The comedy revolution an overwhelming success!

In terms of the revolution that the 2010 New Zealand International Comedy Festival brought across the three weeks, the full scale invasion of the country was a complete success; and converted those neutral to the cause to become part of the overwhelming comedy movement!

Despite the recession’s ominous loom, the Festival achieved its targeted audience and general awareness of the Festival was higher than ever before. Since 2005, the Festival has achieved an 80% growth and figures show a nationwide attendance of over 103,000 in 2010.

Alongside the continued support from Cadbury® Crunchie®, the Festivals major sponsor, this year also saw two big names become “Silver Sponsors” of the Festival; Auckland City Council and TV3 joined SKYCITY Auckland as pivotal sponsors for the season.

Anywhere you turned, you couldn’t miss the Festival – Auckland’s SKYTOWER was lit gold as the shining beacon of the festivities, while TV3’s involvement had it’s successful 7Days feature a variety of comedians both locally and from an exceptional array of internationals, including Jimeoin, Zoe Lyons, Carey Marx, Wil Anderson and Chopper (Heath Franklin) and Rove McManus taking over the Campbell Live set.

This year’s Cadbury® Crunchie® Comedy Gala launched the revolution – the proceedings held at the ASB Theatre sold out on the first day one of public sale, the fastest in the Festivals’ 18-year history!

Also marking the comedy history book was Rhys Mathewson’s Billy T Award win; Rhys became the youngest recipient of the award at just 19 and is a shining example of how important the Class Comedians programme has become to the country’s comedy circuit. Rhys was a graduate of the programme in 2006.

Wilson Dixon’s FRED award win came after a season of sell-out shows, winning over crowds and judges alike and even having to add extra performances; not content with just picking up “the boot”, Dixon also picked up “Best Local Show Auckland” at the Last Laugh awards night.

The Festival also gave critical exposure to a new set of faces that look to be ready to become synonymous with the Festival: locally, Rose Matafeo and Jav Jarquin were award winners and exciting new prospects in this country, while many considered Tom Wrigglesworth’s appearance at the Festival a watershed event; even going as far as to awarding him “Best International Show.”

The 2010 New Zealand International Comedy Festival looked to start a revolution in comedy – not only did it succeed, but it’s full scale invasion has reset the benchmark. One the Festival will be looking to eclipse in 2011.

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Brad