Melbourne International Comedy Festival 201407 February 2014
One of the most recognised comedy festivals in the world will return to Melbourne - Australia's home of humour - for an unprecedented 27th season.
The curtain goes up on the iconicMelbourne International Comedy Festival again at a variety of CBD and suburban venues from 26 March until 20 April.
Minister for Tourism Louise Asher said the Victorian Coalition Government was delighted to support the festival with a grant of $50,000, which would help present more than 450 events at 130 locations across the metropolitan area to locals and visitors.
“This will help strengthen and reinforce Melbourne's reputation as the cultural and arts capital of Australia and enhance Victoria's diverse annual events calendar,” Ms Asher said.
“The comedy festival is a signature Melbourne event which attracts thousands of local, interstate and international performers and visitors.
“It also exposes the great talents and qualities that Victoria has to offer to a broad global audience.
“The festival presents a combination of stand up, theatre, cabaret, music, film and visual arts. It showcases the best of Australia’s comic artists, nurtures and develops new work and presents international comic talent.
“In this way the festival appeals to a broad spectrum of people and provides a great opportunity to promote other attractions and events to interstate and international visitors.”
Member for Prahran Clem Newton-Brown said he welcomed the funding support for the well-known annual event.
“Some of the festival events are held in my electorate which will provide significant flow-on business for the local hospitality, accommodation and retail sectors,” Mr Newton-Brown said.
A record 638,000 people attended the festival last year. This was boosted by 3.5 million television viewers on the ABC and Network Ten, which broadcast television specials of the event.
“Importantly, the festival organisation is also active year-round with national and international touring, educational and artistic development programs complementing the presentation of the annual four-week festival,” Ms Asher said.
Tourism is a significant economic driver for Victoria worth $19.1 billion a year or 5.8 per cent of the total Victorian economy. The tourism industry provides jobs for over 200,000 Victorians and contributes seven per cent of employment in tourism and other industries.