Get ready to give your stomach muscles a work out as you laugh non-stop at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is a three-and-a-half week event featuring some of the greatest comedians from both Australia and around the world. You’ll also have the chance to view some newcomers trying their hand at comedy.
Having first commenced in 1987, this year marks the 27th Melbourne International Comedy Festival. It is one of the three largest comedy festivals in the world with over 300 events across Melbourne attracting 60,000 guests. The other two largest comedy festivals in the world are the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Montreal Just for Laughs Festival.
While the festival consists mainly of cabaret and stand-up comedy, it extends to cover a range of hilarious events including theatre, musical shows and street performances as well as TV, radio and visual arts. Come witness international stars like Arj Barker, DeAnne Smith and Brendan Walsh deliver their best lines. Or, watch some local favourites like Adam Hills, Akmal and Cal Wilson in action.
If you’re curious about how the Melbourne International Comedy Festival stacks up with the other international comedy festivals, check out the Bulmers Best of Edinburgh Fest. The Bulmers Best of Edinburgh Fest features three of the best new acts from this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
- Raw Comedy – the biggest open mic competition in Australia,
- Class Clowns – a competition for high school students, the Teenage Gala,
- Deadly Funny – an indigenous comedy competition and the annual Great Debate.
- The Comedy Festival Gala, unfortunately already sold out (these tickets go fast!) is televised. The Great Debate, first held in 1989, is also televised.
If you’re visiting Melbourne with kids, there’s a great range of family friendly events bound to entertain your whole family. For example you can take your kids to see the outrageous ‘The Listies 6D (Twice as Good as 3D)”, an interactive choose-your-own-adventure (and cast) style show called “The Fairytale Cookbook” or a slightly altered “Alice in Wonderland”. There’s also “The (Very) Big Laugh Out”, an event held in Fed Square and City Square on different dates throughout April. It features a colourful array of street performances and best of all – it’s free!
If you plan on attending any of the events, it’s worth noting that a number of restaurants and bars are offering Comedy Festival attendees special discounts for meals and drinks before or after the show. For example Allegro, Essence on Exhibition Restaurant and Martini Bar offer Comedy Festival guests 20% of the total bill. The Meat and Wine Co offers a complimentary glass or wine, beer or softdrink with any main meal purchase and the French Brasserie offers a pre-theatre two course meal with a Kir Royal for $35 per person. There are plenty of offers to choose from.
This year the event will be held from 27 March to 21 April 2013. Each event has different times so check the event guide here.
Each event is held at its own location across Melbourne which is where your Hertz Melbourne Airport car rental will come in handy. Most events are held at Melbourne Town Hall, others are held at places like the Bull and Bear Tavern, the Red Violin and the Arts Centre. Public transport is an option, otherwise you can rely on the hire car you collected at the Melbourne Airport car rental to get you to venue.
Each event has its own pricing. Many events are free and the others are very affordable with some shows just $5, others $10-15 and some in the vicinity of $50. Tickets are already on sale and shows do sell out so if you’re planning to go to one of the shows you should definitely book your ticket in advance. Book your tickets here. For more information, visit the official Melbourne International Comedy Festival website.