If you go down to a comedy show today, you’re sure of a big surprise – or at least, a big marketing push. Venues around Leicester are beginning to sprout posters and flyers for shows by comedians coming from far and wide to try and make you laugh – but you’ll notice one logo on a whole host of posters. It’s a little red fridge, and it means more to the city than you might realise.

Leicester Fridge is a collective that has been helping to showcase Leicester’s comedy scene since 2014. It’s a not-for-profit initiative run by a collection of comedy movers and shakers with the sole intention of showing what a vibrant and high-quality collection of comedy talent Leicester has to offer. They do this by helping with joint promotion of shows and marketing activities – but they also put on special events throughout the year highlighting what the city can do.

This will be Leicester Fridge’s third time at the Leicester Comedy Festival, and they will be supporting over 40 shows by Leicestershire-based acts and promoters during the festival, all of which are listed on special Fridge flyers and marked with a small red fridge icon in the main festival brochure. Alongside this, as in previous years, they’re bringing with them a selection of specially-created events all to specifically highlight local comedy talent and encourage festival-goers to attend comedy throughout the year.

First, on January 14th (before the festival begins), there is the Fridge Preview Show. This show has sold out for the last two years, so get your tickets early. It features a mixed bill, where as many local acts as The Cookie can hold will be doing short teaser sets to encourage you to come to their own festival shows – think of it as a sharing platter of comedy to start, and then for the main you can pick and choose from the acts of the evening.

Friday February 10th sees the return to The Criterion of the Battle For Leicester, the no-holds-barred head-to-head stand-up challenge between Leicester’s regular monthly comedy nights. You’ll see four nights enter, one night leaves – and the champion (decided by audience vote after two heats and a lightning round) takes home the Battle For Leicester Trophy – a beautiful award created from a lump of rubble “salvaged” from the demolished Welford Place Council offices. Club Smashing are the current trophy holders – will they retain their title?

Saturday February 11th is the appropriately-titled Naked Comedy at Manhattan34, where not only the name of the show leaves nothing to the imagination. A mixture of male and female comedians perform their routines completely naked, risking their dignity in order to raise copious amounts of money for LOROS. Not a show for the weak hearted!

Sunday February 12th sees the third edition of A Question of Snort at The Exchange, the pub quiz with a difference. Teams can win points for correct answers, but also for answers that make the rest of the crowd laugh! There’s a team of comedians on hand to provide their own joke answers – can you out-joke them? Every round has a prize, and everyone who gets one is always left speechless by the quality.

Last but not least, but definitely smallest, Wednesday 15th February sees the return of The MiniFridge at Attenborough Arts Centre; a selection of three comedy shows specifically designed to cater for parents and children, featuring comedians who know how to keep both kids and parents alike entertained. There’s time between shows to take advantage of their café, as well as baby-changing facilities and free parking nearby.

The Leicester Comedy Festival is a great event for the promotion of comedy in and around the city. If you would like to support local acts, look for the Fridge!

Dan Wallbank has been floating around the Leicester comedy scene for five years and the music scene for ten. He's the founder of Comedy and Cocktails at Manhattan34, host of the Firebug Pop Quiz and creator of Instant Nostalgia, the podcast that reviews itself.

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