Government Budgets $4.2 Million For Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Government Budgets $4.2 Million For Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Victoria Premier Ted Baillieu

Victoria Minister for the Arts Ted Baillieu

25th Comedy Festival Smashes All Previous Records

Victor P Taffa

The 2011 Melbourne International Comedy Festival was the most successful in its 25-year history, smashing all previous records for box office receipts and attendance.

Premier and Minister for the Arts Ted Baillieu today released figures for the 2011 Comedy Festival showing the event welcomed an audience of more than 611,000 people, exceeding the 2010 record result by 25 %.

The Festival also reported its highest-ever box office result with total ticket sales reaching $12.1 Million, an increase of 14 % compared to the 2010 figure of $10.9 Million.

“The Comedy Festival is a great Victorian success story and its wonderful track record continues with these outstanding figures for the 2011 event.” Premier Baillieu said.


“These results show that Victorians and visitors love a good laugh and there’s no funnier place than Melbourne during the Comedy Festival.”

“The Coalition Government is providing an extra $4.2 Million over four years in the 2011-12 Victorian Budget so the festival continues to tickle our funny bone for many years to come.”

“We are proud to provide additional funding for the festival to build on its strengths, continue to break new ground, showcase new comic talent and reach out to new audiences.” Premier Baillieu said.

The Comedy Festival has boosted the profile of Australian comedians and the local comedy scene, launched the careers of many of our most talented artists and personalities and introduced some of the funniest performers from across the globe.

The additional funding will enable the festival to:

  • Continue to deliver and develop the new riverside precinct and free family program that was piloted in 2011;
  • Attract the best comedy talent from across the world;
  • Develop and bolster interstate and international marketing to attract increased tourism.

“Our Comedy Festival is recognised internationally as one of the top three on the comedy circuit. It provides a vital platform for local talent and is a significant drawcard for interstate and international tourists.” Premier Baillieu said.

The festival this year introduced a free family program in the City Square, Federation Square and River Terrace The (Very) Big Laugh Out. This new initiative proved a hit with more than 109,000 people of all ages taking part 15 % of whom were first-time Festival goers.

The Victorian heat of the festival’s national secondary school competition, Class Clowns, is currently underway at Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre, with the Victorian state final to be held today before national winners take to the Malthouse stage for the Grand Final in September.

The Festival is also on the road with its annual Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow which takes local and international comedians on tour to more than 60 locations across the country.