Thank you for applying to participate in the 2018 Sydney Comedy Festival.

2018 will see the 14th edition of Sydney’s premiere comedy event staged over 4 weeks from 23 April to 20 May in venues across the city.

Sydney is Australia’s largest and most influential entertainment network and the Sydney Comedy Festival provides a vital link in the global network of comedy festivals. Every year, we aim to promote established performers as well as offer emerging performers the opportunity to break-through and as such encourage all to apply.

We trust that the information below will answer most, if not all of your questions, enabling you to make informed decisions when applying as a potential Festival Participant. Should you wish to discuss anything further, please do not hesitate to contact us: info[at]

We look forward to working with you to make 2018 a great success for your shows and for the Sydney Comedy Festival at large.

Best Wishes,
Jorge Menidis
Festival Director
Sydney Comedy Festival



Festival Dates: 23 April – 20 May 2018 
Applications Open: 3 September 2017 
Applications Close:
 12 November 2017
Applications Assessed & Festival Programmed: 13 November 2017 – 29 January 2018
Printed Program Released: Mid-March 2018
Festival Galas: 23-25 April 2018 
Festival Awards: 19 May 2018



The Sydney Comedy Festival is a fully curated event and invites comedians of all genres, shapes and sizes to apply to take part. The application process is as follows:
STEP 1 – Create a username and password.
STEP 2 – Use your new username and password to login to the online application forms.
STEP 3 – Go to the MY SHOWS page, press the ADD A SHOW button and complete as much of the information you can. The more information you can supply the better. You may edit the information for each show as often as you wish until applications close on 12 November 2017. Remember to press SAVE.
STEP 4 – After applications close, we will assess each application and successful applicants will be offered a venue, date/s and time/s for their show. Please note:
1. We receive far more applications than we can accommodate. 
2. We aim to complete the curation of the Festival as quickly as possible. However, due to the nature of curating a large festival, some applicants may not receive a decision until late January 2018.
STEP 5 – Once a successful applicant accepts the venue, date/s and time/s offered they become a Festival PARTICIPANT and are given access to the online registration forms where they will need to supply more detailed information about their show (eg: final show description, images, ticket prices, comprehensive technical information, etc).


What type of performers/shows can apply?
Anyone can apply. Sydney is the most diverse city in Australia and the Sydney Comedy Festival strives to present comedic performances of all types. In short, if it’s funny, we want to see it.

Is there an age limit to apply?
No there isn’t, however some venues are licensed and cannot permit under 18s on the premises. Nonetheless, most Festival venues are accessible to All Ages.

Does it cost to apply for the Festival?
No. You may complete an application for one or more shows at no cost.

Does it cost to register for the Festival?
Yes. Successful applicants must pay a Festival Registration Fee of $300+GST.



Can international performers apply?
Yes. However, all international performers need an appropriate work visa. For international performers without residency, you will need an Australian promoter to sponsor you for an entertainment visa.

What if I don’t have an Australian promoter to sponsor me?
Please indicate this in the “Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your show?” question in the online application form. Once applications close, we will forward your details to Australian promoters and ask them to contact you directly if they are interested in producing your show.



Festival Registration Fee
A $300+GST Festival Registration Fee is payable should your application be successful. This is an upfront fee payable upon confirmation of your show in the 2017 Festival.

Festival Managed Venue Deal
For shows staged at a Festival Managed Venue, the following applies:
* A Venue Guarantee VS a % Split of Net Box Office
* The Venue Guarantee encompasses venue hire plus the standard technical inclusions. Any additional technical requirements may attract a fee.
* Financial settlement of your event will occur within 21 days of the final performance of your show.



Ticketek ( is the Festival’s Ticketing Partner and all Festival Managed Venues sell through Ticketek. Some associated venues have their own internal ticketing system or provider. In this instance, the allocation of sellable tickets is split between the venue’s system/provider and Ticketek (where possible).

Further information regarding ticketing will be available at registration.



