News & Updates

  • Belles and Chimes at Hidden Cave Cidery

    Wind, Ciders, and Pinball Magic at Hidden Cave!

    Hey Belles!

    What a wild and windy adventure we had at Hidden Cave Cidery in Middleton! Despite the stormy skies (it was almost tornado weather!) 14 of us braved the elements for a night of pinball, cider, and great vibes.

    Our first-time meetup at this location was a hit! We had the space all to ourselves, delicious ciders (maybe too many), and a pinball lineup that kept us flipping all night. Special shoutout to our new and returning Belles who joined us from Beaver Dam, Milwaukee, and even Minnesota. Your dedication is legendy! 

    In the spirit of Pride Month, it was fantastic to see some of you sporting your pride gear. Our community thrives on diversity and inclusion, and it’s heartwarming to see everyone feeling welcome and celebrated in our space.

    Belles and Chimes at Hidden Cave Cidery

    ”The serious picture…

    Belles and Chimes at Hidden Cave Cidery "Goofy" photo

    …and the goofy picture”  

    Huge thanks to Walker, the owner of Hidden Cave, for opening up on his day off and treating us to free Ms. Pac-Man quarters. His hospitality made the night even more special. 

    🏆 Winners’ Circle 🏆

    June Belles and Chimes Winners
    Belles and Chimes June 2024 Trophies

    We originally planned for 4 rounds, but the pinball fever was strong, and we extended it to 6 rounds by popular demand. Godzilla was the game of choice for the finals. After a few nail-biting games, Donelle took the gold! She was followed by Erin with the silver, Lauren with the bronze, and Alex with the choice of cider. Extra cheers to Donelle for dominating Attack from Mars – you were on fire!

    Donelle blowing up Attack from Mars!

    📅 Save the Date! 📅

    Our next meet up will be at Aftershock Arcade on Jul 10, 2024 6:00 PM. We flip at 6:30 PM. There is a $5 cash entry fee. Coin drop is needed for the pinball tables. (It is also Shark Week…Aftershock has a lot of fun things to go along with Shark Week.)

    You can find other pinball events in the Madison area by subscribing to our Google Calendar or visiting our new website.

    🎉 Pinball News – Links by the Lake “Belle Bounty”🎉

    Image from Links by the Lake’s Facebook Event Page

    Since late 2023, our very own Sara Bradley has been co-hosting a fantastic pingolf tournament every 3rd Sunday of the month at NerdHaven Arcade. And guess what? This month they’re introducing an exciting new twist – the “Belle Bounty”. 🏆

    For each event, Links by the Lake will be rewarding 10% of the prize pool to the top qualifying score among women competitors. How cool is that?! The last tournament in April only had a couple of women-identifying folx, and we’d love to see more Belles out there showing their pinball prowess in these open tournaments.

    Not familiar with Links by the Lake’s format? Their pinball format offers a unique opportunity to enjoy pinball with chosen friends. Why? Unlike traditional matchplay scoring of 7/5/3/1 relative to scores, pingolf is all about achieving specific target scores on each machine. It’s you against the machine! However, if you make it to the playoffs, you’re back to playing the traditional match play format.

    Get the full scoop by checking out the Official Rulebook here, and join them for an afternoon of thrilling pingolf at NerdHaven. Find the event on facebook here.

    Until next time, keep those flippers flippin’ and those ciders sippin’! 🌟

    Cheers,

    The Belles & Chimes Madison Planning Team

  • Godzilla Game Over Screen

    A New Chapter for Our Pinball Community

    For over three years, our group has thrived on providing a safe and welcoming environment for women and gender non-conforming individuals to enjoy pinball on the second Wednesday of each month. Our goal has always been to create an inclusive space where everyone feels comfortable and safe. Unfortunately, recent developments with one of our long-time venues, I/O Arcade Bar, have necessitated a change in our plans.

    Conflict with I/O Arcade Bar and Madison Pinball

    Many of you may have noticed that I/O Arcade Bar, in collaboration with Madison Pinball, has scheduled a new open (co-ed) pinball tournament on the same nights as our events. This decision was made without consulting us first. Additionally, they planned a John Wick launch party on one of our event days in July. This conflicts with our mission to provide a dedicated space away from the male-dominated pinball community.

