18 days of top comedy? Result!
THOUSANDS of visitors are expected to descend on Southport over the next few weeks as the town hosts its biggest comedy festival yet.
This year’s Southport Comedy Festival kicks off this Thursday (October 4) with stars such as Phill Jupitus, Paul Sinha and Hal Cruttenden among the line-up.
The festival runs for 16 days and features a variety of attractions, including comedy pub crawls, a Children’s Comedy Trail and a live theatre show.
Organised by Southport comedian and compere Brendam Riley, the festival takes place across a wide variety of venues in the town, from theatres to restaurants and pubs.
Lord Street bar The Potting Shed is among venues featuring for the first time and Brendan says the success of the festival could not happen without the support of so many of the town’s businesses.
The event is in now entering its eighth year and is organised in conjunction with Southport BID, a partnership which has allowed it grow from its original eight-day span and add a wider range of events, such as the Comedy Bingo evening and the New Comedian Competition.
For Brendan, the festival is a success because gives a chance for Southport to enjoy a mixture of famous and unique names and shows, while also giving a boost to plenty of local firms.
The reason it has grown so well each year, Brendan argues, is because of the way the community comes together to support it.
He said: “The festival brings thousands and thousands of people into town at a time of the year when there’s not much else happening.
‘‘The summer has finished and it’s not quite time for the Hallowe’en stuff so it fits in really well.
“We get great support from the BID who always want us to keep trying new things so we try to do the same each year but add more.
“Because we get such great sponsors involved, we can keep ticket prices really low and then people do want to come out.”
Hugh Evans, CEO of Southport BID, said: “We are thrilled to be supporting the comedy festival again this year. It has really grown into a superb event for the town that brings people into the town centre and into its great venues.
‘‘The BID specifically supports the pub crawls which see comedy acts put in to over 16 venues each year. These are venues which wouldn’t normally host comedy and it brings them great exposure and new customers.
‘‘Bren and BIG Comedy UK do a superb job of highlighting the town and putting out a great positive message.”
Brendan, who was born in Southport, added: “We just want people to come out and have a lot of fun.
“People get used to just staying in and watching TV and they don’t get to enjoy live comedy in such intimate venues. There’s so much on and there really is something for everyone. “Come out and enjoy yourself!”
For the full line up of events and to book tickets, visit: southportcomedyfestival.com