The Festival is delivered in a number of Sydney venues that present comedy year round. From the landmark Enmore and Metro Theatres, to the legendary Sydney Comedy Store, to the exciting arts centre The Concourse, to the buzzing Festival Hub at the Factory Theatre, the Festival has a room for your show.   


The Festival manages a number of venues during its season. These include:




Enmore Theatre

130 Enmore Road, Enmore


Wild Oats Wine Bar

130 Enmore Road, Enmore


Enmore Loft

130 Enmore Road, Enmore


Enmore Laneway

130 Enmore Road, Enmore


Metro Theatre

624 George Street, Sydney


Factory Theatre

105 Victoria Road, Marrickville


Thatchers Cider House at the Factory

105 Victoria Road, Marrickville


Factory Floor at the Factory

105 Victoria Road, Marrickville


Matchbox at the Factory

105 Victoria Road, Marrickville


Terminal at the Factory

105 Victoria Road, Marrickville


The Sydney Comedy Store

Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park


The Concert Hall at the Concourse

409 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood


The Theatre at the Concourse

409 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood


The Civic Pavilion at the Concourse

409 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood



All Festival Managed Venues offer venue, technical and box office facilities such as:
* Managed venues with box office, front of house, basic technical, event management and marketing staff.
* Fully equipped stages with excellent lighting and sound equipment.
* Room specifications vary from room to room, however all rooms have: 2x corded vocal microphones, basic lighting wash, PA, and playback facilities.
* Technical Staff.
* Specific sound, lighting and media specs are available on request.


Presenting a show at the Sydney Comedy Festival is as much about getting your message out to a developing audience as it is about the show that you perform. Following is a brief outline of the Festival’s audience, marketing and publicity activity, support and opportunities.



In 2017, the Sydney Comedy Festival attracted an audience of more than 120,000 people. The Festival’s audience travels from all across Sydney with particularly strong patronage from the city’s Inner West, Eastern and Northern suburbs.

Audience Profile
* Age Split: 19 – 25 (16%), 26 – 35 (43%), 36 – 50 (31%), 51 + (10%).     
* 50% Female, 50% Male.
* Tertiary educated, professionals, tech savvy and repeat customers who are actively engaged in online platforms and social media.



As a Festival event, you will be obliged to incorporate the Festival Logo on all collateral that you issue in marketing your show. Please ensure that you consider this when designing your art. The logo will be available in high res JEPG at registration.



The Festival executes a comprehensive generic marketing and publicity campaign aimed at driving people to the website and other detailed marketing collateral. To this extent, you will see generic Festival posters, flyers, print, online, radio and outdoor campaigns in the months leading up to and during the Festival.

In addition to the generic Campaign, each Festival show will receive the following marketing support:
Festival Program Guide: Image and 300 character listing in Festival Guide. 175,000 copies of the Festival Guide are printed and distributed in a variety of ways including: directly mailed to over 30,000 homes and in distribution campaigns to retail, cafés, venues, hotels, etc. The program is released in March.
Festival Website ( Dedicated event page on the Festival website linked to the ticketing website. Your page can include an image, a longer description, reviews, video, links to your own website and social media.
Ticketek Website ( Dedicated event page on the Ticketek website with online ticket purchasing. Your page can include an image, a longer description, ticket prices and purchasing.
Venue Website: Dedicated event page on the Venue website linked to the ticketing website. Specific inclusions are dependent on each venue’s website capabilities. However, most would include an image, a longer description, and possibly video and links to your own website and social media.
Festival eNewsletters & HTML Email: Inclusion in one of the Festival branded HTML Emails. The Festival has developed a strong database and sophisticated CRM that it will use to promote all Festival shows. Subject to the overall marketing strategy, your show will receive either a listing and/or a feature article in the Festival eNewsletter and/or a dedicated show(s) HTML email.
Festival Social Media: The Festival maintains active audience interaction and initiatives on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter:
Twitter: @syd_comedy_fest
Instagram: @syd_comedy_fest
Posters & Flyers: Poster and flyer distribution in Festival Managed Venues. You may send up to 20 posters and up to 1500 flyers for display in Festival Managed Venues. If you are also performing at other Festivals, we recommend saving printing costs by including your Sydney dates, venue and SCF Logo to these posters and flyers. In addition, Ticketek will happily distribute a small number of flyers and posters to their various agencies. There are 17 Sydney based agencies and 14 regional agencies across NSW that will accept 40 flyers and 2 posters for any individual show. This means a total of 1,240 flyers and 62 posters could be freely distributed around the state. 



