Factsheet

Dates:

5 July — 7 July 2024

Venue:

Shoreditch Town Hall

Website:

ARGComFest.com

Press / Business contact:

[email protected]

Social media:

instagram.com/ARGComFest facebook.com/ARGComFest

Description

Summary

ARGComFest is a weekend comedy festival of Fringe previews and work-in-progress shows that takes place every summer. 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.

Our festival programme celebrates and attracts diversity in all its forms. ARG is committed to making live comedy more accessible and inclusive, and this year's programme will once again feature live captioned performances throughout the weekend.

Programme

This year’s festival programme will be announced and tickets will go on sale in March.

In 2023, the festival featured former Mash Report host and two-time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Nish Kumar; Writers Guild Award winner for Best Radio Comedy Olga Koch; and 2023 Taskmaster star and Off Menu self-doxxer Ivo Graham.

Other acts included: Jamali Maddix, Alison Spittle, Daniel Foxx, Kieran Hodgson, Mat Ewins, Celya AB, Tom Mayhew, Chloe Petts, Nabil Abdulrashid, Thanyia Moore, Cerys Bradley, Priya Hall, Janine Harouni, Stuart Laws, Sikisa, Jodie Mitchell and Ania Magliano.

The Friday Night Show

In 2022 and 2023, ARG and Shoreditch Town Hall launched the festival weekend with The Friday Night Show — a spectacular, all-star showcase featuring Phil Wang, Josie Long and Kiri Pritchard-McLean in 2022, and Nish Kumar, Sarah Keyworth and Brett Goldstein in 2023.

Following these two sell-out shows, ARG and Shoreditch Town Hall are thrilled to present The Friday Night Show — outside of the festival weekend for the first time — on 22nd March. This blockbuster bill includes Lou Sanders, Suzi Ruffell, Sophie Duker, Kemah Bob and Sofie Hagen — with even more acts to be announced.

This year's festival weekend will also launch with The Friday Night Show on 5th July.

Access

ARG is committed to making live comedy more accessible and inclusive, and ensuring that live comedy is welcoming to all audiences, artists and staff. In 2023, we worked with Claire Hill to provide live captioning for The Friday Night Show and a number of performances throughout the festival weekend.

This was just the beginning and we keenly understand the importance of including access provision as standard across all our programming. We are proud to see that more venues and promoters are taking accessibility into consideration and as a festival, we are committed to expanding our access offer to include alternative provision (such as British Sign Language) and to cover our whole festival programme by 2028.

All future editions of The Friday Night Show will feature live captioning. We will announce more details of our access provision for ARGComFest 2024 in the coming months.

To date, we have delivered all access provision without external funding or subsidy — but we will need to change this in order to meet our 2028 commitment. If you can help, please email [email protected].

Background

History

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 discerning, high-quality programme. It quickly grew: first to a full weekend, then to fill larger venues, and later to a third stage.

Social impact

As the festival has grown, carving out its position in the comedy calendar along the way, it has become more bold and outspoken about issues facing live comedy and wider society.

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, LGBTQI+ 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.

ARGComFest was the first major comedy festival to have a gender-balanced programme and it continues to push the boundaries of diversity and representation in live comedy.

Quotes & Recognition

  • the ultimate concentrated comedy event … ARGComFest is the comedy Glastonbury

    - Bruce Dessau, Evening Standard

  • intense, ridiculously good-value festival

    - Time Out

  • [ARGComFest] has become an integral part of Fringe preparations … from its first year it developed a reputation for the calibre of its line-ups.

    - The Skinny

Images

download these images as .zip (5.4 MB) — to be credited to Edward Moore. other images available on request

Logos

download logos in multiple formats (including CMYK) as .zip (805 KB)

Style guide

  • 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.
  • ARG is the company, ARGComFest is the festival.
  • The shade of red used for festival branding is PANTONE 186 C, RGB (200,16,46) HEX (C8102E), or CMYK (2,100,85,6).

Credits

Founder/Director: Pax Lowey she/her

Photographer: Edward Moore he/him

Designer: Ashley Howard they/them

Producer: Melissa Rutnagur she/her