Success for 26th Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Melbourne audiences, interstate and international guests came out in droves for this year's 26th Melbourne International Comedy Festival, with a total attendance of 606,879 and paid attendance of 461,383. Widely recognised as one of the biggest events in Australia's cultural calendar, audiences and artists demonstrated that the 26 day Festival is as well loved as ever before.
The 2012 Festival recorded $12,020,000 in box office – the average ticket price was $26.07.
No mean feat, this year's Festival boasted 5286 performances and 1939 performers all aided by the dedication of 1098 support staff across 129 venues.
Melbourne Comedy Festival Director, Susan Provan said: "The Festival continues to be an event that supports new talent, celebrates favourites and welcomes the rest of the world to Melbourne, a city with the best comedy audiences on the planet! It was great to see the crowds taking risks and discovering the new and exciting talent the Festival unearths annually."
The Festival's free outdoor program, The Very Big Laugh Out was enjoyed by people of all ages who basked in the sun and fun at Federation Square. Total attendance for this year's free events was 94,698.
The Barry Award went to the silent star of 2012, California's Dr Brown who fought off competition from Wil Anderson, Tim Key, Paul Foot, Dave Gorman and Felicity Ward to take home the coveted prize. Ones to watch in 2013 are joint winners of the Best Newcomer Award, Ronny Chieng and Matt Okine; Lessons with Luis were awarded the Golden Gibbo and crowned the RAW Comedy Winners of 2012.
For comedy lovers around Australia who didn't make it to Melbourne for this year's Festival, the very best Australian and international comedians are currently touring the country on the notorious Comedy Festival Roadshow before it heads overseas to Singapore and Hong Kong.
The 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival runs from 27 March – 21 April.