Festival Program Guide Advertising: The Festival Program Guide has a very limited number of ad spaces available in quarter, half and full pages. These are in addition to your listing and are a great tool in ensuring that your show stands out from the crowd. Prices are very reasonable:
Full Page: $3,850+gst
Half Page: $2,090+gst
Quarter Page: $1,155+gst
Poster & Flyer Street Distribution: Our good friends at Mainwaring Group Advertising offer a discount for Festival participants for poster and flyer distribution. More details will be available at registration.
The Music Unofficial Guide to the Festival: Each year, Sydney’s most prominent free street press, The Music, produces and excellent Unofficial Sydney Comedy Festival Guide that is distributed in the first week of the Festival. Advertising rates are very reasonable and it is a great way to reach out to an audience that is for attending live entertainment. 



The Festival enlists the comprehensive services of Kabuku PR to manage the generic Festival PR Campaign. Kabuku are not to be seen as your dedicated publicists. However, they are available to liaise with your publicist to maximise media opportunities.



The Festival offers a number of services to Festival participants, including:
Participant Transfers: For participants arriving from overseas or interstate, we offer a free transfer service. Transfers are available from the airport to hotel and where possible from hotel to venue.
Deals on Car Hire and Accommodation: More information will be available at registration.
Participant Passes: Give Festival participants access to a range of benefits including: discounts at Festival bars and access to other Festival shows (only where agreed to by the show’s producer).



The Festival produces a number of events that showcase and unearth talent, and generally add to the Festival vibe and colour. These include:
Sydney Comedy Festival Gala: 23-25 April 2018. Kicking things off in grand style at the Sydney Opera House, Enmore Theatre, Concourse and Riverside Theatre, the Gala features the biggest stars and the hottest acts of the coming Festival.
Festival Awards: 19 May 2018. See more info below. 
The Festival Showcases: The Festival Showcase runs every Wednesday-Saturday at the Comedy Store during the Festival in addition to special one-off events a various venues around the city.
Best of The Fest Showcase: Every Wednesday – Sunday during the Festival at the Factory Theatre Festival Hub. 



The Festival presents a number of artist awards on the final night of the Festival. These include:

Best of The Fest (International) Award
Description: This award is provided to the visiting artist or group who is judged by the selection committee to have presented the best show at the Festival.
Eligibility: Artists or groups residing outside of Australia.  This includes Australian artists based overseas.
Prize: $1,500

Best of The Fest (Local) Award
Description: This award is provided to the locally based artist or group who is judged by the selection committee to have presented the best show at the Festival.
Eligibility: Artists or groups residing within Australia.  This includes non Australian artists based permanently in Australia.
Prize: $1,500

Best Newcomer Award
Description: This award is presented to the artist or group who is judged by the selection committee to have been the most outstanding debut at the Festival.
Eligibility: The award is to be presented to emerging artists presenting their first complete show at the Festival.   Artists with established international careers presenting in Sydney for the first time are not eligible for this award.
Prize: $1,500

The Director’s Choice Award
Description: Selected by the Festival Director.
Eligibility: All Festival Artists and groups are eligible.
Prize: $1,500



If you have any questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact us:
Festival Office: 105 Victoria Rd, Marrickville, NSW 2204. Office hours are Mon-Fri 10am-6pm.
Festival Phone: 02 9020 6919
Festival Fax: 02 9550 2990
Festival Website:
Festival Box Office Number: 02 9020 6966. Please note: if you are in a Non-Festival Managed Venue there may be additional or different booking details.
Festival Email: info[at]


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