When it comes to the entertainment industry, music festivals have seemingly dominated the market over the past 10 years. Coachella and Goldenvoice broke new ground when they re-united Los Angeles band Rage Against the Machine 9 years ago. Since then, festivals like Burning Man, a mid-80’s unknown gem have grown tremendously in size and popularity. Stage Coach is the industry standard in country music showcases. Bonnaroo, Sasquatch, South by Southwest, Electric Daisy Carnival… this list goes on and on.
Are festivals a new practice in the music industry? Absolutely not. Anyone who calls themselves a millennial would be remiss if they admitted that festivals were only around since their high school graduations. The truth is festivals have been a long running practice when it comes to music. We see this is also true in film. Sundance is a household name when it comes to what movies may make it to the Oscars. Cannes out of France has also made a name for itself in the past few years, lending its name to some of the most inspired works that cinema has had to offer. Again, this is not a new concept to those who put even the slightest bit of research into the music or film industry.
That begs the question: What about comedy? Comedy festivals have been around for quite some time as well but have never gained the same traction or attention that has been granted to music and film, until now that is. For the past decade, comedy has seen a resurgence in popularity. Comics such as Amy Schumer, Louie C.K., John Mulaney once making their rounds in the cut-throat comedy scene have now gone to create development deals with Comedy Central, FX, Netflix and even self-produced original, critically-acclaimed programming. Now that the national comedy scene is a monster that has finally been woken up, comedy festivals are now making rearing their hilarious heads to give us, the audience, the chance to binge-laugh as much as our bodies can possibly handle.
Now, in 2016, comedy festivals are a force to be reckoned with. SF Sketchfest, SheDot, Wild West Comedy Festival, Boston Comedy Arts Festival and others come to show the US, Canada and the rest of the world that laughter is important to everyone. Here in Portland, we are lucky enough to host Bridgetown Comedy Festival. Started in 2008 with the help of Matt Braunger (pictured) and others, Bridgetown has showcased the likes of Patton Oswalt, Marc Maron, Maria Bamford, Janeane Garofalo, Kristen Schaal and countless others.
Comedians from all around the country as well as our incredible local comics flock to our amazing city to participate in Bridgetown Comedy Festival. Headliners for Bridgetown 2016 include Eddie Pepitone (Maron), Oscar Nuñez(The Office), Matt Braunger (Agent Carter) and John Michael Higgins (Arrested Development). Local comics this year will include Amy Miller (pictured), Sean Jordan, Gabe Dinger, Caitlin Weirerhauser, the Earthquake Hurricane crew (Alex Falcone, Bri Pruett, Curtis Cook and Anthony Lopez), Nathan Brannon and so many more. These comics will grace (mostly) the South East at amazing venues such as Revolution Hall, Doug Fir Lounge, Bunk Bar Water and Bossanova Room.
Bridgetown Comedy Festival will be taking place June 1st – June 5th. Tickets are on sale and still available for $119 – $275 spanning the entire weekend with access to most if not all venues hosting these comedians. BCF is also looking for volunteers to help set up venues, work with comedians in green rooms, transportation and event coordination. More info on BCF can be found by visiting www.BridgeTownComedy.com. Don’t miss this amazingly hilarious opportunity!