Well it was ambitious!! I have being working on events for almost 3 decades but FIC 2013 was one of the toughest I have been involved with. The Goal was to demonstrate the potential of the event and how it could be amplified beyond just straight up shows in Barcelona but also to take some of the secret to BCN’s success to Madrid. This success has been built on the consistent development via workshops, competitions and just offering an INDEPENDENT annual comedy performance platform and focus for the obvious talent spread around Barcelona in it’s various languages.
We set about a couple of years ago seeking to create a comedy community from the public to the artist and if we could pull enough people together under this banner then we could collectively force the issue, that this is a worthwhile project, something worthy of support from either/both the public and private sector...
The objective simply, to become sustainable and while I am massively grateful to all our supporters and sponsors to date we have to try and attract that elusive significant title sponsor to help us build some structure and properly develop, so if anyone reading this knows anyone working in marketing... give them a nudge!
And its not just about the typical beer brands who we will have approached but the myriad of other companies who can be a good fit for a comedy festival from the many Start Ups to the Tourism companies, etc, etc we are open to all ideas and can build a partnership that can offer marketing managers real return.
So what happened in this the 6th edition here is a quick rundown of the highs and lows, in no particular order...
The Funniest FICer: Well we saw the potential in 2012 and how it engaged so many people citywide and knew it would have to be a primary focus. The ambition was to take the exact same formula to Madrid, a sponsor was secured with the fearless www.stoketravel.com who upped their prize funds big time and gave a cash injection that insured the organisation between Madrid & BCN was possible.
It was first time out for the Spanish capital and it needed to kick off in early September which didn’t help straight after the ‘Spanish August’ but we managed to get out 2 heats and produced a memorable final filled with real diverse talent to choose a champion to represent the city. Barcelona took off exactly where it left off in 2012 and had a full eager line up of 3 heats + Final vying to produce a champion.
The final in BCN was an incredible challenge for the judges to pick one from literally 5 performances that were all worthy of winning.
It was truly amazing to watch people really develop in 12 months and up their game to compete and in the end it would come down to Josh Saxon (Madrid) and Stephanie Figueira (BCN) to battle it out. Special mention must go to Josh who just picked up a mic for the 1st time ever within the process and demonstrated the natural talent he has but Stephanie Figueira played to all her strengths to nail a set worthy of the ultimate Funniest FICer title.
Huge thanks to everyone who took part you all played your part in a wonderful grassroots comedy experience.
Logan Murray: What can be said of this guru of comedy who delivered his 5th intensive weekender in collaboration with the festival. It was exactly what it always is... the most fun, exciting, exhilarating, personal development experiences on the market. Within the festival format the workshop show, which is fast becoming a legendary night out, packed Las Cuevas del Sorte and a visibly enjoying himself Logan led his 12 students through a truly wonderful show. He will be back in 2014, it will once again be amazing and the only thing to say is get it booked now!! It will go onsale very soon, keep an eye on the newslertters.
Logan also delivered his renowned Public Speaking Workshop which was totally sold out and left behind another 12 greatly skilled performers
The Headliners: It is the world’s only multilingual comedy festival and once again we sought to find top quality acts in each of the ‘perceived’ biggest resident Expat communities. It is a very difficult proposition to assess and has always been a trial and error style experience.
This year we introduced Russian and French for the very first time!!
When it doesn’t work out the artist and festival both suffer but over the now 7 years and 9 languages!!! that we have presented shows in, every comic has given their very best to the audience that came out no matter what the size.
It is a mark of their professionalism that despite small crowds Nikolay Lukinsky, Mike Ward and Marlon Kicken all gave great performances to audiences that would have worked much better in a smaller room so lessons learned there!
THE LOCALS: We are once again baffled by the local industry as we have always perceived from the outset that this is their festival that we are happy for them to stake a claim, take some ownership and help us grow. Alas despite offering a FREEE!!!! open invitational platform to local comics the response was once again pretty pathetic!
I think its because we imposed a DEADLINE for submission!!! The dreaded D Word.
