Organisers of the annual Leicester Comedy Festival are appealing to comedy fans and members of the public to pledge money to enable the festival to develop their support for new and emerging comedians.  “Circuit Breakers” is a development programme which will benefit comedians who are just starting out and enable them to perform at the festival, which takes place in February 2019. 

The programme first took place as part of Leicester Comedy Festival 2018 following a successful crowd funding campaign where members of the public donated money to support new and emerging comedians.  Producers of the festival were inundated with applications from emerging comedians so have decided to run the programme again but need continued support to enable this to happen.  Members of the public who pledge money will receive a range of exclusive rewards, including discounts on festival tickets and invitations to private events.

Leicester Comedy Festival is produced by registered charity Big Difference Company and one of the charities aims is to support new and emerging comedians.  The annual festival is a great showcase for performers and “Circuit Breakers” is an opportunity for newer acts to benefit from taking part in the longest running comedy festival in Europe.

The festival has a great track record of supporting new talent via projects such as Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year, Silver Stand Up, The UK Pun Championships and the annual Awards Ceremony.  These projects and events have helped to launch the careers of comedians including Romesh Ranganathan, Johnny Vegas & Jason Manford and Circuit Breakers will help more comedians benefit from performing at the festival.

Organisers hope to raise £3,000 from the campaign which will go towards paying for the comedians to come to the festival and helping them with marketing materials and mentoring support.

Director of Leicester Comedy Festival, Geoff Rowe said:

“Leicester Comedy Festival is produced by registered charity Big Difference Company and like many festivals and cultural organisations we are having to identify new income streams to enable us to sustain what we do and stay true to our core mission. Sponsorship and funding is increasingly difficult for us to sustain but we want to continue our commitment to support new talent. 

“I’m really proud that over the years the festival has become a really supportive place for comedians to learn and develop what they do, and numerous acts have benefitted from this.  Feedback from our audience has shown that a significant number also value this part of the festival and we are responding to this by launching our Circuit Breakers crowd funding campaign. In 2018 we received pledges from members of the public, as well as established comedians who wanted to give something back and support emerging talent.  We hope fans from across the UK will support the campaign again and help us find the future big names in comedy.”

Leicester Comedy Festival will run from 6-24th February and the full programme will be announced in November.  Tickets for The Gala Preview Show, which will take place at De Montfort Hall on Friday 11th January, are now on sale via www.comedy-festival.co.uk and if you want to donate towards the Circuit Breaker programme details can also be found at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/circuit-breakers-2019.

Photography taken by Andy Hollingworth

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