30 June – 2 July 2023
Press / Business contact:
ARGComFest is a weekend comedy festival of Fringe previews and work-in-progress shows that takes place at the start of July. Founded in 2012, the festival brings an attentively curated programme of over sixty comedians — from big name TV favourites to up-and-coming newcomers — to the labyrinthine settings of Shoreditch Town Hall. In 2016, ARGComFest became the first major comedy festival to have a gender balanced programme and it continues to champion diversity and representation within comedy.
This year’s festival programme will be announced in the coming months. Tickets will be announced and go on sale around the time of this announcement.
In 2022, the line-up included the creator of Channel 4’s Trip Hazard, the raucous and rip-roaringly funny Rosie Jones; reigning Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Jordan Brookes; silly, sexy, savage stand-up from Taskmaster titan Sophie Duker; and star of Netflix’s Philly Philly Wang Wang – Phil Wang!
The weekend also included three-time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Josie Long; star of Mock The Week, QI, Late Night Mash and her very own Amazon Prime comedy special Olga Koch; and the visceral, real and achingly brave Colin Hoult with the final outing of Anna Mann.
In 2022, ARG and Shoreditch Town Hall also presented The Friday Night Show — on Friday 1st July featuring a spectacular, all-star line-up including Phil Wang, Rosie Jones, Josie Long and Kiri Pritchard-McLean.
In 2012, ARGComFest was founded as a day of comedy across two floors of a pub in King's Cross with two main goals:
- to allow people to see the best Fringe shows in London with excellent value tickets — but still within a Fringe-like atmosphere
- to provide comedians with paid previews — as many acts frequently lose money on previews due to prohibitive venue hire costs
Over the following years, the festival established a recognisable identity and a strong reputation for a uniquely interesting and high-quality programme and quickly grew: first to a full weekend, then to fill larger venues, and later to a third stage.
The festival has always focused on diversity and representation — but as the festival has grown, carving out its position in the comedy calendar along the way, it has become more bold and outspoken.
Since 2012, the festival has absorbed booking fees whenever possible (and reduced ticket prices to compensate when not), moved to a significantly more accessible venue, promoted the No More Page 3 campaign, encouraged festival-goers to donate to food banks and domestic violence charities, partnered with local businesses, and kept any ticket price increases well below inflation — even when adding an extra stage with an accompanying 50% increase in acts.
In 2019 and 2020, ARG also curated and ran a number of venues at Glasgow International Comedy Festival. This programme included a residency at vegan independent music venue The Hug and Pint, as well as transforming an elegant art gallery into an intimate pop-up comedy venue. ARG will return to GICF in the future.
Quotes & Recognition
the ultimate concentrated comedy event … ARGComFest is the comedy Glastonbury
intense, ridiculously good-value festival
[ARGComFest] has become an integral part of Fringe preparations … from its first year it developed a reputation for the calibre of its line-ups.
download these images as .zip (26.1 MB) — to be credited to Edward Moore. other images available on request
download logos in multiple formats (including CMYK) as .zip (805 KB)
Festival Director: Pax Lowey
- Pronouns: she/her
- Instagram: @pxlwy
- Twitter: @pxlwy
- Web: paxlowey.com
- Email: [email protected]
Festival Photographer: Edward Moore
- Pronouns: he/him
- Instagram: @edshots
- Twitter: @edshots
- Web: edshots.co.uk
- Email: [email protected]
- The festival title is always written as either ARGComFest (no spaces) or in full as Actually Rather Good Comedy Festival.
- Common mistakes include: adding spaces ('ARGCom Fest'), partially abbreviating ('ARG Comedy Festival'), or missing sections of the title ('ARGFest') — these are all incorrect and confusing due to similarly named festivals.
- Listings often have 'ARGComFest' as the title and the blurb opens with the full name, for example: "Actually Rather Good Comedy Festival is back, bigger than ever!" — the opposite is also fine.
- The shade of red used for festival branding is PANTONE 186 C, RGB (200,16,46) HEX (C8102E), or CMYK (2,100,85,6).