It’s a record as festival fans flock in
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