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By Rachel Stone
February 27, 2020
By Rachel Stone
February 27, 2020

UPDATED 18/03/2020: The 2020 NZ International Comedy Festival has been cancelled due to the critical developments of the COVID-19 situation, and the New Zealand Government's guidelines around events and mass gatherings.

The festival was set to land for its 28th year this April and May with more than 140 shows set to take place between Auckland and Wellington.

Festival organisers said in a statement, "We are devastated but we have no doubt that this is the right decision. These are exceptional circumstances and we need to do what we can to eliminate the risk of spreading the virus in Aotearoa."

"We are incredibly proud of the 2020 festival programme and are heartbroken to not see it come to life on stage at this time."

For refund information and to read the full statement, visit


Side-splitting laughter will sweep the nation this April and May as the 2020 NZ International Comedy Festival lands for its 28th year. More than 140 shows are set to take place between Auckland and Wellington as comedians arrive by way of Scotland, Australia, Japan, USA and Finland.

This year's lineup isn't your average roll call of comedians; the three-week program includes everything from late-night improv to musical comedy spectacles, rowdy pub sing-alongs and the greatest plays Shakespeare never wrote. The ribbon will be cut on the festival with comedy galas in Auckland (30 April) and Wellington (3 May), hosted by award-winning Australian comedian Felicity Ward.

From across international waters comes Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock sensation Tracy Morgan with his show No DisrespectPaul 'Sinnerman' Sinha of The Chase in his second festival appearance, three-time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Josie Long with her new show Tender, Melbourne science-comedy fusion act and beekeeper Alanta Colley, plus Finnish observational comedian Ismo Leikola. The 2020 festival will also see the debut of four-piece Aboriginal Comedy Allstars who bring their Indigenous comedy to our shores.

The stacked local lineup includes America's Got Talent finalist Tape Face, musical comedy duo The Fan Brigade, 2016 Billy T winner David Correos, and 'surreal sketch circus' act Laser Kiwi who will debut their new material — and loads more.

In addition to solo shows, the festival will play host to special showcase events, including a stand-up extravaganza for kids, LGBTQI+ nights and Last Laughs a celebratory showcase of the best of the festival with the Billy T and Fred Award nominees performing on the night.

The 2020 NZ International Comedy Festival runs from April 30 to May 24. For more information and tickets, visit the festival website.

Published on February 27, 2020 by Rachel Stone


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