“A welcome break from the norm... it boasts the kind of top-quality lineup that's beyond many of its rivals.”
“A small but perfectly formed antidote to some of the more sprawling comedy festivals”
When we first talked about starting Machynlleth Comedy Festival above of all we wanted to create somewhere where people came to have fun, and get away from it all, whether this be the attendees, the comedians or the festival team. It was all about taking a different approach with an aim of creating a spirit of experimentation and intimacy. We’re passionate about the thrill of seeing live comedy in intimate places, and the glorious, picturesque and enchanting town of Machynlleth gave us a wealth of interesting and unique performance spaces in which to do this.
Most of all we want people to laugh, have a great time and find a warm welcome in the heart of Wales.
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Now in our fourth year the festival is already a firm fixture in many people’s diaries. It would be impossible for the festival to grow and develop without key support from funders and sponsors.
In 2012 the festival gained the support of the Welsh Government’s Major Events Unit (MEU) as a Growth Event. Working with officers from the MEU a three year development strategy was agreed securing the festivals future until 2014 and beyond. Machynlleth Comedy Festival would like to thank the Welsh Government for supporting the development of live comedy in Wales and what we believe is a unique event in the UK comedy calendar.
Powys County Council
Funding through Powys County Council’s Sense of Place grant scheme was also secured allowing us to undertake community engagement projects, create a family programme, help to create an additional social space and also give the festival a greater presence within the town. We would like to thank Powys County Council for their continued support for this event.
West Coast Group of Companies Ltd
West Coast Group of Companies have been business mentors for the festival since 2010 overseeing our development as a company and providing invaluable advice at key times. This year the companies support has gone further with the sponsorship of the West Coast Tent. We’re proud to be working in partnership with a leading independent renewable energy developer working in Wales.
Arts and Business Cymru
West Coast Group of Companies Ltd and Machynlleth Comedy Festival have received an investment from A&B Cymru’s CultureStep to develop their creative partnership. CultureStep is made possible by funding from the Welsh Government and the Arts Council of Wales.
Machynlleth Comedy Festival is proud to be working with BBC Radio 4 Extra, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru.
Food & Drink
Because we know you like to plan where and when you’ll be fuelling up on delicious treats during your weekend in Machynlleth, here’s a run down of the festival bars, cafes and stalls.
We have two real ale bars located on site. You’ll find the first on the lawns of Y Plas and the second on the lawn at Owain Glyndwr. The bars will host a range of real ales lovingly curated by the local Waun Brewery, as well as local cider, wine, water and juices.
Y Plas Lawns
The Chicken Cow Café: From porridge for breakfast to popcorn at midnight, The Chicken Cow Café serves delicious, nutritious, bootilicious food late into the evening. We specialise in massive cakes freshly cooked on site, fabulous evening quiches, homity pies and oven-baked spuds to warm your cockles. Come and relax on a comfy sofa and sample a slice of Chicken Cow Café cake!*
Half our profits will be donated to Machynlleth Community Children's Project.
(*does not contain chicken or cow)
Matilda’s Bakehouse is a clay wood-fired oven on wheels, in which sisters Feline and Nia Charpentier bake delicious freshly assembled pizzas. Using only handmade dough, pure mozzarella cheese, homemade tomato sauce, and toppings of seasonal and ethically sourced ingredients. The pizzas are assembled to order and then baked in the 400 degree oven next to the flames in under two minutes. Delicious!
The Curry Stall is a family run business passionate about great quality Indian street food. Specialities include a fantastic 'secret recipe' chicken curry, Keema Matar (lamb & peas) - both served either mild or spicy depending on taste - and delicious vegetarian options all served with speciality rice or wraps! All ingredients are sourced locally wherever possible and served in eco-friendly containers
Owain Glyndwr Lawns
Twist and Snout Get your laughing gear round a ‘Twist and Snout’ handmade gourmet burger and be sure to try the twice fried, handcut, chunky chips! All meat products are locally and responsibly sourced from a local butcher.
Caffe Milo Visit Milo and Estelle at their coffee rickshaw for freshly brewed, fairtrade coffee and tea, as well as homemade cakes and brownies.
