It’s a record as fes­ti­val fans flock in

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Life - BY CHANTELLE HEEDS chantelle.heeds@reach­plc.com @chantelle­heeds

RECORD crowds flocked to South­port this month as the town hosted its big­gest com­edy fes­ti­val yet.

The an­nual South­port Com­edy Fes­ti­val be­gan on Oc­to­ber 4, and ran un­til last Sun­day – end­ing with the Com­edy Work­shop Show­case at The Ra­mada Plaza Ho­tel.

The event raised money for the Com­mu­nity Link Foun­da­tion and fea­tured eight peo­ple try­ing their hand at be­com­ing stand-up co­me­di­ans for the first time af­ter com­plet­ing six weeks of train­ing.

The 16-day fun­fest, or­gan­ised by Val Brady and South­port co­me­dian Bren­dan Ri­ley, took place in 30 venues, with per­for­mances from 60 co­me­di­ans in 39 shows – 16 of which were sold out.

Big name co­me­di­ans in­clud­ing Ja­son Byrne, Phill Jupi­tus, Paul Sinha and Hal Crut­ten­den per­formed at the event.

The fes­ti­val has been run­ning for eight years and is or­gan­ised in con­junc­tion with South­port BID, a part­ner­ship which has al­lowed it grow from its orig­i­nal eight­day span and add a wider range of events, such as the Com­edy Bingo evening and the New Co­me­dian Com­pe­ti­tion.

Bren­dan, who was born in South­port, has con­firmed that the fes­ti­val will be re­turn­ing in 2019 and will run on Oc­to­ber 3-20.

He said: “What an amaz­ing South­port Com­edy Fes­ti­val 2018.

“It has been our most suc­cess­ful year, with 16 sold-out shows.

“Can we say a mas­sive thank you to South­port BID and all of our spon­sors and all of you lovely peo­ple who came out to watch live com­edy over the last 18 days.”

The South­port co­me­dian believes that the fes­ti­val is a suc­cess be­cause it brings the com­mu­nity to­gether and gives a chance for the town to en­joy a mix­ture of fa­mous and unique names and shows, while also giv­ing a boost to plenty of lo­cal firms.

He added: “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.”

Bren­dan 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.”

To keep up­dated with plans for South­port Com­edy Fes­ti­val 2019, visit www.south­port­com­e­dyfes­ti­val.com.

The fes­ti­val was held in 30 venues around the town

Bren­dan Ri­ley, in checked shirt, and com­edy fans five the fes­ti­val the thumbs-up

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