'We all need a good laugh' - Cambridge Comedy Festival returns as three-day spectacular
- Credit: Supplied by Cambridge Comedy Festival
TV celebrities and big name acts from the stand-up circuit will take to the stage at a new-look Cambridge Comedy Festival this summer.
Rob Beckett, Milton Jones, Mark Watson, Dara Ó Briain, Ed Byrne, Reginald D Hunter, Russell Kane, Al Murray, Seann Walsh and Hal Cruttenden are just some of the comedy acts lined-up for the three-day laugh fest.
While previous festivals have been held in Cambridge, this summer's spectacular from Friday, July 9 to Sunday, July 11 is set to take place in Abbots Ripton, close to Huntingdon.
The festival will feature four stages and 150 acts over the weekend, with camping available.
The open-air event is the brainchild of Andy White, the promoter behind the Jesterlarf Comedy Club, which has been running for 18 years at various locations up and down the country.
Andy said: “With no live comedy since March last year I really wanted to create an event that would give all the amazing acts out there an opportunity to get back on stage and not only do what they do best but also what they love doing – entertaining and making people laugh.
"And for all the fans of comedy out there an event where they get to watch all the very best acts in one place but also an event where they can feel safe and be outdoors.
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"Obviously creating such an ambitious event, which will basically be the UK’s first-ever all comedy, three-day festival with camping, is a huge project.
"I guess I must be a bit bonkers attempting it during the world’s worst pandemic for 100 years but what the heck, we’re going for it anyway as we all need a good laugh and weekend away.”
The Cambridge Comedy Festival was launched in 2007 with the aim of recreating a micro version of the world famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival experience in Cambridge.
With 14 shows over four days in its first year, its unique appeal was that it attracted a host of big name comedians and the finest emerging talent to the university city as they honed their shows ready for Edinburgh and forthcoming UK and worldwide tours.
Since its launch, the festival has been venue based at various locations around the city including the Cambridge Junction and Cambridge Corn Exchange plus many more, including river punts!
In 2016 and 2017, it moved outdoors to a central park location at Jesus Green, which proved very popular.
There was no festival in 2019 or 2020, and organisers are delighted to be back this July, with contingency plans in place should Step 4 lockdown easing not happen as planned on June 21.
Due to the current climate, promoters have decided to once again host it outdoors but expand it into a fully fledged festival experience with camping in the countryside on Grange Farm – a quirky, landscaped site that lends itself perfectly to a comedy festival.
The line-up will feature everything from superstar household names to the very best circuit conedians, and left-field fringe acts to podcast shows.
There will also be kids and family entertainment, and even comedians having a go at DJ’ing their favourite tunes in the Glade bar area.
And if all of that wasn't enough to tickle your comedy appetite, there's even a fresh water swimming lake on site.
Organisers say: "TV comedy shows like Live At The Apollo and Mock The Week have taken comedy to a wider audience but they are no substitute for live comedy, which is comedy in its purest, raw and uncut form.
"Couple this with the company of some friends, a few drinks to lubricate the laughing muscles and you’ve got the recipe for a great night out and possibly the best value entertainment money can buy."
Who is appearing at Cambridge Comedy Festival 2021?
Among the Cambridge Comedy Festival 2021 highlights are:
Rob Beckett, Milton Jones, Mark Watson, Arthur Smith, Larry Dean, Catherine Bohart, Maisie Adam, Darren Harriott, Radio 4’s The Skewer, plus kids shows.
Dara Ó Briain, Ed Byrne, Gary Delaney, Nina Conti, Reginald D Hunter, Russell Kane, Sindhu Vee, and kids shows.
Al Murray, Seann Walsh, Hal Cruttenden, Jo Caulfield, Kiri Pritchard McClean, Paul Foot, Rosie Jones, Sarah Keyworth, Angela Barnes, plus kids shows.