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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:28 am 
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I've always wanted to go to Just for Laughs and this year I may actually be able to make it happen, but the festival website's a bit short on information. So far there are only a few gigs listed and it all seems to be big-venue expensive stuff.

Is it anything like Edinburgh? Obviously it's going to be different but that's my comedy festival frame of reference.

Are there plenty of smaller acts in bars and clubs or is it all big theatre venues?

Is there an equivalent of the free fringe?

I'm going to need to book flights soon but I've not been able to get a feel for what the festival is like - If you've been (either as a punter or a performer) I'd really like to hear your experiences.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:39 am 
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Not at all like Edinburgh. Basically it's a corporate event that's invitation-only for all the acts, so not even vaguely comparable to the Fringe, let alone the free part, where people rock up with shows and good ideas.

It's all geared towards big-name galas: A-lister host plus maybe ten acts in a massive theatre, doing short sets, there's usually two of these a night. There are lots of gigs in support of that, normally themed, eg a Britcom night, Nasty Show... These are in big clubs and give the acts a chance to hone their set.

In recent years they've added a Zoofest strand, which is about solo shows, so more like Edinburgh. The scale is so much smaller, though. But this is your best chance to see things on a budget, the Zoofest pass is pretty cheap. https://www.zoofest.com/Show/Index?language=en

The most visible part of the festival is the street entertainment, they put up big stages and offer stuff for free in the squares.

The comedians the festival attracts are great. You're likely to get frustrated or baffled by the organisation of it, but you will see top-notch acts, though outside of Zoofest you'll have to pay for it.

Do not expect Edinburgh, though!


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