Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2020

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is one of the three largest comedy festivals in the world, alongside Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival. Next year it will run from 25 March - 19 April 2020.

Since 1987, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival has been bringing people from all over the world to this city. For almost one month, each year, locals and visitors alike get the chance to laugh together and discover new art forms, performers and bits.

The shows are held all over Melbourne, even though the Melbourne Town Hall is the traditional festival hub for most performances. In fact, in 2014, there were over 469 shows and 6,488 performances by 2,228 artists during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and each year the festival is getting bigger and more popular. Moreover, according to statistics, this is Australia's largest cultural event with the highest box-office revenue.  

From March to April throughout Melbourne, you can visit stand-up, cabaret acts, sketch shows, plays, improvisational theatre, debates, concerts and art exhibitions. Plus, all of these shows are sorted into five categories to make it easier for visitors to find the perfect show for them:

  • International
  • Australian
  • Special Events
  • Family
  • Kids Comedy

The special events category is usually the one that attracts the most attention by far. Hence, the most famous one of them all is the Comedy Festival Gala.

The comedy festival also produces three development programs:

  • Raw Comedy - the biggest open mic competition in Australia
  • Class Clowns - a comedy competition for high school students across the country
  • Deadly Funny - an Indigenous comedy competition

Visit the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Website

Each of these programs supports and helps discover the new generation of comedians in Australia.

The Comedy Festival Gala

The Comedy Festival Gala shows the best acts, bits and performances from the festival in one place. It’s like a collage of headliners and award-winning comedians performing in sold-out shows, which is the main reason people love the Gala so much. In fact, the Gala is the festival's flagship event, and it’s usually sold out months before the Festival. Plus, it’s always hosted by very popular and highly skilled comedians. So far, people have seen Arj Barker, Eddie Ifft, Adam Hills, Russell Kane, Stephen K Amos, Mike Wilmot and Rich Hall on stage.

The Comedy Festival Gala is a charity event since 1995, and all proceeds go to Oxfam Australia.

The Awards

As a popular and respectable festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival honours its performers with awards at the end. The two most popular prizes are the Barry Award (most outstanding show of the festival) and the Piece of Wood Award (comics' choice award).

Of course, we also have the following accolades:

  • Best Newcomer Award (the festival's best first-time performer)
  • Age Critics' Award (best local act selected by Age)
  • Golden Gibbo (local, independent act)
  • Directors' Choice (an outstanding show that missed out on any other prize)

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is the third-biggest international comedy festival in the world.

Hotel Lindum is the perfect place for you to stay when you’re visiting the city during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Apart from excellent accommodation and delicious cuisine, Hotel Lindrum is also located in the centre of Melbourne, where most of the shows are being held.

With this impressive Comedy Festival drawing more and more people to Melbourne, book your Melbourne hotel accommodation in the heart of the festival. The Hotel Lindrum is your ideal choice, centrally located and offering easy access to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival venues. Contact us today for the best rates.