    While Mitch at I/O Arcade Bar has offered to reschedule the launch party and provide us with additional deals, he is unwilling to change the new tournament schedule. This poses a risk of fragmenting our pinball community and undermines our efforts to maintain a safe and inclusive environment.

    Moving Forward: Seeking New Venues

    Due to these conflicts, we have decided to stop hosting and promoting events at Madison Pinball locations, including I/O Arcade Bar, Schwoeggler’s, and Pooley’s. We are actively seeking other venues in Madison that will respect our league and work collaboratively with the larger pinball community.

    How You Can Help

    We urge you to make your voices heard. Please consider commenting on the following platforms:

    Additionally, you can contact Hilton Jones and Sean Spindler directly at Madison Pinball to express your concerns.

    Continued Support and Participation

    We understand that some of you may still want to participate in the 2nd Wednesday tournaments hosted by I/O Arcade Bar and Madison Pinball. We encourage you to also join us for our Belles & Chimes events. Remember, I/O Arcade Bar continues to host their 4th Wednesday of the month events as well.

    Thank you for your continued support as we navigate this transition. We are committed to finding a new venue that aligns with our values and mission. Stay tuned for updates on our new locations and upcoming events.

  • Belles at Underground Pinball

    Underground Pinball Recap

    Happy Mother’s Day Belles!

    Thank you to all that were able to make it out to “The Underground Pinball” evening at Lauren’s place. We had an impressive 18 sign up. 1 cheered us on. Thanks Tiffany! We had 3 newbies! Welcome, Jen A, Mary S, and Bridget to Belles and Chimes of Madison! We all were entertained by shiny pinball and 2 cute pitbulls: Bolt and Simba.  Another thank you to Lauren and the others for bringing snacks for all of us to munch on throughout the evening. It was a great variety.  

    Belles At Underground Pinball
    Dogs at Pinball

    🏆 Winners’ Circle 🏆

    May Pinball Trophies
    Top Three Players This Month

    After six rounds of pinball we had to have a tie breaker for 4th place.  Kathryn, Meghan, and Melissa played one ball on Elviria to see who would battle off with the top 3 winners of the night.  Melissa flipped her way in with Allison, Mary O, and Sharkey and battled it out on Batman 66. Allison came in first place.  Mary O in second place.  Sharkey in third place.  Melissa in fourth place

    Congrats Belles!

    📅 Save the Date! 📅

    Our next meet up will be at Hidden Cave Cidery on Jun 12, 2024 6:00 PM.  There is a $5 cash entry fee.  Coin drop is needed for the pinball tables.

    You can find other pinball events in the Madison area by subscribing to our Google Calendar or visiting our new website.

    Announcement

    You might have noticed that our final round was different from what we have done in the past. For the top four players, they played 3 additional games to determine the final winner. This will help make our tournament have more points for those that are interested in ranking higher in the International Flipper Association.

    With that being said, going forward we will no longer be playing Extra Balls. This will allow us to play one more machine per tournament better contributing to these IFPA scores. 

    🎉 Pinball News 🎉

    John Wick Pinball Playfield

    The big news this week is that a new John Wick pinball game from Stern is heading our way.  Craft Beer Pinball League will be adding this game to NerdHaven Arcade in the next few days and we can assume Madison Pinball will also get one out at I/O Arcade Bar. We try to keep our emails to a minimum of upcoming Belles meetups and event recaps so be sure to keep your eyes out for John Wick updates from Craft Beer Pinball League or Madison Pinball on their websites or social media.

    Keep those flippers flipping and the silver balls rolling! 🌟

    Cheers,

    The Belles & Chimes Madison Planning Team

  • Group at NerdHaven in April 2024

    Legen-dairy Fun – NerdHaven Recap

    Hay there Belles!

