A Weekend of Stand-Up Comedy in the heart of Wales

About Machynlleth Comedy Festival

“A welcome break from the norm... it boasts the kind of top-quality lineup that's beyond many of its rivals.”
The Guardian

“A small but perfectly formed antidote to some of the more sprawling comedy festivals”
The Independent

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.

If you want to contact the festival you can do so on hello@machcomedyfest.co.uk

If you have a press enquiry please contact andy@writegood.co.uk

Our Supporters

Now in our seventh year the event continues to grow in size, reputation and reach. With comedy fans travelling from across Europe and even the US we can claim to be well and truly on the map this year. And whilst the event continues to increase in size and scope, we work hard to maintain the core values that it was built around; comedians and comedy lovers having as much fun as possible in a creative, relaxed and experimental environment.

The fact that we have the freedom to do what we do is largely down to our supporters, without whom the event would be very different. Their backing of the event and belief in what Machynlleth Comedy Festival represents is absolutely key to creating what we believe is a pretty special event in the Festival calendar.

The Welsh Government 

The Welsh Government’s Major Events Unit (MEU) continues to support the Machynlleth Comedy Festival allowing us to manage the growth of the event. Machynlleth Comedy Festival would like to thank the Welsh Government for continuing to support the development of a major live comedy event in Wales.

Arriva Trains Wales and the Cambrian Rail Partnership

We’re proud to be working in partnership with Arriva Trains Wales and the Cambrian Rail Partnership to deliver an event in the heart of Wales. With so many of you arriving into the town by train we’re especially pleased to announce this new partnership.

Welsh Lamb

Recognised all over the world for its quality and synonymous with the uniquely beautiful landscape of Wales, we are delighted to welcome Welsh Lamb to the festival this year.

Chang Beer

As an internationally renowned brand with an impressive partnership portfolio, we are delighted to have Chang Beer on board as our official festival lager.

Powys County Council

Powys County Council’s tourism department have directly supported the event since 2013 and we would like to thank Powys County Council for their continued support.

Salop Leisure

We’re delighted that Salop Leisure are continuing their sponsorship of the campsite for a second year. Their Machynlleth based showroom is directly adjacent to the Festival Campsite, and is the perfect place to top up on camping supplies.

BBC

Machynlleth Comedy Festival is proud to be working with BBC Radio for the fifth successive year. With coverage of the event being broadcast on BBC Radio 4 for the first time, alongside the usual coverage on BBC 4 Extra and BBC Radio Wales.

Waen Brewery

It’s been a pleasure to work with The Waen Brewery since year one, and watch as both have grown. Built on a basis of shared values and good humour, the relationship means we’ll be sharing a post festival drink for many years to come.

Food and Drink

Festival food stalls

 As ever, we're excited to bring an array of top quality food traders to the Plas and Owain Glyndwr to keep you fuelled up from morning til night.

We'll be welcoming back some festival favourites as well as some new stalls for 2016.

Full details coming Spring 2016...

 

Festival Bars

We have two real ale bars located on site. You’ll find the Beech Bar (including our whopping great Festiv-ale) on the lawns of Y Plas and our new bar on the lawn at Owain Glyndwr which features a dedicated cider festival and cocktail bar.

 

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.

 

 

Music

The Beech Bar Big Top on the lawns of the Plas will once again host our free live music stage. We're currently working on the line up to bring you three days of awesome performances from some of our favourite bands of the moment - plus the odd DJ set thrown in for good measure!

Whilst we put the finishing touches to the 2016 programme, here's our Spotify playlist from 2015 - the soundtrack to last year's Big Top stage...

 

 

Mary Bijou Cabaret

 

Our friends and festival favourites Mary Bijou Cabaret and Social Club will present another spectacle from their international cavalcade of talent - all for free on Friday night in the Big Top.

More details coming soon.

Children's Programme

We're delighted to announce more details on our family programme of events at this years festival.

To kick things off, we have six great daytime shows on Saturday and Sunday:

First up on Saturday, make sure smartphones are charged and at the ready! Wifi Wars is an interactive comedy game show hosted by award-winning comedian and games journalist Steve McNeil (Videogame Nation).

At midday Box Tale Soup present their inventive and refreshing take on Carroll's classic. Alice's Adventure in Wonderland features colourful handmade puppets, a beautiful set and magical original music, this is a constantly . Young and old alike will find magic in Wonderland.

Rolling into town on Saturday afternoon is Kid Carpet's Super Mega Rockin' Rock Show. Kid Carpet will performs songs from his hit family theatre shows while inviting the audience to play ping pong, help catch a lost sandwich in space and take part in a grand dance contest. Obviously. 

Ellen Groves revisits her youth using her actual teenage diaries in Dear Diary. It is going to be silly, embarrassing and full of heart. Come and see for yourself.

On Sunday lunchtime, Tessa Bide presents The Tap Dancing Mermaid in the Plas. Stunning puppets, original live music and tap dancing that will make you want to stick 50ps to your shoes and join in!

David O'Doherty returns to read and discusses the work of his next door neighbour Doctor Noel Zone, the world's leading (and only) DANGEROLOGIST in his Danger is Everywhere Seminar.

Tickets to all the above shows are just £4 per ticket or £12 for a family of 4.

The Crafty Badgers take up residence in the Pabell Pys Melys - a mini-marquee packed full of activities for kids to choose from all weekend.

There are also lots of free family activities in and around the tent including storytime with Machanory, the return of the Chuck-a-duck Challenge, The Conjurers Conundrum Mystery Trail, Circus Skills and Circus Design competition plus much more to discover...not to mention the astonishingly exaggerated Leap of Death!

