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 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.

Welsh Government

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.

BBC

Machynlleth Comedy Festival is proud to be working with BBC Radio 4 Extra, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru.

Food and 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. 

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 the all-new Senedd Bar at Owain Glyndwr. The bars will host a range of real ales lovingly curated by the local Waen Brewery, as well as local cider, wine, water and juices. 

 

Y Plas Lawns  

The Chicken Cow Café: From healthy breakfasts to late night snacks, the Chicken Cow Café serves delicious, nutritious, bootilicious food all day long. We specialise in massive cakes freshly cooked on site, fabulous quiches 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 CAMAD, the volunteer centre for the Dyfi Valley. 

(*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, a Falafel burger with all the trimmings, or one of our home reared, free range pork sausage & bacon breakfast baps! All our meat products are high welfare & locally sourced.
 
 

The Green Goat Cafe: We adhere to the ethos of being Healthy, Hearty & Wholesome, with a little naughtiness on the side!  

The Green Goat Café is a Machynlleth based events caterer fronted by chefs Claire & Peter. A partnership of love and creativity, the pair take their culinary inspirations from traditional British and world foods. The Green Goat’s use local and ethical produce where possible and can guarantee that they know where their ingredients hail from. At the festival, The Green Goat Café will be offering up a lesson in Mexican Street Food & traditional Mayan recipes alongside our range of artisan baked goods and refreshments - prepare those taste buds for an education in good eating!  

(*The Green Goat also cater for vegetarian, vegan & gluten free diets)  

 

Woodland Pavilion Pathway 

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. 

Music

An extra-special audio treat this year as none other than Stephen Black (aka Sweet Baboo) curates the live music programme in the Beech Bar and Senedd building.

Currently working on a new Sweet Babs album and recently returned from SXSW festival, Stephen has lined up a stunning mix of rising stars across the weekend. To top it off, all the shows in the Beech Bar are absolutely free so come along, grab a pint and enjoy some fantastic music on us!

DJs

There will be DJ sets throughout the weekend including our festival favourites Jonny Bull & Andy Dudfield & Iain Peebles and Leah Roberts, as well as sets from Josie Long, Josh & Henry Widdicombe, Laura Bryon and Eddie Argos (Art Brut)!
Keep an eye on the schedules at the Beech Bar and Y Senedd for all the latest timings and info.

Friday

Tender Prey

Friday 2nd May - 7pm

Laura Bryon is Tender Prey, a Cardiff based musician who mixes garage rock, blues and ghostly girl group clangs to shake you, soothe you and see you through the night.

Laura will be releasing her debut album later this year on Manchester based indie label Bird Records, sister label to Finders Keepers who have worked with acclaimed artists such as Gruff Rhys and Jarvis Cocker.

Gulp

Friday 2nd May - 8pm

GULP is Guto Pryce (Super Furry Animals) and Lindsey Leven, with Gid Goundrey providing guitar and Gwion Llewelyn (Race Horses) on drums.

Fuzzed-up bass, dream-folk vocals, acoustic and electronic drums and synths…their cinematic and ethereal sound is a musical manifestation of the road trip; the landscape and events along the way, filmic scenes and melodies – from the sun-squinting, flickering saturation and lens flare of the Californian desert to the gloamin of rural Scottish and Welsh homescapes.

Oliver Wilde

Friday 2nd May - 9:15pm

Oliver Wilde is a pure audiophile in the truest sense of the word. Since first coming to wider attention with his 2013 debut LP, A Brief Introduction to Unnatural Lightyears, the ascendant Dabchick producer and songsmith has littered the British musical landscape with miniature moments of wonder, delight and headphone escapism.

Saturday

Mowbird

Saturday 3rd May - 8pm

Mowbird are from Wrexham with a strong DIY ethic, and a fuzzy, lo-fi sound.

The band self recorded and released four EP's between 2010 & 2013, supported Neon Indian, Times New Viking and Sky Larkin as well as playing at Green Man Festival, Swn and Camden Crawl. Their debut album Islander was released earlier this years on Shape Records.

Islet

Saturday 3rd May - 9:30pm

Islet are sonic adventurers from Wales. Formed in Cardiff in 2009, Islet resolved to be a group without rules, building a reputation for fearlessness in live shows that sees members switching instruments and blurring the boundaries between stage and surrounding environment.

Sunday

Valleyers

Sunday 4th May - 6:30pm

Valleyers are an alt-folk band from Pembrokeshire, Wales. Singer Nayfe Slusjan’s unique approach to melody captivates audiences and musicians alike with a well-needed dose of acoustic electric shimmer and songs about the transient nature of people. Less than a year old, they have been snapped up by Machynlleth Comedy Festival and a handful of other great festivals including Fire In The Mountain, Wood Festival and Green Man Festival.

Shhh...Apes!

