Registrations to perform in the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival have now closed. To view the registration site click here.


Please read this information if you are interested in performing as part of the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.


When is the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival?

The 2013 Festival will take place from Wednesday 27th March - Sunday 21st April 2013


Information Sessions for Participants

We will host a series of information sessions for people interested in performing the 2013 Festival:
• Wednesday 24 October – So you want to do a Festival show? 6pm, Coopers Inn, Exhibition Street, Melbourne.
• Thursday 1 November – So you want to do a Festival show? 5pm, Comedy Store, Sydney
• Wednesday 28 November – Festival Publicity, 6pm-7:30pm, Imperial Hotel, 2 Bourke Street Melbourne
• Monday 3 December – Festival Marketing, 6pm-7:30pm, The Coopers Inn, crn Lt.Lonsdale & Exhibition St

If you would like to attend an information session, please RSVP to to book your place.


What are the timelines for the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival?

Monday 1 October - Festival Managed Venue applications open
Monday 15 October - Registrations open
Monday 22 October - Festival Managed Venue applications close
Monday 22 October - International Artist Applications close
Wednesday 21 November - Registrations close
Friday 30 November - RAW Comedy registrations open


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. The program of overseas artists is curated by the Festival and Expressions of Interest must be submitted to the Festival Director for consideration. Overseas artists or presenters/producers wishing to present a non Australian/NZ performer or company in the Festival must submit an Expression of Interest to the Festival Director by no later than  Monday 22 October. Information about what to include in the Expression Of Interest can be found below.  Overseas artists (or their Australian presenters) must make their own Visa arrangements and the Festival will provide advice on how to go about this.


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 Monday 15 October 2012. Keep an eye on our website or sign up to our e-news for an announcements of dates for 2013.


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 in 2013 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 and you will have a page on the Festival's iPhone app. 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 negotiates discounted advertising rates and special offers with photographers and graphic designers which are made available to registered participants. Your registration fee also contributes to the marketing of the Festival as a whole including street banners, billboards, daily diaries and generic publicity.


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 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
  • Group shows – talk to the Festival about other performers who may want to share a space.

More information about these competitions can be found on our website.


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 in the form available for download here.  Applications to perform as an intenational artists closed on Monday 22 October.  Overseas artists will need a visa and will need to make their own Visa arrangements. The Festival will provide information on how to go about this.


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. This obviously needs to take place well in advance of the registration period. We recommend you send information in no later than 1st July 2012 for the 2013 Festival.


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 your Expression of Interest to:


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

There are a number of visa options available. If you are accepted into the Festival program we will advise procedures.


What is a Festival Managed Venue (FMV)?

As the name suggests, the Festival hires, fits out and staffs several temporary 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 into 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.


How can I perform my show in a Festival Managed Venue?

To perform in a FMV you need to submit an application that follows the guidelines available on the Comedy Festival website during the registration period. Applications should include a show description, budget outline, marketing strategy and a small selection of supporting material (DVD footage, reviews etc)


What are the timelines for applying for a Festival Managed Venue?

Applications for performing in Festival Managed Venue for the 2013 Festival are now closed.  For enquiries about your application, please email


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 September we will contact all venues in our database to confirm their details and their availability during the 2013 Festival. Producers will be searching for venues in October and November and must have their venue locked in before registrations close in late November.