7th and 8th July 2018
Press / Business contact:
ARGComFest is a weekend comedy festival of Fringe previews and work-in-progress shows that takes place every July. The festival brings an attentively curated programme of 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 programme includes many Edinburgh Comedy Award nominees and winners including five-time nominee James Acaster and double-nominee Kieran Hodgson, as well as The Last Leg's Josh Widdicombe, Elf Lyons, Adam Riches, Lucy Pearman, Ahir Shah, Lazy Susan, and Ben Target.
Other key artists include: Sofie Hagen, Stuart Goldsmith, Lou Sanders, Paul Mayhew-Archer (co-writer of The Vicar of Dibley), Gráinne Maguire, Sean McLoughlin, Emma Sidi, and Matt Winning.
For the most up-to-date programme including show information and press quotes, visit the line-up page.
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 also absorbed all booking and transaction fees, 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 March 2018, ARG worked with Glasgow International Comedy Festival to transform an elegant art gallery into an intimate pop-up comedy venue called ARG at Veneer — and produced a carefully curated programme of twelve shows from award-winning comedians.
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 artist publicity images (not shown here) from Google Drive — credits within file-names
download logos in multiple formats (including CMYK) as .zip (805 KB)
Festival Director: Pax Lowey
Festival Photographer: Ed Moore
- 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 returns for a seventh year…" — 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).