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Comedy Festival announces first shows on sale, as they celebrate their 30-year anniversary in 2023

Leicester Comedy Festival's first edition was in 1994, and it's now the largest of its kind in Europe.

The stars of 2022's Gala Preview Show.
The stars of 2022's Gala Preview Show.

Big Difference - the company behind the comedy festival - have announced the first shows to go on sale for the 30th anniversary of Leicester Comedy Festival (LCF) and five years of The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival (UKKCF) in February 2023.


"February 2023 will mark an important milestone in our history," said Laura Arends, CEO of Big Difference.


"We are incredibly proud to reach this anniversary year for both festivals. We are so grateful to all those who have supported the festivals over the years and especially those who helped us weather the recent challenges of the pandemic. We are looking forward to a fantastic celebration of comedy in 2023."


Every year, hundreds of shows take place in venues, pubs, bars and every conceivable nook and cranny of Leicester and Leicestershire, with the first shows on sale from Tuesday, August 30, 2022. These include:

  • Mike Bubbins

  • Sophie Duker: Hag

  • Rob Auton: The Crowd Show

  • Hal Cruttenden: It's Best You Hear It From Me

  • Fern Brady: Autistic Bikini Queen

  • Mike Wozniak: Zusa

  • Chloe Petts: Transience

  • Fin Taylor: Daddy Self-Care

  • The Big Preview

  • Babatunde Aleshe: Babahood

  • Eshaan Akbar: The Pretender

  • Tom Ward: Anthem

  • George Hinchliffe’s Ukulele

  • Orchestra of Great Britain

  • Danny Baker

  • Jimeoin

  • Stewart Lee

  • Jacob Hawley

  • The Gala Preview Show

  • The UK Pun Championships.

The 2022 winner of the UK Pun Championships: Punball Wizard: Richard Pulsford
The 2022 winner of the UK Pun Championships: Punball Wizard: Richard Pulsford

The Gala Preview Show will take place on Friday, January 6 and The UK Pun Championships on Monday, February 13, both at De Montfort Hall, and the first ever preview show of the UKKCF happening at the Y Theatre on Sunday, December 18, 2022.

The August 30 also marks the opening day for artists, promoters and venues to register their shows and events for the two festivals.


"Leicester Comedy Festival has grown enormously since we set it up in 1994," said Geoff Rowe, founder of Leicester Comedy Festival & The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival.


"I'm enormously proud that we will be celebrating the festival's 30th anniversary in February.


"We will welcome hundreds of comedians, to perform on many stages, and a massive audience who will be able to enjoy some of the best of British comedy.


"We’re also going to be celebrating the 5th anniversary of The UK Kids' Comedy Festival which will once again see a host of performances and activities for children and young people."

The Niche team attended the 2022 LCF Preview Show - can you spot us?
The Niche team attended the 2022 LCF Preview Show - can you spot us?

In celebration of the anniversary, Big Difference are searching for anecdotes, stories, pictures and personal accounts from those who have attended, volunteered or worked at the festivals over the past 30 years and would love to hear from previous festival goers who have fond memories of Leicester Comedy Festival.

As previously announced, founder Geoff Rowe will be stepping down from his role at the end of the festival.

"I'd like to thank everyone who works so hard to pull our festivals together," said Geoff. "There is a huge community of promoters, performers, venues, volunteers, community groups, businesses and many more people, without whom the festivals wouldn’t continue to be so amazing. We look forward to seeing you all in February."

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