    Group at NerdHaven - April 2024

    Last week we gathered at NerdHaven for a rollicking good time amidst the flashing lights and clanging bells of pinball! Our herd numbers 11 strong with a special shoutout to our fresh-faced newbie who joined in on the action! Plus, a round of applause for Ann, who made the trek all the way from Minnesota to flip with us!

    🏆 Winners’ Circle 🏆

    Top three places

    Despite our smaller flock this month, the competition was as fierce as a fox in a henhouse! We battled it out over six rounds, vying for the coveted farm trophies. After a barnstorming final set on Foo Fighters, Sharkey emerged victorious despite the recovering arm, nabbing first choice of trophy. Meghan and Jacque followed close behind, rounding out our podium of pinball champions!

    Let’s not forget our evening’s additional winners: Aimee, Nichole, and Ann, who walked away with NerdHaven gift cards to fuel their next pinball adventures! Bravo, Belles, for keeping the spirit of competition alive and well!

    More winners

    Sorry we missed you Aimee!

    Farm Trophies for April 2024

    Cheers,

    The Belles & Chimes Madison Planning Team

  • Jaws Launch Party Recap Fin-credible turn out!

    Greeting Belles!  What an jaws-ome night!

    On March 13th, we held our meetup at I/O Arcade Bar. It was an extra fintastic meetup as we were hosting a Jaws Launch Party with some appropriately themed prizes up for grabs. Some prizes were homemade! We had a record attendance of 25 individuals with at least two people being new! We also had a few players we haven’t seen in years stop in to join for the evening!

    If you’re not familiar with Stern Launch Parties, we will play our normally scheduled tournament but scores for the relevant pinball machine will be documented to figure out who got the highest score of the night for extra game specific prizes. Players were also free to play a game on their own on the side outside of our normal Match Play tournament. 

    🏆 Winners’ Circle 🏆

    Due to our late night, we were not able to get our usual group pictures of the winners, but there were so many prizes to win!

    Sara won the gold, securing her the prestigious shark trophy. Aimee and Jacque followed, each claiming their own trophies including a scrumptious chum bucket. Tiffany, Katie, and Lauren celebrated with gift cards to I/O. Mary, Donelle, and Brianna delighted in shark-themed prizes. It was a night of thrilling competition and camaraderie, showcasing the awesomeness of our pinball community.

    As far as the Jaws is concerned, Sara’s skill on the Pro Jaws machine earned her the grand champ plaque. Mary soared to victory on the Jaws Premium machine, claiming the Jaws Pro translite. 

    Congratulations to all the winners!

    🗓 Save the Date! 🗓

    Our next meet up will be at NerdHaven Arcade on Apr 10, 2024.

    You can find other pinball events in the Madison area by subscribing to our Google Calendar or visiting our new website.

    📢Announcement📢

    With the Belles community happily growing the costs to spread the word, have free swag, and new this year our IFPA entry fees it is starting to take a toll on the personal funds of the Belles committee.  Moving forward we will be charging a $5 entry fee for our pinball tournaments.  This $5 entry fee will go to the $1 per person IFPA submission and replenish the sticker/magnet/button/flier fund.  It will also continue to help fund homemade trophies for the events.  We wish we could keep covering costs out of pocket to keep this free for everyone but thank you for understanding.

    Midwest Gaming Classic

    The Midwest Gaming Classic is less than a month away! The MGC is an annual trade show celebrating all forms of gaming. We’re talking video game consoles, arcade games, tabletop games, collectible card games, and of course… Pinball! All on free play! Get your tickets and more information at the Midwest Gaming Classic website.

    🎉 Pinball News 🎉

    On March 10, 2024, Elton John hosted his Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party which is dedicated to supporting the Elton John AIDS Foundation. This foundation’s mission is to fund frontline partners to prevent HIV/AIDS infections, tackle stigma, and provide compassionate care for vulnerable communities worldwide. 

    During the event, an auction was held that raised an amazing $10.8 million for the foundation. Of the things auctioned off were two Jersey Jack Pinball Elton John Collector’s Edition machines, signed by Elton John. The machines raised a combined total of $400,000 towards the Rocket Fund!

    If you want to learn more about this specific event, check out the Jersey Jack Pinball Facebook page. For more information about the foundation, check out www.ejaf.org.

