The entertainment and leisure culture of Manchester is made of a rich and ever-changing tapestry that accommodates all tastes and ages. Some fads come and go, while others stick around and become part of the city’s fabric.
One of the city’s first loves is football – you’re either red or blue – while Manchester continues to produce some of the world’s finest musicians, with each leaving their own indelible mark on the city.
In this article, we will focus on another evergreen part of Manchester’s leisure culture and explore how it has evolved to stay relevant in a changing marketplace. Though it doesn’t have the same glamour traditionally attached to it, the game of bingo remains a major part of our city.
A changing game
With its origins dating back hundreds of years, traceable to Italy, bingo has been enjoyed in halls and community centres throughout Manchester for generations. But although the basic rules of the game remain largely untouched, new versions of it have emerged to help keep it relevant in a digital world.
The game has effortlessly made the leap online, which has helped connect the game to a younger audience, including the city’s student population. New versions of the game, like bingo slots, offer something fresh and exciting, while quick-fire versions of the classic rules, where sessions last no more than a couple of minutes, are a better fit for many modern players.
But bingo’s move online has not been at the expense of the classic bingo halls, which you will find throughout the city and Greater Manchester. The classic bingo hall is a true hub for communities, helping friends socialise and providing laughter and companionship for thousands.
The facilities play important roles in the lives of many and, although many younger players are more engaged with the digital offering, traditional bingo hall games continue to boast a charm all of their own.
Another way that bingo has remained relevant and trendy in modern Manchester is through the innovation of Bongo’s Bingo. Originating a few short miles away in Liverpool, Bongo’s Bingo features live entertainment, including live music and dancing.
The concept has taken the UK by storm and events have been held frequently in our city in recent years. In many ways, the events would be alien to traditional bingo players, but at the heart of everything remains the classic game beloved by so many.
In such a competitive entertainment marketplace, staying relevant and appealing to an ever-changing audience can be incredibly difficult. And in a city like Manchester, where there’s just so much to do, it’s perhaps doubly difficult.
But the simplicity of bingo’s rules, its adaptability and its accessibility to people of all backgrounds will likely ensure that it retains some kind of presence in the consciousness of local people. Whether that’s through digital media, Bongo’s Bingo or the bingo halls of old, we feel confident that Bingo will remain a part of our city’s culture for generations yet to come.
‘Grow up’ – Matty Healy urges Oasis to ‘stop messing around’ and reunite
Matty Healy has urged Oasis to “stop messing around” and get back together in a new interview.
In a video that’s already amassing tens of thousands of views online, the frontman of Manchester-based indie pop rock band, The 1975, has made his thoughts on the feuding Gallagher brothers known during an in-depth interview with on Q with Tom Power from Canadian broadcaster CBC this week.
During the interview, the 33-year-old singer touched on everything from the process of making the band’s latest record, 2022’s critically-acclaimed Being Funny in a Foreign Language, to his onstage antics, and why he’s decided to embrace sincerity and being earnest – but that doesn’t seem to be the main take-away of Manchester music fans.
It’s his opinion of iconic Britpop band Oasis that’s really got people talking.
In what he called a “public service announcement”, Healy claimed Oasis are still “the coolest band in the world” but questioned what the Gallagher brothers are playing at by continuing to fight with each other after all these years.
Telling them to “grow up”, Healy urged Liam and Noel to “get back together and stop messing around”.
Healy told the interviewer: “What are Oasis doing? Can you imagine being in potentially, right now, still the coolest band in the world, and not doing it because you’re in a mard with your brother? I can deal with them dressing like they’re in their twenties but being in their fifties, but acting like they’re in their twenties?
“They need to grow up.”
Healy continued: “Stop marding. They’re men of the people, and they’re sat around in, like, Little Venice and Highgate crying over an argument with their brother.
“Grow up. Headline Glastonbury. Have a good time. Have a laugh.”
The Wilmslow lad also took a second to speak on the popularity of both the Gallagher brothers’ post-Oasis solo projects and endeavours, and claimed fans aren’t as interested in seeing Liam Gallagher or Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live as they would be going to an Oasis gig.
“There is not one person going to a High Flying Birds gig or a Liam Gallagher gig that would not rather be at an Oasis gig,” Healy claimed.
“There is not one person.
“Not one person is there going, ‘you know what? I loved Definitely Maybe, but my favourite thing is f***ing Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’.”
Fans of the space queued down the street for its final few days in Bethnal Green, before its eventual closure on Wednesday 1 February.
Their statement said: “Sad news. We’ve received notice to vacate our premises at Bethnal Green by the end of this week. As a property guardianship, we’ve always been aware that we may be asked to leave with very short notice. We’re disappointed that it has come so soon.
“@Enter_theVenue the creative hub with whom we share our space, have also been asked to leave. The Vagina Museum will continue to operate in the digital world as we search for a new home.”
The message continued: “We’re sad about this development, but incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished in the ten months we’ve been at our Bethnal Green premises. We’ve welcomed more than 40,000 visitors through our doors, and received so much love and positive feedback.
“In our time at Bethnal Green, we’ve once again demonstrated just how much the world needs and wants a Vagina Museum.
“Times are, once again, uncertain for us, but we’ve been through this before and risen stronger than ever. With a community like you supporting us, we know we can get through this too.
“We’re actively searching for a new home, and if you know of any vacant spaces (or have one yourself!) please don’t hesitate to reach out. In our home in Bethnal Green, we and ENTER demonstrated that we can transform an empty, unused building into a thriving heart of a community.
“If you don’t have a building, you can still help! Please consider making a donation; a donation of any size makes a huge difference and will help us to weather this storm, just as we’ve weathered storms before.”
The Vagina Museum concluded its thread with: “We’ve made it through a pandemic and a period of temporary homelessness before. With you, together, we can make it through this too.”