In a year which boasted the largest program of events in its 27 year history, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival has announced a record breaking $13,331,162 in box office – an increase of 12.27% on last year’s Festival, firmly holding its position as one of the biggest events in Australia’s cultural calendar.
Melbourne audiences, interstate and international guests demonstrated that the Festival is as well loved as ever with a total attendance of over 638,200 (up 12.27%) and paid attendance of 489,723 (up 6.1 %) in 2013.
Melbourne Comedy Festival Director, Susan Provan said: “We’re pleased that this year’s larger program, driven by a greater number of performers keen to showcase their work, was supported by a significant increase in audience numbers.”
“Melbourne provides an incredibly supportive, comedy audience-base and every year more fans from all over Australia and the world join the festivities. Our growing production slate of TV, radio, podcasts and online activity reaches an even greater audience. Our live audience this year was complemented by over 2 million viewers for our nationally broadcast TV specials”
For the number crunchers, there were 459 shows 5,671 performances by 1,390 performers helped by over 1,200 support staff in 130 venues. The average ticket price was $27.
The Festival’s free outdoor program, The Very Big Laugh Out was enjoyed by the masses throughout the Festival with a total attendance for this year’s free events at 148,500 (up 5.14%).
Melbourne Comedy Festival Chairman Bill Shannon said: “The Comedy Festival is part of Melbourne’s DNA. Being Australia’s largest ticketed cultural festival gives local and international comic artists confidence to present their work to a supportive and enthusiastic audience.”
“We are grateful to our public and private partners for their commitment to our goals. Congratulations to the artists, producers, festival staff and crew for making this year’s Comedy Festival a great success.”
The very best Australian and international comedians are currently making their way across Australia on the renowned Comedy Festival Roadshow, whipping up huge laughs along the way before heading overseas to long-time Roadshow destinations Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as returning to India, first visited with great success in 2012.
The 2014 Melbourne Comedy Festival runs from 26 March – 20 April. for more information, visit: www.comedyfestival.com.au for details.
Image: by Rohan Shearn