Comedy fans set up an alternative Edinburgh Comedy Award | Accolades hope to fill a Fringe gap

Comedy fans set up an alternative Edinburgh Comedy Award

Accolades hope to fill a Fringe gap

A group of comedy fans are setting up their own alternative to the Edinburgh Comedy Awards following the news the long-running accolade may not take place this year.

The new prize has been called (ISH) Edinburgh Comedy Awards – with the initials standing for ‘Insert Sponsor Here’. 

Organisers are planning to recruit a massive panel of around 50 judges who aim to see all non-compilation sows doing a full run at the festival.

They plan to release a  list of nominees on August 21 and the winners on the morning of August 26, the same day the established awards would normally reveal their winner. 

There will be the same three awards as given out by the original Edinburgh Comedy Awards:  best show, best newcomer and panel prize. 

However unless they land a sponsor, the cash prizes will be £10, £5 and £5 respectively – one-thousandth of what the original handed out. 

However co-ordinator Sarah Bowles is still hoping to find a backer who will get the prizes to match the usual awards.

She  runs Laughs at the Louis comedy nights in a Dover pub and is a producer on The Rat Pack Stand-Up Comedy shows in London and the Fringe. She is also a comedian and  was a finalist in this year’s Silver Standup Competition at the Leicester Comedy Festival.

She said: ’We love the Edinburgh Comedy Awards and it’s been great to see so many people already getting on board to make sure they happen this year. 

And she urged promoters to make sure the vast panel were given free tickets.

‘Rest assured, we are going to do our best to see every eligible show,’ she said. ‘If you are asked for a comp for your show by the judging panel please help us out! 

‘We will be doing everything we can to make these awards as good and fair as possible, it’s about complete inclusivity and supporting the comedy community. 

‘If we miss something, or we don’t get it quite right, please be kind as we are all volunteers doing this for free and know we just have the best intentions of having an Edinburgh Comedy Award this year.

‘We love the awards, but of course it’s not the main thing about the Festival is it?’

Last month, organisers of the original Edinburgh Comedy Award – once known as the Perrier – announced this year’s accolades were unlikely to go ahead unless the £200,000 it costs to stage them could be found,

That included £10,000 prize money for the main prize and £5,000 for the others – but the main costs were for accommodating the huge team of scouts plus the panel of ten.

While the new initiative seems to be purloining the title of  Edinburgh Comedy Award, no trademark on the name is listed with the Intellectual Property Office.

For more details of the new scheme, visit their website.

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Published: 29 Jun 2023

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