This is our third Music Bingo Podcast with Adam Donaldson, our first UK music bingo guest, and hosts Sean Wallbridge and Gemma Hughes! Adam is based in Stirling, Scotland, and he hosts music bingo in Scotland at The Kilted Kangaroo, with a popular student-based music bingo event every Tuesday!
Our Music Bingo Host’s Backstory
Adam is a singer in a band, but he also does original stuff. He performs at functions at weddings on weekends, and during the week, he predominantly does open mic night music. Adam started Karaoke hosting and quiz hosting, and he is now hosting music bingo four nights a week at The Kilted Kangaroo. Adam is the first Rockstar Bingo host hosting Music bingo in Scotland and he is doing a great job!
Previously, they had a DJ hosting music bingo, but the system changed due to COVID-19. Adam looked for different options for pub nights and Rockstar Bingo flagged as the best for hosting music bingo. He started using them on Tuesday night in The Kilted Kangaroo from nine o’clock. So far, it’s definitely a good popular night with Rockstar Bingo – Rock ’n Roll!
How do you host music bingo in Scotland?
Adam: I find that interesting because anytime I listen to the staff, you talk about bingo in different ways, how it can be used differently, from drive-through settings to a baseball game. From my perspective, I can’t get my head around how that works because I have never used it that way, but it would be a great sports event. But I thought about our environment and our set, and it works really well.
Sean: The app started at Rockstar Nights which is this live band music bingo, and folks love it, we’re getting the same people back every week, and they are bringing in their friends loving it. The reason we did this is that it’s really hard to break into bars and stay there, especially with a band like ours – we are good but we’re introverts. So you get your friends to come once to see you and then they never come again. If you want to play every week, you need to create a concept that draws people. Music bingo brings people back, and to us. We’re trying to treat it like a piano bar, and it totally works. We just keep amping up our game with that.
Adam: I think if you’re doing a residency, that is something I could look at for sure!
Sean: Yeah, we were using it to get to our main goal, which is to get to the big corporate gigs, and we’re getting SuperSauce band invites like never before around Vancouver Island. We’re getting invited to the big, well-paying gigs because they have seen the shows, and we’re getting the exposure we want. We call it a paid rehearsal every week using music bingo at pub events like Rockstar Nights.
What kind of music does your band play?
Adam: My stuff is predominantly solo, but if you’ve got no band, you’ve to pay other people to play! I’m trying to expand my last EP that came out a couple of months ago on Spotify, and that is a bit different. I’ve got a new one that is due out next month — just trying to diversify and do different stuff and keep moving forward. Music is not subjective, you could be the best-trained musician, and nobody will like your stuff, but if you do something catchy or get hooked, then people like it, then you fly, so it might not be to everyone’s taste but people will like it.
Do you slip one of your tracks in a wedding playlist?
Adam: Not at weddings, but when I’m playing bars and stuff, I can get away with that. So, I throw a couple in when I’m DJ-ing, hosting music bingo, or between the games where there are a couple of friends or people who know some of my tunes. If the people don’t notice, putting it on is a good thing, and it works. But I wouldn’t do that at weddings; the wedding playlist is often too regimented for us, and wedding guests have to know every song.
What is the Kilted Kangaroo all about?
Adam: it’s Australian, and a Scottish Aussie bar; it was originally called Outback. There were some issues with another place called Outback, so it was called The Kilted Kangaroo over 10-15 years ago. I’ve been working there for about 12 years doing the mic night, and it’s where I do my entertainment during the week. It’s a unique venue that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it is a great pub in Stirling Scotland! It does good food, entertainment, and it’s a popular student spot in Stirling. It gets a lot of students and a mixed crowd that comes in, making it so enjoyable.
So you host music bingo in Scotland on Tuesdays at The Kilted Kangaroo. Do you have a student pub crowd or is it a mixed group.
Adam: I have a mixed crowd, but last week was fresher’s week at Stirling, and all the students just arrived, so that was crazy. We did three games of music bingo but we usually play two games. The pub night was student-heavy, and I’m expecting it to be from now through till Christmas. It feels more like doing karaoke than hosting music bingo, but I’m really enjoying and loving the atmosphere we’re creating. It’s very playlist-focused, and as long as the music bingo playlist is good, you can make enemies and friends within seconds.
What prizes do you give out for music bingo?
Adam: We get different endorsements from the pub to promote different nights, so Southern Comfort is among those that got on board at the beginning, and it does a box of prizes, so we just brand stuff like T-shirts and hats. We do a price line for the whole house. Students and the young ones love getting Southern Comfort stash, and it doesn’t have to be highly-priced. Last week I was giving loads of T-shirts, and music bingo players loved it!
What would you like to see on the Rockstar Bingo app if anything was possible?
Adam: I would like a live screen that works externally and you can add information such as if the bar has got a deal on or to see what’s on next week. It would be good to also have a slide show feature and the QR code for the music bingo game in the corner. The screen could then show some of the pub advertisements during the music bingo game. That would make it simple and flows better.
Adam gave us insights into adding a feature to the music bingo app on the video live screen overlay to enhance visibility.
When Covid hit, how did you keep your entertainment going at The Kilted Kangaroo?
Adam: The pub was shut for some time, and then we opened to serve food, but we couldn’t do any in-house entertainment. I was very fortunate, I have a very good relationship with the bar management, and they were very supportive. They paid me to host the pub quiz and open mic online, so we ran a Zoom pub quiz and open mic night via Instagram live. I did the mic night for a couple of months but the novelty wore off for a lot of people, unlike live music, but the Zoom pub quiz ran throughout for those in and around Stirling. We were doing the quiz every Wednesday night via zoom with a dozen teams and we still carry on now doing a live pub quiz in Stirling.
How would you describe Rockstar Bingo in three words?
Adam: Like something along these lines Crazy Popular Karaoke. It’s kind of like how it feels for us, it is player-centric, and it depends on the songs we’re picking. As long as we are picking the right songs on my playlist, it goes down very well!
Have you come across anyone who doesn’t want to use the virtual music bingo card on their phone, and how do you get around that?
Adam: One of the things that excited me about Rockstar Bingo is the quiz software. But I got some resistance because people were just like, ‘I want to write the answers down or can I get paper sheets’ (read more about moving from paper music bingo cards to a music bingo app here). I was certain that we didn’t want to do it on paper because the pub quiz software works well – just tap the answer that goes with you and I then announce the answer. It is the same with Rockstar Bingo for music bingo, easy to join, easy to play music bingo and easy to host!
People go to the music bingo app, scan the QR code, and search through the song list on the app, and they send it to me. It’s simple. And covid friendly.
We wrapped up the podcast on how you can play music bingo on tablets or as a group and Adam’s idea of adding a video overlay. Adam also thanked us for the music bingo app; according to him, the app just makes it simpler for him as the music bingo host to go in and not stress about paper or printing – paperless music bingo for the win!