First and foremost, in this day and age, holy shit we need as much laughter as we can get. Everything, everywhere, every day, is so fucking tense. Comedians, in my humble opinion, are the remedy. And lots of really funny ones are coming to our lovely city: Utrecht, the Netherlands!
We need this comedy festival to be in Utrecht for a couple of hugely important reasons. Number one – Because Utrecht is not Amsterdam. Amsterdam already gets everything. This time, give the big event to the little brother. Second – the organisers are working so incredibly hard to make this event the premier comedy festival on the continent. New York Magazine even rated it one of the top ten comedy festivals in the world.
Sure the British have the Fringe Festival in Scotland – and good for them. But this one is ours. UICF is right here in our own backyard, baby. Thank you so much to the men and women of comedyhuis who do all the behind the scenes work to make the festival happen. The festival itself takes place on Friday and Saturday March 6th and March 7th at TivoliVredenburg.
But guess what kids, there is more good news. One weekend is just not enough. How about a whole week! Starting on Friday 28 February, there will be an entire week of comedy related activities all over the city. Here’s a list of my highlights:
- The official launch of my new book How To Not Kill Yourself. My presentation will be part of the official launch of the entire festival, together with Utrecht Stadscomedian Patrick Meijer and Utrecht cartoonists Rob van Barneveld, Willem Bentvelzen, and Daniel Henschel. Friday 28 February, 5:00pm, at Kargadoor (Oude Gracht 36, Utrecht). Drop me a line if you’re interested in coming.
- Comedy Walks. Comedyhuis member Soula Notos will lead a walk through the heart of Utrecht telling personal stories about all that makes the city so great.
- Vrouwen met humor. Who says chicks aren’t hilarious?! Come get schooled.
- Winners of the Comedy Talent Award. Every year, Comedyhuis hosts the most prestigious stand-up comedy competition in the Netherlands. In addition to winning a spot on the bill of the festival itself, the winners of the competition will perform a few days beforehand too.
- Vakdag Stand-up comedy with Jeroen Pater. Comedians, club bookers, agents, theatre directors – anybody and everybody interested in the business of stand-up comedy in the Netherlands can come and learn the ins and outs. Presented by stand-up comedian and artistic director of the Utrecht International Comedy Festival Jeroen Pater, he’ll guide you through conversations with various comedians in the hopes of shedding more light as to how the business works. (This session will be in Dutch.)