So a big thank you to http://www.lafamiglia.tk/ for taking part in Castellano. Or else there is something more fundamentally wrong in the local industry. Any time we offered the festival submission to local artists we got a simple how much will you pay. It appears that chasing money is the absolute goal, via creating TV friendly scripts rather than focusing on developing uncensored individual comedy talent. It is your festival
We had one real victory that we are intensely proud of being a cataclyst for making the Catalan language show 'FEM RIURE' happen.
It involved local Catalan and International comics and was the essence of what the ‘independent’ philosophy that has been behind FIC from day 1. Comics and artists creating their own art and taking advantage of a platform that offers something much broader. Spanish comics take note!!
The festival site received OVER 50,000 unique visits from July to November!! and it can grow even further. I hope the group go on to create more performances and we see them again next year. FEM RIURE formed for the festival, sold their show out and now are building on it. Well done and thanks for your faith guys
The English speaking programme was created in an effort to provide diversity over the 4 weeks that would attract different public - Tony Law delivered his unique style of award winning alternative comedy, the legendary Howard Marks created a completely new twist on one of contemporary cultures greatest stories with a mix of theatre and is inimitable charisma, the Logan Murray Workshop show was arguably the best yet and the final festival gala with the FICer final and Marcus Brigstocke... well we promised the comedy event of the year and it was so much more than that. Brigstocke was simply awesome!!
He gave over 1 and a half hours of blistering straight up, Stand Up using every arm and accent in his arsenal and he has a few. 280 people in Tradicionarius lapped up the final act of a giggle packed 4 weeks. It was a stunning finish to the previous 4 weeks and what FIC is all about!!!
So will the ‘perennial never going to happen again’ comedy festival happen again, it needs support and is out there looking for it right now.. lets see!!
THE THANKS!!! It is difficult to thank everyone that deserves a mention but I think you all know who you are! :) and how you contributed to getting a fantastic event over the line. Special mention goes to the guys from B.I.G who are at the core of all things comedy in Barcelona and we wish them the best with their festival starting this weekend November 6, their Stand Up counterparts S.U.C.K but also Adolf Ferreres and Carlos Oriach for your translation help, Chris Groves for the morale (not technical) support but a vey special mention to the multi talented Queen of VENT! and now official Funniest FICer (it should be noted that the GG stepped back from all judging and she was the unanimous choice in each decision making situation, well deserved!!), the ever positive incredible energy that is Stephanie Figueira without whom this event would never have made it to Week 2!!!
There are new pressures developing in the administration of this event all the time. We want to bring the very best comics in the world and unfortunately for reasons nothing to do with FIC, our reputation is second to none in industry circles but agents are now demanding 100% payment in advance to confirm their artists. All across the world where artists of this level are highly coveted there have been problems. It puts real pressure on the necessity to find a sponsor or we might have to use a crowd funding vehicles if there is to be a FIC 2014. We hope you will continue to support the event however it materialises in what are very challenging times for everyone. We will take all the lessons learned and put together a programme we hope will excite and entertain and seek to get over the line as best we can!!
Cheers and hope you enjoyed some of it!!!
Aaaaahhh!! September a moment of new beginnings, time to reflect, recharged and more guapisimo after the Summer beachy happy times. While this writers tan has suffered not having seen a beach in weeks we are showing some serious results for our summer toil and am super excited to be opening the 6th Festival internacional de Comedia de Barcelona (now practically España) this month.
Read on for much news and innovation…
FUNNIEST FICER COMPETITION LATEST: Madrid - The distraction of summer has made life difficult in Madrid and the amount of participants is less than expected and ultimately not enough for the process as we saw fit. We have decided to go straight to a final on September 29 and turn the scheduled ‘heats’ in Rastro Bar (tonight Sept 12!!) and the Irish Rover (Sept 19) into Open Mic nights with a Wild card entry to the final available should anyone shine and wish to take part. So not as planned but it is something of a work in progress and we are blaming the proximity to the Spanish August, so lessons learned. In the meantime the Madrid amateur comedian standard has been set by the lovely Ana Bottles and should no one produce better we may ask her to represent in Barcelona so your Madrid Needs You!!
