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Birmingham Comedy Festival, 7-16 October 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When is the next festival?
A: Dates are Friday 6 to Sunday 15 October 2017. The full programme will be announced over the summer (typically around August) - so keep an eye out. If you're looking to take part, see further Qs below.

Q: Can I purchase a ticket for the entire festival?
A: Because of the sheer spread and number of shows in the festival, this sadly isn't possible at present.

Q: Can I purchase a ticket for [name of show] on the door?
A: Although there may well be tickets available on the door for certain performances, we cannot guarantee this, so where possible, we advise advance purchase.

Q: How can I take part in the festival?
A: Contact us for details, but basically, if you're an act, we often have venues and promoters who are looking for comics and shows and they may also have open spots; or if you're a venue, you can put on or host a show. We tend to put a call out for submissions around Easter(ish) with an initial deadline around end-June/ early-July(ish). Keep an eye on our Facebook page for exact dates. However, we do accept submissions all year round. But as we've said ... contact us by email with some details and we can let you know once there's more news.

Q: How do I enter the Breaking Talent Award?
A: The award is only open to emerging acts from the West Midlands region, but does not accept open submissions; competing acts are picked by a selection panel of comedy professionals. If you play a lot of gigs and are good ... someone might notice you!

Q: I'm trying to break into comedy, what advice do you have?
A: Perform as much as possible. Plenty of venues, such as The Roadhouse in Stirchley, have regular 'open spots' where new acts can try their luck, and once you get a few open spots under your belt, you can work your way up to longer spots. mac Birmingham in Edgbaston also run an excellent stand-up comedy course, tutored by comedian and broadcaster James Cook.

Q: Do you have any Open Mic spots available?
A: Once the full festival line-up has been announced, it's best to check fest' listings for 'open mic' shows and contact venues/ clubs/ promoters direct. The Roadhouse is a good place to start...

Q: Can you recommend a show suitable for my grandma / child / teenager / cat ...?
A: Because comedy is so subjective it's hard for us to recommend particular shows for specific individuals we've never met. One person's hilarious is another's offensive! However, some shows will be 18+ (either due to licensing laws or content), and others will be open to a wider age group. You can find out more details on the venue websites, while a trawl of YouTube should give you an idea about a particular act/ show.

Q: What's the etiquette with free and 'bucket shows'?
A: They're essentially pay-what-you-want (PWYW) gigs that are typically free in with audiences encouraged to donate upon exit (with a bucket for donations). Although the show might be free, those involved will still have costs, so please do support live comedy, and give generously upon exit.

Q: We are a charity, can we organise collections at all your fest' shows?
A: Sadly we are not able to arrange festival-wide support for a variety of reasons, including our capacity (as volunteers), the sheer number of partners we work with (dozens and dozens!), and also the fact that many venues, promoters and/ or acts have their own chosen charities. However, the festival has previously featured individual events which support good causes, and we continue to welcome such activities.

Q: [Some show] has sold out - can you get me a ticket?
A: Unlikely. If it's sold out ... it's sold out. But feel free to contact the venue's Box Office direct in case there are any returns.

Q: Can I have a job please?
A: Sorry, there are presently no paid jobs available. If we do have any opportunities or commissions, they'll be advertised via our social media channels.

Q: Can I book a food/ retail pitch?
A: As we're a festival that takes place across many different venues, and indoors, we are presently not able to offer food or retail stalls or pitches to traders.

More Qs to follow...

© Copyright - Birmingham Comedy Festival 2016.