Over 10,000 people flocked into the city centre over the past 12 days to enjoy everything the Aberdeen International Comedy Festival had to offer.
In the biggest festival yet, more than 50 comedians performed to capacity crowds in the Granite City with a record 11 sold-out shows and a 42% increase in sales compared to last year.
With the legendary Ben Elton opening up proceedings at the Music Hall at his first ever festival appearance, to farmer turned stand-up comedian Jim Smith bringing the curtain down last night (Monday October 14), and big names like Paul Sinha, Desiree Burch, Jimeoin and Daniel Sloss delighting crowds, it has established itself as an essential part of the north-east cultural calendar.
Jim Smith said: “It was an honour to close the Aberdeen International Comedy Festival at such an iconic venue in the city centre. It is certainly a night I won’t forget in a long time and I’ve been telling Floss all about it. The reception I got was incredible, so thank you Aberdeen for coming out to see my show at the Music Hall, and all the fabulous folks who came to my shows at the Tivoli too.”
This year the festival also drew in rising stars from the Fringe, giving the north-east public the chance to see 2018 Best Newcomer nominee and Amused Moose National New Comic 2018 winner Maisie Adam making her Aberdeen debut, and Jordan Brookes, who scooped the prestigious Dave’s Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Comedy Show at the Fringe.
Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “The Aberdeen International Comedy Festival has grown exponentially over the past four years, and we are proud that it is now becoming the biggest and best celebration of comedy the north has ever seen.
“The sales increase compared to last year, along with the addition of new shows demonstrates just how much it has developed since it was first held in 2016. There has been a huge buzz in the city centre at our hosting venues, ranging from pubs and restaurants to iconic venues like the Tivoli and the Music Hall, which welcomed comedy fans in their thousands over the course of the festival.
“It has now firmly established itself in the calendar to sit alongside the other big two, the Edinburgh Fringe and the Glasgow International Comedy Festival and we as a business improvement district (BID) are honoured to have brought it to where it now sits, with an ambition to see it grow further in the years to come.
“The combination of festivals like the Aberdeen International Comedy Festival, Nuart Aberdeen and the wider offering in the city are all working together to cement Aberdeen’s cultural status and put it on the map as a destination of choice.”
Organised and promoted in its entirety by Aberdeen Inspired since 2016, the festival also receives generous support from The McGinty’s Group Scotland and Balmoral Group. This year it also partnered with local charity Mental Health Aberdeen (MHA), with bucket collections taking place at shows.