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Funky Bunch Trivia is changing the game for quiz-lovers

You've not done trivia like this before. 

The age-old mid-week tradition of trekking to your local pub for a night of trivia is now stronger than ever, and that is largely due to Mark Doble’s brainchild — Funky Bunch Trivia. In 2005, Doble was pouring beers at South Melbourne’s Limerick Arms Hotel and began putting on a weekly trivia night, which quickly evolved into his full time gig as more venues vied to get on board.
 
Hotly in demand from the get-go, Funky Bunch has now been lapping up the world of trivia rockstar style for 13 years. As well as pub trivia, Funky Bunch also do corporate events.
 
“I did a tour around Australia in our early days with an events coordinator and we travelled interstate doing big events for Telstra,” Doble says.
 
“It was a rock trivia theme, so I got to dress up and wear leather pants and I had a big crazy wig on. It was as close as I could get to my dream of being a rock star without being able to sing or play guitar very well. I kept worrying at the start that it might drop off, I wondered, ‘How long will trivia nights be this popular for?'"
 
But Doble needn’t have worried, with Funky Bunch proving to be a truly booming business. The company now has up to 40 trivia emcees on the ground, as well as full time staff members taking care of the daily organisational duties and the creative direction back-of-house. They’ve taken the plunge overseas too, and have headed to the UK and New Zealand and have delved deeper into the corporate world, taking trivia to new heights along the way.
 
“We’re really branching out, so say if a corporate client wants a specific themed night, we can do that. We did a launch night for Talkin’ Bout Your Generation which has come back on TV recently. Channel 9 got in touch and asked us to make a show up for that, so we put together a custom show for them and by all accounts they loved it.”
 
Funky Bunch are no doubt leaders in their trade, and the company’s director puts it all down to the group’s commitment to providing a cracking atmosphere for people to feel comfortable letting loose in.
 
“Our offering is certainly a lot more light-hearted, and we like to be responsible for the tone of the night being a bit looser than a traditional trivia night, we really try to create a bit of a party atmosphere,” Doble says.
 
“When we first started, trivia nights seemed like a giant game of genius-version Trivial Pursuit, it was full of people that were really serious, they might have had one glass of wine or sat on the waters all night because they didn’t want to lower their chances of winning.
 
“But then we saw an opportunity to get some of the younger crowd in there and get them pumped up, singing karaoke for bonus points and doing crazy challenges and stuff, and making it have more of a sense that actually anyone could win it – you don’t have to be a genius – and more so, that winning isn’t the main part of it, you’re there to have fun.”
 
Doble admits that sometimes it can take a while for people to warm up to trivia and really let their guard down. But the main deal for Funky Bunch is making sure that all their punters are relaxed and having a belter of a time with their mates. Most importantly, he says, anyone and everyone is encouraged to get on board.
 
“The audience varies through from 18-year-olds to anywhere up to 50 and 60-year-olds and they can be playing at the same pub,” Doble says.
 
“When we’re training new hosts or pitching to a new pub we always say we want everyone to have fun and we want to create a fun energy in the bar. We think that really helps with people letting their guard down.”
 
So what’s next on the cards for Funky Bunch, fine purveyors of all your trivia needs? Well, Beat readers rejoice, Doble explains that there’s some music X trivia action in the works.
 
“I’ve got a bit of a side project going with some bona fide musos,” Doble lets loose. “We’re coming up with a new form of music trivia entertainment.”
 
Sounds ripper to us.

Learn more at Funky Bunch Trivia