MEDIA RELEASE: 6 SEPTEMBER 2011
SYDNEY LOVES TO LAUGH:
AUSTRALIA’S FIRST JUST FOR LAUGHS DECLARED A SMASH HIT
The very first Just for Laughs at Sydney Opera House has been declared a success, bringing in $1.5 million in Box Office revenue and attracting 16,000 comedy fans with sell-out shows across the festival.
Audiences flocked to the House over 4 days for 9 performances by some of the top names in international comedy including John Cleese, Louis C.K., Dylan Moran, Martin Short, Demetri Martin, Margaret Cho and Russell Howard. 45% of people who bought tickets for this festival were first time ticket buyers to Sydney Opera House.
With close to 50% of tickets selling within the first two weeks of the festival being announced, Just for Laughs at Sydney Opera House has bucked the general trend for comedy which traditionally sells at the last minute.
The festival included a surprise performance by the young, emerging Australian comedian Rob Hunter, spotted by Louis C.K. in a Melbourne comedy club. Louis C.K. was so impressed by Hunter’s performance, he flew him to Australia to open his show in the Concert Hall on Sunday night, presenting him to an audience of 2200 in his Sydney Opera House debut.
Sydney Opera House CEO Richard Evans said, ‘The runaway success of the first Australian Just for Laughs has proven that Sydney, and indeed Australia, has a voracious appetite for this festival – a who’s who of some of the very best names the international comedy world has to offer.
‘The festival has united the world’s strongest comedy brand with Sydney Opera House and the expertise of Australia’s greatest comedy promoter, Adrian Bohm. With the solid foundations laid this year, it’s clear that this festival is ripe for future expansion.’
Gilbert Rozon, CEO and Founder of the Just for Laughs Festival, said, ‘We have been overwhelmed by the response from this first festival – from audiences as well as artists, who were excited about performing at Sydney Opera House. From now on our goal is to grow this event to get even more Australians laughing’.
The Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal is the world’s biggest comedy festival with offshoots in Chicago, Paris and Toronto, and has come to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. The original festival in Montreal, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2012, literally takes over the whole city for a month-long, fun-filled extravaganza of stand up comedy from world-class performers, a comedy film festival and conference, a carnival and outdoor shows and street performers.
For more MEDIA information about Just for Laughs at Sydney Opera House, contact:
Meera Hindocha, Senior Publicist, Sydney Opera House
T. 02 9250 7834 / E. firstname.lastname@example.org