Belfast Comedy Festival

Have a laugh this autumn with over 50 different events featuring some of the funniest names on the local and international stage

Festival Details


Monday, 02 October 2017 to Sunday, 08 October 2017



Belfast’s only dedicated comedy arts festival takes place from October 2-8 with 52 shows featuring a host of established and emerging comic performers in 20 venues across the city

Celebrating its sixth year, the festival is not limited to stand-up comedy and aims to entertain, challenge, and inspire through a diverse programme of theatre, workshops, seminars, circus, film, quizzes, competitions, and events for children.

Critically acclaimed comedians such as John Bishop, Rubberbandits, Henning Wehn, Joel Dommett, Fern Brady and Bec Hill, many fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe, will appear in association with our major venues. Leading local performers such as Tim McGarry, Terry McHugh, Mary Flanigan and Caz Brennan will also feature in the packed programme.

The festival will also include the hilarious new play Three’s a Shroud written by Stephen Large and directed by Martin Lynch. The internet sensation, Farmer Michael and Kathleen, will also make their first appearance in Belfast.

Launching the festival, the Lord Mayor, Councillor Nuala McAllister, commented: 'It will be great to hear the sound of laughter ringing throughout our city during the week of the Comedy Festival. Comedy is an often over-looked art form, and plays an important role in our lives. The people of Belfast are well known for our sense of humour, often directed at ourselves, and to help us through the darkest of times. I am sure Belfast audiences will take the festival into their hearts, and I am delighted that Belfast City Council has played its part in helping to make it happen.'

The Belfast Comedy Festival is supported by Belfast City Council, ASM Chartered Accountants and National Lottery Small Grants funding through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Brian Clerkin from ASM Chartered Accountants said: 'We are thrilled to be once again sponsoring the fantastic Belfast Comedy Festival. This event has become one of the most talked about and anticipated events in the city, attracting locals and tourists to a wide variety of exciting comedy events. ASM is a company that supports local innovation and talent and this festival represents the best of these qualities.'

Sonya Whitefield, Arts Development Officer, Arts Council, added: 'The comedy arts sector is an important part of our cultural experience and a major creative and economic driver with tourism, health, good relations, and other benefits for the community. The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to support the Belfast Comedy Festival and would encourage everyone to go along and enjoy the wide range of performances on offer.'

Other acts include the award winning, US based sketch group Pajama Men, making their first appearance in Belfast. A series of workshops for kids is being organised with Australian storyteller, Margaret Linley and clowning company, Amadan. Sketch comedy is well represented with local acts Those Who Can’t, the Laughing Gnomes and the Sick Sense. A special edition of the Comedian’s Comedy Podcast with Stuart Goldsmith and an exhibition of comics in Framewerk gallery will also take place. A ground-breaking conference examining the state of the comedy industry in Northern Ireland will also be held on October 7 in the Mac.

Festival Director, Peter O’Neill, said the unique comedy arts festival will appeal to audiences of all ages with a programme that presents great value.

'There’s something for everyone in festival and we are pleased to release details of 52 shows in our programme. We aim to stretch the boundaries of comedy in the city by presenting a diverse range of performances that are guaranteed to brighten up our autumn nights. So, join us in having a laugh!'