Sunday 4th May - 8pm

Gathering together from a range of previous Cardiff bands, Shhh…Apes! is a collective of choice musical talent centred at the capital’s premium rehearsal space, Music Box Studios. A derivatively titled but unique debut EP The Shape of Apes to Come was released in 2013 – five tracks of vibrant analogue-meets-digital collision, carefully dotted with equal amounts of clinking glockenspiel and moody, swelling synth.

The Lovely Eggs

Sunday 4th May - 9:30pm

The Lovely Eggs are an underground punk rock duo from northern England.
They have a fierce punk rock ethos that music should have no rules.
For Holly and David being in a band is a way of life. True to this, they live the way they play. Fiercely, constantly in search of the good times.
With observational and often surreal lyrics about life The Lovely Eggs have a powerful stripped down sound: one vintage guitar amp, one Big Muff distortion pedal, a guitar and a drum kit.
 

Horizons

Sunday 4th May - Various Times

Look out for Horizons bands around Machynlleth Comedy Festival this year. Working together, BBC Cymru Wales and the Arts Council of Wales are supporting 12 new artists over the coming year and they land in Machynlleth as one of the destinations. Horizons is a scheme to showcase the most exciting unsigned acts with the potential to make a real breakthrough in Wales and beyond. Listen to the bands on BBC Radio Cymru and BBC Radio Wales or check out more from the talented selection on www.bbc.co.uk/horizons.

Mary Bijou Cabaret

 

“No one is Innocent!” Shouts the Compere. At a Cabaret based on Alfred Hitchcock that is most likely true. Mary Bijou Cabaret and Social Club brings you HITCH. This troupe of international circus and cabaret artists include a singing Mrs. Danvers extolling Rebecca, a victim of Vertigo walks a wire in high heals. Tippi Hedren chased up a pole by Birds, one man is caught in the beauty myth of the master himself, all the while Marlena Dietrich prowls the theatre looking for an accomplice or victim, she's not picky. Accompanied by the music of Tom Elsob of the Idol Rich, Bethan Cecil and Branwen Munn. They sing for their lives. Someone will lose their life tonight, or more than one, depending on 

the mood. 


Mary Bijou Cabaret and Social Club is taking cabaret to new frontiers. Made up of veterans of NoFit State Circus and the underground live art scene of London. HITCH was originally commissioned for the Wales Millennium Centre and Blysh Festival. HITCH is also funded by the Arts Council Wales. 


Fancy dress is optional but highly recommended! Come as your favourite Hitchcock character … victim, villain or hapless innocent. Or maybe you fancy yourself as the ‘master of suspense’ himself


 

10:45pm

Friday 2nd May

Beech Bar

 

(Y Plas Big Top)

Free admission

Children's Programme

There are some fantastic shows especially for our younger festival goers: Go bananas with Wes Zaharuk, find out all about Paper Bag Girl, joke with Daniel Glyn or watch a beautiful puppetry performance at Soap Soup Theatre's Snow Baby.

As well as our shows... 

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 with loads of stuff happening throughout the weekend spillling out of the tent and on to the lawns of Y Plas. 

The Arty Monkeys are back at Mach and bringing you loads more crafts, workshops, play and fun for kids and their grown-ups.

 

Art and Craft activities [10am -6pm Sat & Sun]

Let your creativity shine making a fantastic selection of crafts to keep or to give as gifts. With at least

nine different activities available all day which will you chose to make first? Badges, windmills, medals, carnival masks, button mobiles, jewellery, key rings, bedroom door tags, scratch art and more! Fun for kids and their grown-ups too. Our great value craft tokens just £5 for any three items as well as unlimited goes of the ‘Ketchupult challenge’ and Pants! design competition. Individual craft items from £1.50 - £2.50

 

Pants! [10am -6pm Sat & Sun]

“Groovy pants, funky pants, cheeky little monkey pants...”


Design and colour your own pair of outrageous pants to hang on the Arty Monkey washing line. The best pair will be chosen on Sunday and the winner will receive a fabulous family prize.
 Inspired by the children’s book ‘Pants’ by Giles Andreae and Nick Sharratt.
FREE when you purchase an Arty Monkey craft token.

 

Ketchupult challenge [10am -6pm Sat & Sun]

Calling madcap inventors! Using a high-tech selection of materials (paper, elastic bands, elbow grease, spit,...) design and make a flying machine that can be launched using our patented contraption-chucker ‘The Ketchupult’. Whose will fly the furthest each day and win the prize?
FREE when you purchase an Arty Monkey craft token.