Barcelona with the benefit of last year’s experience is raring to go and if anything it looks like we may have to add a heat there. We are certain that people are stalling before applying but we are getting close to filling the 3 heats already. So if you have a preferred date then it might be time to get on it!!
TICKETING: Go directly to this page for all the details and links to our new express online sales pages with all the tickets for all the shows at the latest prices in both Madrid and Barcelona!!
GANGA ALERT!! To celebrate we will kick off with a really special and limited offer of ANY 2 headline shows of your choice for €25!!
You can mix languages if you like
There are just 30 of these available in both cities and on purchase you should inform us of what shows you want to see to email@example.com
LOGAN MURRAY WORKSHOPS:
Comedy - 4-6 October: Just 4 of these left that means still one 5% off discounted place
Public Speaking – October 7: We warned that this would catch fire and it has with just 3 of the 16 places left this morning. We got a amazing venue for the workshop in the big room in Casa Murcia. The focus of this highly coveted course is physical presence and Logan requested a room with ample space – Got a great one! And super centrally located at Bailen 102
NEW LANGUAGES!! Our 6th edition will have shows now in 6 languages with the addition of French language making it a monster of multilingualism. And they are no ordinary shows everyone are award winning cracks in their respective language
Marcus Brigstocke/Tony Law/Howard Marks – English
David Broncano – Spanish (a lot more to come, details manaña!!!!)
Fem Riure All star show - Catalan
Nikolay Lukinsky – Russian
Marlon Kicken – Dutch
And the latest addition FRENCH!!!
Quebec-ian bilingual comedy superstar Mike Ward. One of the biggest stars in Canada in both languages, he sold 135,000 tickets on his most recent tour (French show), a man whose last 2 DVD´s have gone platinum.
An incredible line up of international comedy talent!
TONY LAW - 'Total Nonsense / Nonsense Overdrive'
Valencia Sept 26 – Barcelona Sept 27 – Madrid Sept 28
We have hosted some amazing comedy shows over the years in Spain right up to the great Rich Hall shows last year. And I have never been as excited about a comedy show as this one. He is the comic of the moment and we will have his multiple award winning and his latest critically acclaimed, fresh from Edinburgh show sandwiched into one blistering hour and a half of comedy. To celebrate we are leaving all tickets in ALL our Physical outlets in Madrid and BCN at just €15!!! and online at €16 to cover booking fee.
With the nasty 21% included it is as good as we can do and hope you can join us to get this festival off with a Bang… can´t wait!
Please keep sharing and spreading the word and giggles, much fun beckons!!
PRE-SUMMER NUSLOG - Deadlines, Competitions, Amazing headliners, Local Comedy Showcase, a blog, Advertising and sponsorship opportunities...
Well the annual ‘never going to happen again’ festival is BACK! Believing that the only ‘C’ word is COMEDY and austerity just to an unwelcome houseguest who won´t get the message and f**k off so we have devised a completely wreckless strategy to deal with all that crap and put the funny back in la vida. The strategy is simple... to make a festival bigger, bolder, better than anything that has gone before in the 6 years of this project. We will be creating as many seats as possible absorb all the bad vibes being hurtled at cultural events in Spain these days, the13% more tax, increased booking fees, hotels and flights that only know one direction, blah, blah and keep prices as low as they can possibly be in the hope you nice people will pack our wonderful theatres and have that other 'C' word the Irish are so committed to... the CRAIC!!
So we have thrown caution to the wind and got a bag full of world class funny makers coming Spain’s way from September 25 - October 20, practically a whole month!! The programme is a balance of the biggest names in comedy and a platform for the best of what are by now vibrant comedy scenes in both Barcelona and Madrid. Even some really interactive events to try and coax the closet performers out to further boost that scene. Read on for much amazing news and deadlines that cannot be missed, it will be epic...
