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Brisbane Comedy Festival returns in 2021

Prepare to LOL in the aisles when Brisbane Comedy Festival returns with a star-studded line-up hitting the river city for three huge weeks of laughs and live gigs from 16 July to 8 August 2021.

Warm-up your winter with a packed program of sizzling highlights featuring homegrown heroes, repeat offenders and fan favourites playing three big Brisbane venues: Brisbane Powerhouse, The Tivoli and The Fortitude Music Hall.

Brisbane Comedy Festival Director Phoebe Meredith said the new winter dates had attracted a huge number of headline acts and household names, all champing at the bit after a COVID-impacted 2020.

“We’re long overdue a little light relief after COVID-19 cut the laughs short in the final week of last year’s Festival,” Ms Meredith said.

“Australia’s most talented comedians spent that time working on new material and if the reviews coming out of Melbourne International Comedy Festival are anything to go by we are all in for a real treat.

“Brisbane comedy fans are renowned for being rowdy, receptive and up-for-a-laugh so it’s unsurprising to see so many big acts eager to hit our stages.”

In time-honoured fashion, the Brisbane Comedy Festival Opening Gala kicks off the 24-day event on 16 July with a spectacular line-up of comedians at The Fortitude Music Hall, hosted by Tommy Little.

Playing Brisbane Powerhouse is straight-talking YouTube star and lockdown legend Nat’s What I Reckon, performing his new show On Purpose from 17-18 July.

Australia’s beloved comedic import, Ross Noble, launches his post-COVID 2021 Comeback Special and brings his spontaneous stand-up and flights of fantasy to Brisbane Powerhouse from 27 July to 8 August.

Also emerging from lockdown with fresh material is Effie (Mary Coustas) whose trademark honest wit punctuates her new show, Better Out Than In from 17-18 July.

Brisbane Powerhouse trains the spotlight on a diverse schedule of acts including Christian Hull in his solo stand-up debut, seasoned entertainer Paul McDermott, Mel Buttle, Kevin Kropinyeri, Jimeon, Cal Wilson, Aboriginal Allstars, Nikki Osbourne and Tom Ballard.

Brisbane comedy couple Stav and Kat Davidson present an encore season of He Said, She Said on 7-8 August with all-new fresh and funny life-in-lockdown material.

The leading arts performance venue also hosts the return of Festival favourites Frocking Hilarious, Queerstories, Brisburned, This Is Your Trial and Knockoff free comedy every Friday.

The Tivoli sets the table for the Brisbane Comedy Festival Sunday Roast on July 25 then serves up a feast of guest acts including Fiona O’Loughlin, Peter Helliar, Anne Edmonds & Lloyd Langford, Rosie Waterland, Dave Thornton and Geraldine Hickey.

Karen from Finance (RuPaul’s Drag Race) is heading Out of Office and bringing her high-camp one-woman show to the iconic Brisbane venue from 29-31 July.

International sensations The Naked Magicians leave Las Vegas and return to play the Festival that kickstarted their careers in their Home-Coming Tour at The Tivoli from 5-7 August.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said Brisbane residents and visitors would lap up three weeks of light-hearted laughter after a difficult year.

“Everyone will be looking forward to Brisbane’s favourite funny festival, showcasing homegrown talent, household names, as well as three of Brisbane’s incredible arts and live music venues,” Cr Schrinner said.

“Festivals like this contribute to our vibrant and creative city, providing more to see, do, and smile about, while supporting our arts and events industry.”

Brisbane Comedy Festival runs from Friday 16 July to Sunday 8 August 2021.