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Information for Performers

Registrations for the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival have closed. 

Stay tuned, or sign up to our e-news, for information about registering for the 2016 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

When is the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival?

The 2015 Festival will take place from Wednesday 25th March – Sunday 19th April 2015


Who can enter the Festival?

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is an open access festival for all citizens and permanent residents of Australia and New Zealand.  Overseas artists or their producers should submit an Expression Of Interest to the Festival Director.


Do I have to audition or submit any material to be selected?

No, not if you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.


So what do I need to do to have a show in the Festival?

Apart from write and perform your show, you will also need to produce your show (or hire a producer). The Festival doesn’t produce local artists however we do produce the special events of the Festival – The Gala, The Debate, Prime Time, Festival Club etc – and some overseas artists.

 Producing a show involves everything from organising venue hire, marketing and publicity, travel and accommodation, sourcing props and equipment, budgeting, ticketing, obtaining insurance and licences and much more. As part of your registration, the Festival provides information packs and workshops to assist you, but it is up to you to make it happen.


When do registrations take place?

Registrations open 1 October 2014. Keep an eye on our website or sign up to our e-news for further information about 2015 registrations.


How do I register a show?

There are 3 parts to registering a show

• Fill out the online registration information

• Pay the registration fee

• Sign and submit the ‘Conditions of Participation’


What information do I need for the online registration?

To register a show you will need to provide the following information;

• Show title and 60 word synopsis

• Good quality show image

• Venue, dates and times

• Ticket prices and booking information

• Producer & Publicist contact details


How much does it cost to register?

The fee to register an event is $500 for local artists and $675 for overseas artists. 


What does the registration fee cover?

As a registered show you will be listed in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Program Guide, usually launched in mid to late February and inserted into an edition of a major Melbourne metropolitan newspaper. You will also have a show page with links for online ticket purchases on our website during the Festival. You will have access to resource guides and handbooks as well as regular information sessions provided by the Festival to assist you in producing your show. The Festival also negotiates discounted advertising rates and special offers with photographers and graphic designers. Your registration fee also goes towards the general marketing of the Festival as a whole.


Is there an age limit to register?

No there isn’t, however some venues are licensed and cannot permit under 18’s on the premises. You’d need to take this into account not just for yourself as a performer, but also your potential audience. Entering the Festival is also a serious financial commitment that should not be undertaken lightly.


What if I don’t feel ready to put on a show but I’d still like to take part?

Performers not ready to present a full show might think about a more modest start in comedy with:

* Class Clowns National Secondary School Comedy Competition

* RAW Comedy National Open Mic Competition

More information about these competitions can be found on their websites.


I’m not an Australian or New Zealand citizen or resident, what do I need to do to be approved to register?

To be approved as an overseas artist, you need to submit an Expression of Interest to the Festival Director. Please download and complete this form, which includes your biography, a show synopsis, You Tube links and information about any upcoming performances. Information needs to be received by Friday 31 October 2014.


As an overseas artist, how do I apply to have the Festival produce my show?

As above, submit information about yourself and your show. Particularly important is information about any upcoming performances, as the Festival is highly unlikely to produce an artist the Director has not seen live.


As an overseas artist, if I’m not produced by the Comedy Festival, what are my options?

Firstly you will still need to be approved to register in the Festival (see above). There are other producers and promoters who present overseas artists in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. If you have a producer they will most likely liaise with the Festival on your behalf to obtain approval for you to register. If you chose to be self-produced, you will need to submit the information outlined above.

If self-produced, you will be responsible for organising (and paying for) all aspects of your show yourself including your own travel, accommodation, appropriate visas as well as finding a venue, organising ticket sales, marketing and publicising your show.


How do I submit information to be approved as an overseas artist?

Please email the Festival Director with information regarding your show.

Support material may be mailed to:

Attn: Susan Provan
Melbourne International Comedy Festival
240 Exhibition Street
Victoria, 3000


As an overseas artist does the Comedy Festival organise my visa?

There are a number of visa options available and we recommend checking with the Australian Immigration Department or your local embassy to work out which is most suitable for your circumstances.

For further information regarding this service and the process please contact us at


What is a Festival Managed Venue (FMV)?

As the name suggests, the Festival hires, fits out and staffs several venues within the Melbourne CBD, including the Melbourne Town Hall, the Hi-Fi, Trades Hall, Victoria Hotel, Portland Hotel and the Forum among others. If you apply and are accepted in an FMV, you will be provided with a venue fully equipped with sound, lighting, staging and seating. You will also be provided with a technical stage manager, front of house and box office staff. You will be responsible for all creative aspects of your show as well as all marketing and publicity.


Can I put my show in a Festival Managed Venue?

If you have applied to perform in a Festival Managed Venue, you are still required to register your show. Registrations close on November 21st 2014. 

What happens if my application for a Festival Managed Venue is not successful?

You do not have to perform in a Festival Managed Venue to be part of the Comedy Festival. Many shows are performed in independent venues from large theatres to council & community spaces to smaller venues such as bars, pubs and clubs. These offer a variety of spaces and hire arrangements at different prices, so there’s something to suit everyone. The Festival maintains a database of venues that have previously hosted Comedy Festival shows, as well as any venues that have expressed an interest in doing so. The database is a good start in your venue search but is not exhaustive – any venue is a potential Comedy Festival venue.


How can my venue become involved in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival?

The Festival maintains a database of all interested, potential venues. This database is accessible to producers interested in registering a show in the Festival. The individual show producers will select venues to contact from this database according to their needs. Location, capacity and availability will determine which venues they approach for further information. If producers are interested in performing their show in a particular venue they will negotiate the hire agreement directly with that venue. Venues are expected to agree to ‘Terms and Conditions’ for participating in the Festival. The producer(s) of the shows in your venue will provide this document for you to sign as part of their show registration process.

To express interest in being a Comedy Festival venue, please email and we will add you to our database. In October we will contact all venues in our database to confirm their details and their availability during the 2015 Festival. Producers will be searching for venues in October and November and must have their venue locked in before registrations close in late November.