18 days of top com­edy? Re­sult!

Midweek Visiter - - Front Page - BY JAMIE LOPEZ jamie.lopez@reach­plc.com @jamie_lopez1 Right, fes­ti­val or­gan­iser Bren­dan Ri­ley – ‘‘We just want peo­ple to come out and have a lot of fun’’

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

Tom Binns

Jo Caulfield

Hal Crut­ten­den

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