Audience numbers increased at Aberdeen Comedy Festival

Canadian comedian Craig Campbell, who headlined the launch of the festival at the Lemon Tree
Canadian comedian Craig Campbell, who headlined the launch of the festival at the Lemon Tree

Organisers of Aberdeen Comedy Festival have hailed north-east residents who turned for shows across the city centre which lead to a significant increase in audience numbers this year.

Delivered by Aberdeen Inspired, the 11-day festival – which ran from Thursday, October 5 to Sunday, October 15 – sold a total of 3,198 tickets and saw audiences increase by 30 percent compared to the debut festival in 2016.

Full of laughs from start to finish it featured local, national and international comedians who performed over 55 comedy shows in the Granite City at more than 27 city centre venues.

Tops names on the comedy circuit entertained crowds throughout the festival including, Craig Campbell, Fred MacAulay, Eleanor Conway, Justin Moorhouse, Daliso Chaponda, Bec Hill, Shazia Mirza, and Paul Tonkinson

Sponsored by McGinty’s Meal An’ Ale, and organised with programme partner Breakneck Comedy, the festival format included a selection of one man stand up shows as well as mixed bills where several comedians took to the stage.

The festival also included free stand-up shows, comedy workshops for children and adults, kids shows, local talent showcases and comedy films screened at the Belmont Filmhouse.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, praised the public for supporting the festival and said plans for next year’s festival are already being discussed.

He said: “The response from the public, local businesses and visitors to the Aberdeen Comedy Festival has been fantastic once again and we are delighted to see an increase in audience numbers this year.

“Although only in its second year, this is Scotland’s third largest comedy festival and has proved extremely popular with the public and comedy fans from Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and further afield.

“The feedback we have received from the public, visitors and businesses proves there is a big appetite for events on this scale in the Granite City. We will be working to bring the festival back again next year and build upon the success of the first two years.”

Alan Aitken, Operations Director of McGinty’s, added: “We are very proud to support Aberdeen Comedy Festival and play our part to bring cultural events to the city.

“The festival helped bring people in to the city centre and it’s been great to hear that so many venues have benefitted from hosting shows and providing popular entertainment.

“Our free comedy events proved to be very successful and we look forward to welcoming the festival back to Aberdeen in 2018.”

Festival organisers have also been hearing from many of the comedians who performed in Aberdeen.

Canadian comedian Craig Campbell, who headlined the launch of the festival at the Lemon Tree in partnership with Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA), said: “It was a great pleasure to be part of the festival, thanks again for asking me.”

Paul Tonkinson, who headlined the festival finale at Aberdeen Arts Centre, added: “It was an absolute pleasure to be a small part of it!”

Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen BID (Business Improvement District) operates. It is a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute.

Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to improve the business district. More information on the work of Aberdeen Inspired is available online at: www.aberdeeninspired.com