Comedy Festivals 2018


Leicester Comedy Festival – February
Applications open after the Ed Fringe.
Deadline 4th October.

Running over three weeks, participants tend to do one or two shows rather than a long run. It is very central: venues are all within walking distance. Leicester’s awards are a good industry indicator of who to look out for in Edinburgh. Home of The UK Pun Championships, Silver Stand Up & Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year.
Kerry Herbert was a panel judge in 2016.

Machynlleth – April
Enquire about applications from September. 

Nottingham Comedy Festival – November
Applications open in April 2018.

Halifax Comedy Festival – 20-28 October 2017

Bath Comedy Festival – April
Final Artwork deadline 31 January. Apply by email from September.

Brighton Fringe – May.
Venues are fairly central with good bus links. Participants tend to do one or two shows. Can be used as a warm-up for Edinburgh, especially in regard to PR – starting a buzz with the critics.

Edinburgh Fringe – August.
A huge arts festival that runs for three weeks in various venues across the city. To be considered for an award participants have to do a full run.
Registration opens January.
Discount deadline: March.
Brochure: April.
Outside advertising (Out of Hand street posters) first run: May.
Shows go on sale as early as February.

Learn more about bringing a show to the #Edfringe in the Fringe Guides on the pages, where you can also find the Edfringeware, the Fringe venue and show registration system. See below for Top Tips.

Camden – August, alternative to Edinburgh


Prague – May-June
Applications open September. Closing date Monday 18th September 2017.

Melbourne – March-April
Expressions of interest now open! To be approved as an overseas artist, you need to submit an Expression of Interest to the Festival Director. Please download and complete a form, which includes your biography, a show synopsis, YouTube links and information about any upcoming performances. Closing date Monday 9th October 2017.

Sydney – 20 April to May 2018
Applications open 12 September.


Montreal, Just for Laughs – October

And coming soon, Rum Punchlines… a Caribbean comedy festival!



  • Prepare an “elevator pitch” – 25 words about you and your show and why people should come see you. MAKE IT FUNNY!
  • Start early – September/October. Film gig clips to send to promoters.
  • NAME: Title.
  • Have a strong photo image with blank background (for text): headshot, full body and action/theme, in hi-res and low-res.
  • Debut shows and early stage comics tend to be offered less central venues with poorer footfall, though charm, humour, courtesy and a strong work ethic (gigs!) go a long way with promoters.
  • Book accommodation close to your venue, or at least on the same side of the city. The Edfringe is a marathon, but you don’t want to run one.
  • Plan to spend at least an hour a day flyering, more to sell out. You’re the best person to sell your show. If you can afford to pay a flyerer too, do – the good ones get booked early. There is an Edfringe Flyering Network on Facebook.
  • Book as many Preview gigs as possible.
  • Be prepared to perform to one or two people who are just sheltering from the rain. Flyer like mad. Never cancel!
  • Make every joke count.
  • Make every show count.
  • Treat it like a very expensive holiday where you are there to work and learn. You probably won’t break even. You probably won’t get famous, reviewed, or an agent. But you will come away a much better comedian.

It’s never too early to start building your profile. Remember, the best reviews are word of mouth!

Stand-Up Marketing is expert at strategic promotion from Fringe to Fringe, working with new acts and those with an established career in comedy. Please contact Kerry *at* with your contact details, a bit about you, and maybe a joke!


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