There’s no turning back now – self-professed “comedy nerd” Andrew Milos was all smiles at the launch of the inaugural Newcastle Comedy Festival.
Set to burst onto the scene in May, the city’s first comedy festival to call its own will be packed with grassroots talent as well as big names such as writer, television and radio presenter Tommy Little; Best Comedy at Melbourne Fringe 2017 nominee Rowan Thambar; and Triple J lunch presenter Gen Fricker.
The festival will be staged from Thursday 23 to Sunday 26 May across three CBD venues all within walking distance of one another: the Civic Theatre, The Happy Wombat, and The Clarendon Hotel.
Festival highlights include a gala night at the Civic Theatre on Friday night, with an after party to follow at The Clarendon Hotel, where you can even catch Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes on the DJ set; as well as solo shows by every almost comedian on the line-up throughout Saturday and Sunday.
There are also some yet-to-be-announced kids’ shows set to be added.
Festival founder and director Milos says he’s feeling “Zen” in the final months before the big unveiling.
“I was anxious in the planning stages but now I’ve got a strong feeling it’s going to succeed,” he says.
“I’ve done everything I can now; all that’s left to do is promote it, so I’m feeling pretty Zen.
“One of the things that helps, I think, is the relationships I’ve formed with everyone on the comedy scene here – that makes a big difference.”
Milos grew up around comedy and now hosts his own comedy nights at The Happy Wombat, where 10% of the proceeds go to a different Newcastle-based charity each month.
That same giving spirit is imbued in the comedy festival, of which Milos’ main aim is to encourage investment in Newcastle.
“If I didn’t do it, somebody else would have come in from out of town and pocketed the money,” he says.
“This way, Newcastle wins.”
Visit newycomedyfest.com for a full list of shows or to buy tickets.