Keep the Fringe spirit alive with UK comedy festivals this autumn

Now that Edinburgh Fringe has packed up and vanished, where can you get your fix of laughs?

UK Comedy Festivals

Alan Carr coming to Liverpool Comedy Festival

Liverpool Comedy Festival (18 Sep–4 Oct)
Liverpool goes lol for the 14th consecutive year. Since Scousers are known for their sense of humour, we’re expecting some good ‘un to appear over the city’s fortnight of funny, and the likes of Andy Zaltzman, Alan Carr, Gein’s Family Giftshop, Harriet Dyer and Jeremy Hardy don’t disappoint. Gigs will be popping up all over the place: in bars, shops, school and people’s houses, plus there will be kids shows, podcasts, pub crawls, coach tours and open mic nights to make sure everyone’s tastes are catered to.

Belfast Comedy Festival (23 Sep–4 Oct)
With a lot of the publicity touting Red Bastard as its main draw, this is bound to be something different. The fest was originally set up in 2011 by a bunch of comedians looking to expand the city’s cultural horizons, so the charming but terrifying Red Bastard certainly does that, and he’s joined by Ardal O’Hanlon, Sara Pascoe and Paul Currie, as well as a host of workshops, including comedy writing and laughter yoga.

Brighton Comedy Festival (9–24 Oct)
Brighton’s got a whole bunch of funny people on hand to make autumn that bit funnier. There’s David O’Doherty, Joe Lycett, Dara O’Briain, Ed Byrne, Milton Jones, Richard Herring, Nina Conti, Sarah Kendall and Tommy Tiernan. And that’s just the tip of this particular hilarious iceberg.

Nottingham Comedy Festival (10–17 Oct)
Running since 2009, Nottingham Comedy Festival has built up quite the reputation for bringing together different communities in the city to bond over laughter. Their lineup this year is typically impressive, with Andy Zaltzman, Gary Delaney, Sofie Hagen and Phil Kay among the better known names, plus a host of local and up-and-comers as well.

Birmingham Comedy Festival (2–11 Oct)
Now in its 14th year, Birmingham Comedy Festival has had plenty of time to build up a reputation worthy of big namers. Luckily it’s done just that, and 2015’s fest sees appearances from Weird Al Yancovic, Jason Byrne, Doug Stanhope, Henning Wehn, Andrew Maxwell and Trevor Noah showcasing their wares across the 10 days.


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