news from the UK