Proving once again that we love nothing more than a good chuckle, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival recently announced record attendances and box office for the 2010 Festival.
 
With a total attendance of over 508,000and paid attendance of more than 425,000, with 15%new attendees, it goes without saying that the Festival is much loved by Melbourne audiences, aswell as interstate and international guests and remains one of the biggest events in the culturalcalendar of Australia.
 
Interstate and regional visitation was up by 1% (9%) with the biggest increases from NSW (43% up 3%) and Queensland (23%, up 4%). The average spend of each visitor was $704. Melbourne Comedy Festival General Manager, Virginia Lovett said:
 
"Apart from being one of the great comedy festivals in the world, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival continues to be a major event for Victoria providing significant economic impact.”
 
“We are looking forward to an even bigger Festival next year to celebrate our 25th anniversary. With the ongoing support of the government and corporate supporters the Melbourne International Comedy Festival will continue to be a major a cultural tourism destination in Autumn as well as providing hub for performers development.”
 
For lovers of numbers, there were 369 shows 4,947 performances by 1764 performers helped by 1527 support staff in 120 venues. The average ticket price was $25.75.
 
The 2010 Festival recorded $10,971,653 in box office – an increase of 3.9% on last year’s record breaking Festival. The Festival’s free public events played to over 82,000 people, up more than 10% on 2009.
 
“The Festival is unique in its sheer breath of activities. We reach broadcast audience of over 3 million through the Galas, opening night broadcasts, RAW Grand Final, The Great Debate and other broadcasts.
 
“Our virtual audience increased 25 % from 292,594 in 2009 to 392,411 augmented by 15,000 downloads of our new iphone application. And our national development programs, RAW, Class Clowns and Deadly Funny throughout the year nurtures and trains the next generation of performers and producers” said Virginia Lovett, General Manager.
 
The Festival is currently showing off the best of Australian and international comedians across Australia in nearly 80 venues on The Comedy Festival Roadshow.
 
The 2011 Melbourne Comedy Festival runs from 30 March – 24 April

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