 

 

Portrait Drawing with Carl Chapple and Selected Models/Comedians

This festival favourite returns for 2016. Details on where, when and how to buy tickets are coming soon.

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 at MoMa in Machynlleth in 2007 and 2014.

About the models: Up to 4 comedians will sit for you to draw their portraits. 

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-14 event

Festival Super Camping

Festival Camping 2016

Our very own spacious festival campsite behind the Bowling Club is back. The site is located just a few minutes walk away from all our glorious festival venues in the perfect central location in th middle of town.

Complete with all the luxuries you would expect (including hot showers, flushing toilets, complimentary phone and tablet charging), you can once again stay in comfort at the heart of the festival without breaking the bank.

 

Facilities include:

24 hour manned site 

Private hot shower cubicles

Posh flushing toilets

Drinking water

Complimentary phone/tablet charging facilities

Free on-site parking

Waste/recycling points

Central location just a few minutes from every venue

Great vibes

 

All this for the bargain price of £30 per adult for all 3 nights! No restriction on the size of tent, it's still only £30.

Under 18s are also welcome on the site (accompanied by a responsible adult) at a discounted price of £15. Under 5s are free.

 

Campervans, Caravans and Trailer Tents

If you've got a live-in vehicle you want to bring, that costs just £65 per vehicle and includes 2 campsite wristbands (additional wristbands can be purchased at £30 pp). Pitches also include space for an awning/gazebo - you make yourselves comfortable! 


Festival Camping tickets are on-sale here!

 

Fred’s Yurts 

 

Need even more luxury in your festival weekend? Fred’s Yurts are the answer!

His collection of classic bell tents, yurts and large canvas family tents come in a range of shapes and sizes, all set up ready and waiting for you to arrive on site.

Have a look through the fantastic list of optional extras including bed frames & mattresses, duvets, cushions, heaters, kettle & gas hob tea stations, wood burners and more!

 

Click here for the full list of options and prices.

Get in touch with Fred's yurts by email - info@yurtevents.co.uk or call 07974 139 078 

Fred's Yurts

 

Machynlleth Comedy festival - Yurt village

Available to book now

The Comedy festival campsite is a fabulous place to stay during the festival, just a short walk from the centre of the town and all of the venues.

Fred's Yurts, Bell tents and canvas cottages are all available to stay in over the weekend

For full details and prices head to Fred's website, and to book your accommodation please email Alder at festivalsundercanvas@gmail.com using the subject Mach2016 stating the number of adults and children in your party, your preferred accommodation type as well as any optional extras that you would like to add

 

£50 discount for all festival staff and artists

 

 

Theatre

Most people’s top three subjects at a comedy festival would undoubtedly be chronic back pain, Tourettes and gender inequality, am I right? Well, fear not, this year’s theatre programme hits all those and we’ve even thrown in some pathological sadness - you are so welcome. Here are some of the highlights.
 
Laura Dannequin’s Hardy Animal is a show we love so much, but it’s hard to describe well, but luckily Daniel Kitson (classic comedian and normal man) had a good crack at it, so we’ll just quote him.
 
“Entirely blown away by it. Hardy Animal is a spoken word and dance piece about a woman dealing with and working through her chronic back pain. I know. I know how it sounds. But it is entirely excellent. Its defiant and angry and sad and funny and beautiful, really beautiful and brave and just so very very good indeed”.
 
Using Yoko Ono’s art instructions, Jamie Wood’s O No! tries to answer whether falling in love must always be catastrophic. A sell-out at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, it’s funny, odd and artful. Good old Yoko Ono. Good old Jamie Wood. Good old art.
 
Good old comedians not sticking to stand up. Liam Williams (the “voice of a generation”) is going to give a reading of a play he’s written. Travesty will examine women and men and love. Well, ‘examine’ is probably the wrong word, but still, let’s focus on the details: excellent comedian writes a play about people. Great guns.
 
Speaking of words - Jess Thom says the word ‘biscuit’ 16,000 times a day. Neurologically incapable of staying on script (due to Tourettes), no two shows of Backstage in Biscuit Land are ever the same. At its heart is a compelling story and captivating performer, combined with Jess’ spontaneity and you have a two woman solo show that is utterly absurd and completely joyful.
 
A work-in-progress at last year’s Mach, Sh!t Theatre’s Women’s Hour  went on to win Edinburgh with awards and all that, so they’re bringing it back all finished. It’s such a great show, deconstructing women in the media with a deep sharp dark edge that everyone should see. They’re also bringing a new show Letters to Windsor House  about the housing crisis. Good on them for tackling the world and making it funnier.
 
How I Almost Became the First Lady of the United States of America. What a title. I’d book on that basis, but in case you’re dithering - George Orange was a white farm boy who moved to Chicago and fell in love with a black man running for president as a woman/drag queen. Yes please.
 
Byron Vincent is a poet and writer and does lots of good things for Radio 4. Byron Vincent is also pathologically sad. Personally, we’d watch Byron read out Yahoo Answers, so the fact that Live Before You Die is about an epic quest to find the holy grail of human contentment, is a bonus.
 
If you fancy twenty minutes of not looking performers in the eye, why not sit in a room on your own listening to a show that happens on some high qual headphones? Trace features Steve Ogrizovic, a shop called ‘the Shoepermarket’ and a man called Paul.
 
And if you’ve had enough of everyone telling you stories and making you laugh, why not pop to the Tannery (part of the Tabernacle) and see Electromechanical Lithophone  - an electronic musical instrument installation made from slate and programmed in ways we don’t understand but like very much.
 
That’s it. All the classics covered. See you at the proscenium arch!
 
Lisa Heledd Jones 
(Programmer of theatre-ish things)