The Melbourne comedy festival is worried the Commonwealth Games could hit ticket sales.
Organisers fear the city’s residents could have ‘Games fatigue’ following the excitement of the two-week sporting event, and so be reluctant to venture out to see comedy.
The festival, one of the biggest in the world, has already been put back a month to avoid clashing with the sport, which ended at the weekend.
But festival director Susan Provan has admitted she is worried about the impact of the Games, saying: ‘It's quite scary… we really don't know.’
The festival has invested an extra £40,000 in publicity this year, and started its promotional drive early in a bid to counter the effects. ‘Everything has had to be available a lot earlier,’ Provan told Melbourne newspaper The Age.
She also said the later start date of April 12, meant the festival was more susceptible to poor autumnal weather, which could have a big impact on ticket sales.Last year, the four-week festival took £2.25m at the box office. British-based acts attending this year include Stephen K Amos, Daniel Kitson, Mark Watson and Phil Kay.