Cardiff Comedy Festival 2012 started on Wednesday, with events to keep you chuckling spread throughout the month of July. Here, yourCardiff guest blogger Amy Smith speaks to festival organiser Tom Wakeham about how the event got started, and his top picks for this year’s festival.
Cardiff Comedy Festival has arrived and there’s something for everyone throughout July at various venues across Cardiff, all for less than a night in your local.
The festival officially started on 4 July and will end with a jam packed bill at St David’s Hall on July 29 with Omid Djalili headling.
Tom Wakeham, one of the event organisers, explained how the festival came about. He and a few friends saw how the comedy scene was progressing in other cities with the inclusion of comedy festivals, and they thought ‘Why not in Cardiff?’.
In 2009 Cardiff Comedy Festival was born with a week’s worth of Edinburgh Festival previews in O’Neills on the Hayes. They even managed to secure Rhod Gilbert, who packed 90 people into the small venue. Gilbert loved the idea, but told Wakeham and his friends to book a bigger venue the following year. In 2010, Rhod Gilbert headlined at St David’s Hall for the festival.
In 2011 the festival grew and saw dates spread across the whole of July. This year’s festival similarly is spread throughout the month and sees a range of different events and even three one-day workshops for ages 14+ in Cardiff Central Library.
“It’s about having fun” explained Wakeham, who pointed out that the production company’s other event, the Welsh Unsigned Stand-Up Awards (WUSA) was also coming to a close in July. “It’s great to help Cardiff’s arts scene as independently as possible.”
Some events are free entry, and others have a small entry fee, but Wakeham’s pick of the month were the WUSA semi-finals in Chapter on Thursday 12 July and Saturday 14 July, and the final in the Glee Club on Monday 23 July. He also pointed out that any of the Edinburgh Festival previews were worth catching too.
To see a full list of events across Cardiff see their website.
Tickets are still available for the Grand Finale featuring Omid Djalili and the winner of the WUSA amongst others, from St David’s Hall or online here.