Comedy Festival is back

Locals can look forward to a barrel of laughs with the return of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2021. 

Minister for the Creative Industries Danny Pearson (pictured) launched the festival on March 22, which will run a program of more than 350 in-person and online events until April 18. 

Globally recognised as one of the biggest comedy festivals in the world, Melbourne International Comedy Festival has brought together a program set to reconnect audiences with their favourite acts. 

“Melbourne International Comedy Festival is one of the biggest, brightest and most beloved events of Victoria’s calendar, and I couldn’t be happier to welcome it back,” Minister Danny Pearson said.

“This year more than ever we are proud to support the festival, backing it all the way with extra funding to make it happen, make it safe and make it one to remember.”

Local talent is the focus this year with an impressive bill of much-loved Australian comedians, including Fiona O’Loughlin, Geraldine Hickey, Lano & Woodley, Zoe Coombs Marr, Aaron Chen and Wil Anderson. International-turned-locals Ross Noble and Arj Barker are also on the roster. 

Festival shows will take place in venues throughout the CBD and beyond through a dedicated touring component, with a bigger than ever digital program staring international guests to complement physical activities. 

The festival has worked closely with the state government to develop a COVIDSafe Event Plan to keep festival performers, workers and audiences safe. 

During the past year, the state government has provided additional funding to help the festival to respond to the impacts of the pandemic, continue to provide opportunities for artists and plan a COVIDSafe program. 

Most recently, the festival is one of 16 arts organisations to share in more than $4 million to stage live COVIDSafe events and performances •

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