    We’re so happy to see our little community growing! We hope to see a lot of returning faces next month!

    Cheers,

    The Belles & Chimes Madison Planning Team

  • Valentine’s Recap ❤️

    Greetings Belles!

    The evening was filled with love and excitement as we gathered for a night of friendly competition. Nichole brought along some aptly themed APES (not monkeys!) as prizes, adding to the Valentine’s Day spirit. Tiffany also contributed to the prize pool by generously providing roses for the top three winners, along with some delicious chocolates from CocoVaa to be part of the prize table. It was wonderful to see so many people embracing the Valentine’s Day theme, with participants sporting pink dresses, heart sweaters, heart antennae, and even pink wigs! 

    🏆 Winners’ Circle 🏆

    We kicked off the night with four rounds of intense pinball action, followed by a thrilling final round where the top four competitors – Mary, Sara, Tiffany, and Nichole – battled it out on Foo Fighters, Godzilla, and 007 LE. The competition was fierce with each player giving it all. We even had to have a tiebreaker round for 2nd place on Venom! At the end Mary emerged victorious overall, securing the top spot. Tiffany claimed second place, and Sara took third. 

    Congrats Belles!

    🗓 Save the Date! 🗓

    Our next meet up will be at I/O Arcade Bar on Mar 13, 2024. There will be extra goodies as this is a Jaws launch party! 

    You can find other pinball events in the Madison area by subscribing to our Google Calendar or visiting our new website.

    📢Announcement📢

    You might have noticed that our final round was different from what we have done in the past. For the top four players, they played 3 additional games to determine the final winner. This will help make our tournament have more points for those that are interested in ranking higher in the International Flipper Association.

    With that being said, going forward we will no longer be playing Extra Balls. This will allow us to play one more machine per tournament better contributing to these IFPA scores. 

    🎉 Pinball News 🎉

    The PAPA21 World Pinball Championships registration is open! This tournament serves as a charity memorial event for Suicide Awareness, honoring the memory of Lyman F. Sheats, Jr., who contributed to the development of beloved pinball machines such as Attack From Mars, Medieval Madness, and Monster Bash, among others. Hosted at the Enterrium in Schaumburg, Illinois, from September 5th to 8th, 2024, this event welcomes participants of all skill levels. Find more information on this wonderful event here.

    Keep those flippers flipping and the silver balls rolling! 🌟

    Cheers,

    The Belles & Chimes Madison Planning Team

    PS.  We have more Belles and Chimes yearly flyers printed up.  Let us know if you would like to display one!

  • Aftershock Arcade Recap

    What a great turnout at Aftershock Arcade for our first event of 2024! We had at least 11 Belles show up including new faces and returning faces! We thank Aftershock staff for the warm welcome and hospitality throughout the night and everyone who came out to have some pinball fun.

    🏆 Winners of the Night 🏆

    It might have just been a casual meet up, but we still spiced it up with a little competition on Godzilla and Phantom of the Opera thanks to Aftershock. Each player had three chances to get their highest score on each machine. At the end Mary topped the Godzilla scoreboard while Allison grabbed Phantom of the Opera at the very end! Both individuals chose to get the button up shirt which you can see Allison sporting in the photo above. 

    🗓 Save the Date! 🗓

    Our next meet up will be at Blue Moon Bar & Grill on Feb 14, 2024.

    🎉 Pinball News 🎉

    Did you know there are three major pinball tournaments going on this month in Madison? There was the Madison Championship (1/13), IFPA State Championship (1/20), and the IFPA Women’s State Championship (1/21). Some of our own Belles are even in some of these championships! Congrats on getting this far Mary, Sara, Donelle, Katie B, and Dori and good luck on your upcoming games.

    See ya next month! Here’s to happy flipping and spreading the pinball joy! 🌟

    Cheers,

    The Belles & Chimes Madison Planning Team

  • NerdHaven Recap

    Last night was a truly merry holiday fest of pinball, community, food and fun!!  Seventeen wonderful Belles showed up to ring out 2023.  There was a ton of cheer, and we weren’t even in a bar!  Thanks to everyone who contributed to the smorgasbord of delights. Yum!