Explore the town
The town of Machynlleth has many fine pubs, restaurants, cafes and takeaways. Pick up an information sheet at box office and start exploring what the beautiful town has to offer.
Machynlleth Comedy Festival are extremely excited to welcome our good friends at Fence Records who have programmed the nightly music on the lawns of Y Plas. They have put together 6 incredible bands and musicians for your entertainment over the weekend, and best of all… it’s all for free! So grab a drink and come and enjoy some fantastic music on us.
Fence Records is a micro-indie record label based in Fife, Scotland, founded by Kenny Anderson (King Creosote) and run by Johnny Lynch (The Pictish Trail). Fence are also responsible for the legendary Scottish festivals Home Game, Away Game and most recently Gnome Game.
8pm - Kid Canaveral
Kid Canaveral are an alternative pop group based in Edinburgh, and the indiepop poster children of the Fence Records roster. Kid Canaveral are David MacGregor (Guitars & Voice), Kate Lazda (Guitars & Voice), Rose McConnachie (Bass Guitar & Voice) and Scott McMaster (drums).
9:30pm - The Pictish Trail
Johnny Lynch is a Scottish musician who performs under the pseudonym The Pictish Trail. His new album, Secret Soundz Vol.2 is a kaleidoscopic mix of DIY electronics, distorted folk and psychedelic pop.
9:30pm - Rozi Plain
Rozi Plain was born Rosalind Leyden, in the leafy-greens of Winchester. Since moving to Bristol she’s been working on the ferries that bob in and out of the city, along the Avon, whilst creating her own beautifully intimate music that captures life slowly floating by.
11pm - Sparrow and the Workshop
Sparrow and the Workshop are a three-piece based in Glasgow consisting of Belfast-born, Chicago-raised Jill O’Sullivan, Welshman Nick Packer and Scotsman Gregor Donaldson.
7:45pm - R.Seiliog
R.Seiliog is alias to Robin Edwards, a musician/producer operating from Cardiff, Wales. He was born in the basement of a watchmakers shop in Peniel, North Wales in 1985. This early exposure to the syncopated rhythms of countless different timepieces was to have a lasting effect on the way he hears the world and indeed, composes.
11:00pm Y Niwl
Y Niwl is an instrumental rock band formed in North Wales in 2009. Originally a surf rock band, their style has progressed to incorporate a wider range of influences, though still retaining the instrumental aspect. Y Niwl are Alun Evans (guitar), Siôn Glyn (bass), Gruff ab Arwel (organ/guitar) and Llyr Pari (drums).
Machynlleth Comedy Festival’s favourite DJ’s/people Jonny Bull and Andy Dudfield also return to fill your ears with appropriate tunes at appropriate times of the day.
Come on a late night date with Mary Bijou. Expect a mischievous seduction of your senses and better sense. Be ravished by the international cavalcade of talent. We will show you a good time and you don't even have to pick up the tab.
Watch the circus folk frolic as you have lively pint in the comfort of the Bigtop Tent.
10:45pm - Friday 3rd May
Pabell Pys Melys
Children and Family Tent
Come and join us in the Pabell Pys Melys! It's bursting to the seams with fun activities for all the family. There is something here for everyone whatever your age. We can guarantee that adults will have as much fun as the kids!
Just turn up to the tent and join in!
(Please make sure children are accompanied by an adult at all time. Maximum of 4 children to one adult owner is advised).
10-12:00 The Arty Monkey Creative Academy
11:15-12:00 Rotten Tomatoes! - Family workshop
12:00 Nature Walk with the Ladybirds
13:15-2:45 The Arty Monkey Creative Academy
2:00 -2:45 Chicken Challenge - Family workshop
3:00-4:00pm "What Rhymes With Custard?" - Comic Verse Workshop
10-13:00 The Arty Monkey Creative Academy
12:00-12:45 Rotten Tomatoes! - Family workshop
13:00-13:50 Circus Skills for Beginners
14:00-14:50 Junk Yard Percussion Workshop
14:30 Nature Walk with the Ladybirds
15:00-16:30 The Arty Monkey Creative Academy
The Arty Monkey Creative Academy
Craft activities for children and their families
£4 per Child
Come and enjoy some creative fun, including: Badge making, U.V. bracelets, sun-catchers, mask-making, sock puppets, button jewellery, decorate a photo frame, bedroom door name tags, and more! One token gives one child the opportunity to make three different items to take home and treasure! The activities change throughout the day so you can drop in and out all day. Get another monkey token if you fancy making more! Monkeys of all ages welcome. Which one will you try first?
