Back for its 15th brilliant year, Glasgow International Comedy Festival promises to bring top comedy acts from the UK and beyond to the cultural hub of Glasgow, this year boasting a line-up that includes the likes of Jimmy Carr, Stewart Lee, Sue Perkins, David O’Doherty, Lee Nelson, Al Murray and loads more to venues across the city between 9th and 26th March 2017.
We caught up with Linda Allan, festival manager at Glasgow International Comedy Festival about what to expect from GICF and why you should definitely be there this year.
In your opinion, what makes Glasgow the ideal home for an international comedy festival?
The Glaswegian sense of humour, lots of home grown talent combined with a welcoming atmosphere and friendliness make Glasgow the ideal home for an international comedy festival.
How do you go about selecting the acts on the bill? What do you try to offer your audience when it comes to the range of comedians they can see?
We aim to provide something for everyone in terms of performer styles, venues, ticket prices, home grown talent and international stars, kids shows, comedy drama, film and everything in between.
There are a large proportion of visitors to the festival that come from outside of the city and outside of Scotland. Is encouraging people to make that trip also about ‘selling’ Glasgow’s visitor experience and how do you do that?
Yes we are part of Glasgow’s cultural calendar of events which provides a reason to visit Glasgow all year round. We work closely with People Make Glasgow and EventScotland to encourage people to visit the city for the culture it offers and to experience all the other attractions like shopping, nightlife and visitor attractions while they are in this amazing city.
Do you have any stand-out comedians or sets that have been performed at GICF over the years?
Joan Rivers was a real highlight in 2005 she had food poisoning due to a some dodgy seafood in Ireland the previous night and had to go offstage half way through to vomit but came back on straight away to finish the show – a true professional.
You are currently in the midst of planning for the 2017 event after a very successful 2016 GICF that saw over 78,000 tickets sold. How do you plan to build on what’s been achieved already?
We just try to make the festival a good experience for everyone involved from the performers to the audiences so that they want to come back again year after year and enjoy all the excitement that Glasgow has to offer in March
And finally…is laughter really the best medicine?
Yes definitely a good laugh will help anyone forget what’s going on in their life for a couple of hours.