THE IMMEDIATE DEADLINES: Pre Summer early Bird Ticket offers end on July 31st!! on practically all of our products. Why pay more... you’re gonna wanna go... Full deets here
We have also created one very special ticket for you our comedy hardcore following, combine any 3 headline shows (can include different languages), The Funniest FICer final (see below) and enjoy a host of perks including reserved seating, easier booking for extra tickets and a host of other nice surprises. Available for just €45 means a saving of almost €24!!
There are just 30 of these babies!!, when they are gone,they is history... Full deets and conditions here (if you can´t use we ensure you don´t lose)
Also if you know or are a local Spanish comedian, promoter, venue you have until July 31st to avail of FREE subscription which will include listing to our website which is currently getting over 3000 unique visits a month and we haven´t even started. This offer of free subscription is unique in the world of comedy festivals! FIC does not promote directly Spanish and Catalan shows, but if there is a something out there they are more than welcome to bring it to the party. Please share this love in Spanish here and in Catalan here
FUNNIEST FICER COMPETITION DEADLINE: This is something to keep in mind and be working on over the Summer break the chance to turn 7 mins of comedy into a phat 15 mins of fame. We are proper excited about this competition this year as we expand the model that was so successful in Barcelona to create a bona fide national comedy champion that will be decided in a ‘set to set’ Comedy Clasicó between the Funniest FICer in Madrid and their counterpart in BCN. Its a winner takes all duel that will take place on Oct 19 before Marcus Brigstocke in front of 300 baying Catalan comedy fans.
The whole competition kicks off early in Madrid on September 12. There are a bunch of travel/party experiences to be won (see prizes here the Edinburgh Fringe is even in there!), from competition sponsors the ever expanding hedonism specialists Stoke Travel but most important it is a process that offers a real taste of what comedy is all about even with a taste of the bigtime as you will support Festival Headliner Marcus Brigstocke, performing on some of Spain’s biggest stages... which brings us to...
THE HEADLINERS: Something for everyone in an eclectic selection of international comedy festival headliners, all with brand new and quite unique shows
LOCAL COMEDY SHOWCASING: Their has been real development in the local comedy scenes in BCN and Madrid. The festival is a platform for all of that and in Barcelona we have put together a special showcase programme in conjunction with B.I.G Comedy Improv, regular Stand Up collective S.U.C.K, the latest crop from the Logan Murray inspiration factory, VENT! storytelling, comedy pub quizzes and more... Full deets here
SMALL BUSINESS ADVERTISING: we are a small business in these tough times, so empathise and have a great platform for you to target very directly your taget market in Spain. Every show will have eyes on it some from different specific resident international communities ( eg. Dutch and Russian if that's of interest to your business) and we want to tailor packages so that you can get the best out of involvement with our individual events. We have a PDF onlne here which can give you an idea of the prices expected but we want the FIC platform to be all about tailoring so please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
SPONSORSHIP: While we continue the search for the elusive deal with a major brand for title sponsorship, which is obviously not the easiest task in the world right now, we do have different levels and some real uopportunities offering real ROI. We have our Maremagnum stage sitting ready to go and crying out to be branded. It is situated in Maremagnums´s new gastronomic are that has an inherent weekend footfall in the Teraza area alone of 40,000 people!! If that is somewhere you could see your brand then please get in touch if not for this year for 2014. Once again contact email@example.com and request the presentation.
THIS FIC BLOG: Each year I endeavor to keep a blog on the festival and with this the 4th posting to date it is already breaking all longevity records, but I am not sure if I am in contravention of international blogging code by combining blogs an newsletters but it means this may become quite an active NEWSLOG!!.Hurrah! Please follow, share, leave comments
Its going to be almost 4 weeks of genuine World class hilarity, our website has had its final proofread (we think)...
It is all built peeps, now you must come and have some fun
GG can´t wait!!!
The Giggling Guiri
Irish event guy and Arts lover who moved to BCN in 2003, created and ran the city's Irish festival www.elfeile.com for 7 years. Introduced the 1st professional English language comedy shows in 2004, established www.comedyinpain.com as the biggest provider of live comedy products in Spain for private and corporate entertainment and hosted the very best in the globl comedy industry.