(Crafts on offer will be subject to change and will vary between sessions.)
Chicken Challenge or Rotten Tomatoes
£6 a team per challenge - max 5 in a team must include one adult
Fun-filled family workshop by The Arty Monkey Creative Academy
Will you take on one challenge or both?! A fun-filled, frantic, race against time with prizes for the strongest bridge/most brilliant design and certificates for all competitors.
Chicken Challenge - Why did the chicken cross... the bridge?! Work in teams to design and create the most brilliant bridge for Clucky the chicken to get to the other side! The last bridge standing will take the prize, but it’ll have to withstand the weight of Clucky’s mighty belly! A must for all you feather-brained inventors. Or are you chicken?
Rotten tomatoes! - Build a contraption to protect our death-defying tomatoes as they’re launched from our patented tomato-chucker! (Comedians not included)
To help you in your task you’ll be using materials from our ‘mystery box’. If you’re very lucky you’ll get some bubble-wrap. And if you’re unlucky... Custard anyone?
"What Rhymes With Custard?" - Comic Verse Workshop (1 hour)
£3 – Age 5+
Join award winning poet Kit Lambert in a rhyme-tastic workshop for all ages. Together, we'll create a brand new poem to celebrate the comedy festival and everyone will go away having written their own comic verse. So if you fancy yourself as a budding poet/comedian (no experience necessary), join us for a relaxed and fun hour playing with words. All you need to bring is your imagination.
Circus Skills for the Beginner
Drop in to this Circus Skills workshop. Play with juggling balls, scarfs, clubs, hoola hoops, learn balancing tricks, and lots of silly stunts. Fun for everyone!
Junk Yard Percussion
Make and decorate your own instrument!
Any ages and abilities, come along and make junk percussion instruments with top London percussionists and tutors from the Becky Dell Music Academy. Ever wanted a glittery shaker to beat all glittery shakers, or a tin can drum to hang round your neck?! Then this is the workshop for you! We promise fun, silliness and some cool and individual percussion instruments for you to create and take away.
A Nature Walk with the Ladybirds
12pm Sat 14:30 Sunday
£3 child adults free
Meet at the Woodland Pavilion.
11am - Once Upon A Time
12:00-13:30 Body Percussion
12:30pm - Dave Southern - Theatre on the Lawn
1:30pm - John Hegley
11am Once Upon A Time
Once Upon A Time
These hilarious steam punk, time travelling storytellers set out to tell the classic fairy tale 'Billy Goats Gruff'. Unfortunately for them their trusted Story Telling machine has a naughty habit of creating all sorts of mischief. Join them on their haphazard and unique adventure. You will meet the silly goats and the very grumpy, hungry Troll trying to eat them! Who knows who else you might meet along the way! Armed with trunks of costumes, buckets of energy and their not to be trusted storytelling engine, they begin where all good stories should begin "Once upon a time..."
Suitable for children 4+, adults and woodland creatures alike.
11am Sat & Sun
Vortex Y Plas
£3 a ticket
£10 family (2 adults & 2 children)
£4 - Ages 9 - 90, over 90's welcome too.
This is for parents, kids and anyone who has an interest in making music from your body. Becky spent years touring the world with 'Stomp' and picked up a few tricks along the way! With the help of Amy from DrumChasers they will show you how to make awesome sounds just using your bodies, and turn them into a routine (no jazz hands, don't worry). There will also be basketballs, big bottles and boomwhackers - come and find out what they are!
Theatre on the Lawn
A street performing legend, with unrivalled experience, Dave Southern's career spans over 30 years, through Covent Garden, The Edinburgh Fringe, Europe and the USA. Old enough to know better, but still young enough to attempt it anyway, he's bringing a classic blend of skill and stupidity to Y Plas lawn.