    The big winners of the night were: Mary who won the Venom pinball launch party plaque and came in 1st place overall, with Jacque coming in 2nd and Brooke in 3rd.  Jena won the Venom translite by having the highest score of the night on the Venom pinball table.  In the other knockout groups, Dori, Jen and Tiffany walked away with NerdHaven gift cards.  Well done, all!! Thanks to NerdHaven for the gift cards.

    Speaking of thanks, you all really out did yourself and surprised and showered me, Jacque, with love.  Thank you for the generous gifts!  It is because of you all that we have this amazing community!  I owe you all a hug, fist bumps, high fives, or just another verbal thank you for spoiling me with the cute gifts.  You all are truly amazing and I’m so happy to know each and everyone of you!  I can’t wait to see what next year’s shenanigans will be!

    2024 Belles and Chime pinball meet up dates will be posted soon.  Visit our NEW website for announcements and lookout for future emails from us soon.

    You can always find our events on our Website, on our Facebook and Instagram pages, or subscribe to our Google Calendar which also includes other pinball events in Madison.

    And don’t forget! Belles & Chimes uses an inclusive definition of “woman” and “female” and we welcome trans women, genderqueer women, and non-binary people.

    Happy flipping!

    The Belles & Chimes Madison Planning Team

  • I/O Arcade Bar Recap

    Belles!! Thank you for yet another fantastic night of pinball and community! We love seeing everyone together, from regulars to newbies. Fifteen players (including one lovely new player!) showed up for the fun. ‘Tis a delight to spend time together and play all the pinball.

    The top tier had some marathon competition at the end of the night, with Aimee in 1st, Mary in 2nd and Brooke in 3rd  winning the homemade trophies. Winners of the other groups were Jacque, Ann and Jen who received gift cards from I/O.  Well done, all!  I/O Arcade Bar, thank you for hosting and donating the gift cards!

    Next up: we’ll be having a casual meetup at Black Rose Blending on Wednesday, November 29 at 6pm. (1602 Gilson St, Madison, WI 53715)  Please join us and show some love to the newest pinball location in Madison!

    Finally, we’ll be wrapping up the end of the year with a holiday extravaganza at NerdHaven on Wednesday, December 13 at 6pm (play starts at 6:30pm)! Ugly holiday sweater attire is encouraged. Or hey, any ridiculous holiday outfit will do! Bring it! It is also our Venom launch party so maybe you have an awesome comic costume you would like to wear.  It’s a party. Why not wear a holiday themed comic costume?  Can’t wait to see you all!

    You can always find our events on our Facebook or Instagram page, or subscribe to our Google Calendar which also includes other pinball events in Madison.

    And don’t forget! Belles & Chimes uses an inclusive definition of “woman” and “female” and we welcome trans women, genderqueer women, and non-binary people.

    Happy flipping!

    The Belles & Chimes Madison Planning Team

  • NerdHaven Recap

    Hello, Belles!! Thank you to all who came out for another super meetup at Nerdhaven last night, including the 2 fantastic new players! It’s always a blast to see you all and be able to play together. Yay, pinball!!

    Yesterday we saw Amanda N, Katie B and Lauren R as the top 3 winners of the night, scoring some adorably spooky trophies. Winners of the additional knockout round groups, who won gift cards to NerdHaven, were Donelle, Tiffany and Jena.  Well done!

    We’re hoping to see everyone next month for our November meetup at I/O Arcade.  Then we will wrap up the year with another bash at Nerdhaven for some holiday shenanigans including a Venom launch party! Should be a jolly time, and feel free to bring along some pinball-curious friends and family for the ride!

    You can always find our events on our Facebook or Instagram page, or subscribe to our Google Calendar which also includes other pinball events in Madison.

    And don’t forget! Belles & Chimes uses an inclusive definition of “woman” and “female” and we welcome trans women, genderqueer women, and non-binary people.

    Happy flipping!

    The Belles & Chimes Madison Planning Team

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