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A Quick Guide to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Melbourne International Comedy Festival

It’s time to get your giggle on because the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is on again from March 28 – April 22, 2018!

With over 630 shows from Australia and around the world, the festival is the third largest in the world, behind the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Montreal’s Just for Laughs.

Whether you want to see local favorites like Lano and Woodley Fly back to the stage, International headlines such as James Vietch (known for the Scamalot videos on Mashable), or support newcomers new to the stage, like YouTube star Alex Williamson in So Wrong, It’s Wrong; there’s bound to be something that will tickle every type of funny bone, including plenty of shows for kids at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival!

Melbourne International Comedy Festival

A Quick Guide to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Where is the Melbourne International Comedy Festival?

While the Melbourne Town Hall is the festival hub there are 100 locations around the city where you will find performances.

World-famous superstars pack out the Melbourne Town Hall, up-and-coming locals have you in stitches in tiny bars, and surprise guests pop up at the Comedy Club every night.

See all the venues on the MICF website.

Tips for making the most of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival via. @NicoleTravelBug | What to do in Melbourne | #Comedy #Melbourne #Victoria #Australia |

5 Tips for a Great Melbourne International Comedy Festival Experience

Stretch your dollars further

If you want to save money (for more comedy show tix of course!) take advantage of ahm Tightass Tuesdays.
Every Tuesday during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival you’ll be able to access discounted tickets for all shows. Savings can run from $3-$10 so be sure to look around and see how much you can save on tickets.

If you can’t make it to a show on Tuesday, previews run the first week of the festival (they’re the ones with the pink dots next to their dates) and concessions are available for students, children and the elderly to many shows every day.

Another way to save money is by going to a show mid-week. From Tuesday to Thursday, all the comedians that Century rep have discount tickets! (I recommend checking out Matt Okine‘s show)

There are also free shows around town, like Federation Square’s The (Very) Big Laugh Out showcase and Free Comedy @ The Highlander on daily!

Support up-and-coming acts

These are often underpriced gems of the festival, and help those trying to make it big!

To get started, check out RAW Comedy who bring together the best from open mic nights around Australia for the finals during the festival.

There’s also the big chalkboards outside the Melbourne Town Hall filled with every show happening that evening. Check out what’s on and pick a show that tickles your fancy and talk to the comedians and get their tips on who might match your comedy style.

Or do what I do. I like to choose at least one show a year with a pun-tastic name. It’s why I saw Kosher Bacon by local boy Michael Shafar last week and the show had me in stitches from start to end!

Try something new

One of my absolute favourite things to do at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is exploring new styles of comedy!

This year you can find everything from standup, improv (Improv Against Humanity is always hilarious), comedy pub crawls, magiciansdrag, puppetry and even cabaret!

Head to the Melbourne Town Hall and you’ll be approached by comedians handing out flyers for their shows. They’re always up for a chat and – if they’re not quite the right fit – will recommend fellow comedians who might be more your style. Or check out the chalkboards.

If you really can’t make up your mind, another option is to buy a ticket to a show featuring multiple acts. There are dozens of them. I’m going to be checking out Big Value Edinburgh Comedy this year, which brings acts from the Edinburgh Fringe to Australia!

Support local talent

Whether you’ve seen them on TV, heard them on the radio, or seen their latest viral video online, be sure to support the huge line-up of Australian comedians at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival!

While we don’t need to talk much about the big stars, like Tommy Little, Dave Hughes, Dave Thornton, Joel Creasey and Dilruk Jayasinha. If you want rising stars before they double their ticket prices when they make it big, head to Trades Hall (corner of Lygon and Victoria St) where the acts are all Aussie.

While you are at Trades Hall, see a show, or get a three-show pass which gives you a discount, and have a drink in the uber-hip bar on the ground floor.

You can find all the great Aussie comedians on the festival website.

The best from overseas

Some of the biggest names in comedy and the best from around the world join the line-up of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this year.

These include Rich Hall (US), Stephen K Amos (UK), James Vietch (UK), Jason Byrne (Ireland), Urzila Carlson (NZ) Fern Brady (Scotland), Loyiso Gola (South Africa), and Dr. Jason Leong (Malaysia).

To get a taste of a few of some of the best talent coming from overseas, check out Comedy Zone AsiaBest of the Edinburgh Fest, The Indian All-Star Comedy Showcase and Headliners.

All these laughs got you hungry?

Bars, restaurants, and cafés across Melbourne offer special deals for Melbourne International Comedy Festival ticket-holders through the Liven app.

Flash your ticket and you’ll score happy hour prices any time at the Town Hall-adjacent Cabinet Bar and Balcony, a free digestive with a post-show cheese board at Punch Lane, 15 percent off your total bill at Mexican eatery Touché Hombre and a free cocktail with your dinner at barbecue haven Fancy Hank’s.

You can find the full list of deals here.

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Accommodation in Melbourne

There is plenty of accommodation options for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Here are a few of my top picks:

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