This is authentic street theatre, happening outdoors and suitable for all ages. There are no tickets, just turn up and put a generous donation in the hat after the show.
Y Plas Lawn
The must see family show of the festival. Poet, comedian, musician and songwriter, described as the Spike Milligan for our time. We welcome ‘the people’s poet laureate’ John Hegley and his subversive and surreal poetry to the festival. There is something here to tickle the fancy of both young and old alike. Still the most successful poet on the comedy circuit, Hegley enjoys a cult following and is an ever-popular regular feature on BBC Radio 4.
‘Scandalously talented’ - The Sunday Times
‘Bleeding marvelous’ – NME
£5 adults £3 children
£15 family (2 adults/2 children)
Once Upon A Time
Get Serious about Being Silly
A show for 4+ jam packed with amazing circus skills, noisy songs, and lots of very, very silly silliness.
Meet George Silly and Hazel Silly. They are very, very silly. Something is very wrong. Hazel is being very serious. Silly's are to be SILLY. George needs your help to help Hazel be silly again.
Expect silly, get serious, them's the rules.
Ben Target and Matthew Highton – Bear Hugging and Other Skills
Hello team! We’re going to attempt the impossibles – all of them – together! So come prepared to grow wings, tails and gills as we take to the skies, seas and trees in a world of our own making.
A charming rogue and his loveable fool guide you on this exuberant journey into constructive chaos and hopefully…back again in time for tea.
‘Full of imagination’ Skinny
‘impressively funny” Scotsman
‘daring and different’ New Current
‘memorably absurd moments’ Chortle
Time Out and Spoonfed recommended
Disclaimer: we all know that children are idiots and that parents are bigger idiots but luckily, Ben Target and Matt Highton, are award winning idiots who travel the UK trying their best to be funny for their audiences. Most of the time this works.
Owen Glyndwr Centre
Saturday - 10am - 1pm
Meet outside the Y Tabernacl at 10am to be led to the studio.
Fast becoming a festival favourite. Our first attempt at a festival life drawing class proved so popular last year, that we were compelled to bring it back!
About the tutor: Wales based artist Carl Chapple has many years experience and has had exhibitions of his work displayed across the UK, including a solo exhibition here at MoMa in Machynlleth in 2007.
About the model: Tom Parry has many years experience exposing himself on-stage as part of the successful sketch group Pappy's. Always looking to stretch his art he was only too keen to volunteer as the model for this class for a second year running.
The class will be tailored to all levels of ability and experience and all materials will be provided.
Cream teas will be served at elevenses.
Work from the class will be displayed in a festival exhibition.
This is an over-18 only event.
CLICK HERE for tickets.
Excellent news! Thanks to the wonderful organisers of the Dyfi Enduro we have in-town camping for festival attendees again this year. The site is within a stones throw from all of the festival venues and is ideal for those that are looking for a cost-effective accommodation solution.
The site is equipped with toilets and running water, along with it's own bar and entertainment area hosted by Cafe Seren. In addition to this, campers can use the shower facilities in the Leisure Centre (3 minutes away) for £1.
We're making the campsite booking really easy this year. We're selling wristbands that will gain you access to the site for the bargain price of £12 per person. This will allow you access to the campsite from Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May.
So, to have access to the campsite each member of your party needs to buy a wristband in advance from here, and then on your arrival pick up your camping wristbands from the festival box office, located in the grounds of Y Plas. When pitching your tent or parking your van look out for the designated Machynlleth Comedy Festival section of the site where you can camp with other festival attendees.
Fancy upgrading to a more luxurious camping experience? Well Fred's Yurts is the place for you! Cosy, fully equipped yurts ready to move into on arrival.
Luxury Yurts and bell tent accommodation just minutes walk from the action - locally based Fred's Yurts will be coming to Machynlleth offering some cosy accommodation under canvas for festival goers. Get in quick and you can even have a cosy wood burner to keep the evening chill at bay! With yurts of all sizes and something for everyone, we look forward to welcoming this new addition to the festival. Click on the link or email email@example.com for more information.