See top class com­edy just a crawl away

Midweek Visiter - - St Joseph’s Hospice - BY CHRISTY BYRNE christy.byrne@trin­i­tymir­ @ByrneChris­ty

THE South­port Com­edy Fes­ti­val’s pub crawl with a twist is back and big­ger than ever this year, with four crawls sched­uled for 2018.

The com­edy crawls are sup­ported by South­port Busi­ness Im­prove­ment Dis­trict (BID), and at­tempts to bring all the fun of the fes­ti­val to smaller venues that usu­ally would not ben­e­fit. Tick­ets are just £5.

Or­gan­iser and comic Bren­dan Ri­ley said: “It’s a great way for us to bring the fes­ti­val into places that wouldn’t usu­ally have gigs.

“These bars are pay­ing a levy for BID to ex­ist so it’s good for BID to sup­port this event and give some­thing back.”

Six­teen venues will take part in the crawls, with four bars tak­ing place in each one.

This means that the crawls have grown four-fold, af­ter last year’s took in only four venues, and demon­strates the growth of the fes­ti­val it­self. The pub crawls start at: Kokomo Cof­fee & Wine Bar, Bold Street, Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 4.

Rueters Bar & Grill, Hoghton Street, Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 9.

The Phoenix, Corona­tion Walk, Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 15.

Veron­ica’s, Lord Street, Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 18.

Bren­dan said: “Over the last two years we’ve ex­panded the fes­ti­val, and the BID are in­stru­men­tal in help­ing us do that.

“It’s a way of get­ting the gigs in, and in­creas­ing trade in these bars that peo­ple don’t usu­ally go to, be­cause there’s some great lit­tle beer places in South­port.

“Cus­tomers only know about one place, the first pub we start in.

“Af­ter that it’s a mys­tery tour, we’ll watch a co­me­dian in the first place then we get the tan­noy out and move on, en masse, get a drink in the next place and then an­other co­me­dian gets up and does 15 min­utes.”

Bren­dan got in­volved with the fes­ti­val as part of a res­cue mis­sion fol­low­ing the can­cel­la­tion of the 2010 fes­ti­val, and it has gone from strength to strength since.

Speak­ing of his first in­volve­ment, Bren­dan said: “There were some shows that had al­ready been booked in the South­port Theatre be­fore it was can­celled, the stuff we did was more like a fringe.

“I thought it was mas­sive at the time but now I look at the brochure it was tiny!

“Then we got it to 11 days, and last year we turned it into 18.

“It all felt a bit crammed in 11 days, we were run­ning around too much and peo­ple were miss­ing out on shows. “It’s a bit of a beast now!” To book tick­ets to one of the crawls or any of the events, visit: www.south­port­com­e­dyfes­ti­

South­port com­edy Fes­ti­val founder and or­gan­iser Bren­dan Ri­ley

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