 

The Chimp Nest [10am -6pm Sat & Sun]

Relax and have fun as a family with a selection of games and books in our chill out area; there’s even play-doh and chalk boards to keep the tiniest apes happy while their big sibs are busy with arts and crafts. During the day there will also be parachute games (weather permitting) and story-times so keep your eye on the information board at the entrance to the tent for times.
FREE

 

Captain Inkbeard’s Treasure Hunt [10am -6pm Sat & Sun]

Ahoy there buccaneers! Gather your motley crews and head to Pabell Pys Melys to start your pirate adventure. Follow Captain Inkbeard’s story-trail around the lawns of Y Plas solving his fiendish clues and puzzles to discover the hiding place of his treasure. All correct answers will be entered into a prize draw with the winner announced on Sunday afternoon.
FREE
 

Circus Play [Sessions on Sat and Sun]

Come and try your hand at juggling, scarfs, hoola-hoops, clubs, flower sticks and circus tricks. Fun for all ages. See the blackboard at Pabell Pys Melys for information about times (weather permitting)
FREE
 

Funny Flags [10am -6pm Sat & Sun]

Add your favourite joke to our comedy bunting and help us reach our target of 20 meters of jokes!
FREE

 

What Rhymes with Rhubarb...?  (Saturday 3 May 2014 & Sunday 4 May 2014, 11:30am -12:30pm) 

Following the success of last year’s ‘What rhymes with custard...?’ award winning poet Kit Lambert is back with a rhymetastic workshop for kids and their grown-ups. 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!
Ages 6 – 11 (Saturday) , Ages 12+ (Sunday)
Children must be accompanied by an adult
Free (pre-booking advised)  

 

Wrap Bracelet Workshop (Saturday 3 May 2014 & Sunday 4 May 2014, 4pm – 5pm)

Wrap bracelets, shamballa and macramé bracelets are still on-trend for men and women of all ages, but why spend a fortune when you can learn to make your own versions at a fraction of the price? During this one hour workshop you’ll learn a few different techniques, go away with at least one finished bracelet and have the skills to make more for friends and family.

Suitable for ages 11 to adult
Free (pre-booking advised)

 

There are also lots of fun, free events outside on the Plas lawn on Saturday and Sunday. Have a look through at all these beauties:

 

A Pirate Life for Me - Vagabondi Puppets - (Saturday 3 May 2014, 12:30pm - 1:30pm )

You may think that old Mary MacGreagor and Annie Greengrass may be more at home in the dusty closets of your local charity shop but look closer. These two sea dogs are in fact legendary. Once the scourge of the seven seas, feared and redeemed by all seamen and scoundrels. If only they can agree on where they left their trusty old ship.

 With an incredible steam punk ship that is ingeniously hidden among the tatters and treasures of their tall stories, this unruly pair bring their past to life with the aid of puppets, scraps of scummy old maps and bawdy songs. But me land lubbers, be warned - don't believe a word of it!

Any age land lubbers welcome
Free
Y Plas Lawn

 

Hulahoop Workshop  (Saturday 3 May 2014, 1:30pm - 2:30pm)  

She teaches Hoop for No Fit State Circus and can split 5 hoops! Come and learn to hoop with the delightfully talented Ellie Hoops. Hoops are provided. All you need to bring is some swinging hips and a lot of joy! Fun for everyone.

All Ages
Free
Y Plas Lawn

 

Lady Bird Nature Walk  (Saturday 3 May 2014, 2.00pm - 3.00pm)  

These ladybirds just love exploring the undergrowth. Why not join them for a 45min adventure around the wonderful wilderness of Machynlleth.

All Ages
Free
Y Plas Lawn

 

Animal Tales - Vagabondi Puppets - (Sunday 4 May 2014, 12:30pm - 1:30pm)

If you were a mouse or a cat or a dog,
you could smell the stories in the air.
If you were a lizard or a snake,
you could taste the stories on the tip of your tongue.
If you were a fish or a dolphin or a great giant whale,
you could feel the stories in the ripples of the water.  

Watch as this series of lyrical, comical tales unfold from a canvas map and transport us across the globe.

All Ages
Free
Y Plas Lawn

(Please make sure children are accompanied by an adult at all time. Maximum of 4 children to one adult owner is advised).

Portrait Drawing with Carl Chapple and Selected Models/Comedians

Sunday - 10am - 1pm

Meet outside the Y Tabernacl at 10am to be led to the studio.

Fast becoming a festival favourite. For two years the life drawing class proved popular with Tom Parry baring all in the name of art. This year, to link in with Carl Chapple's exhibition of performer protraits, we're giving you the opportunity to have a go yourself.

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 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

Click for Tickets

Festival Camping

Offical Festival Campsite

Click to Order your Pitch

That's right campers, we've gone high-end on you and ordered in hot showers, flushing toilets, and more so that you can camp in style on the weekend of the festival! Don't get us wrong we loved the tap in a field as much as the next camper, but the time felt right to give you some luxuries. We've booked our own field behind the bowling club and we're filling it with home comforts including:

24 hour manned site 

Private hot shower blocks

Posh flushing toilets

Complimentary phone charging facilities

Free on-site parking

Located in the heart of the festival a few minutes from every venue

Great vibes 

All for the bargain price of £20 per person for all 3 nights! Bring whatever size tent you like, it's still £20 per person.  

Campervans, Caravans and Trailer Tents

If you've got a live-in vehicle you want to bring, that costs just £50 per vehicle and includes 2 campsite wristbands (additional wristbands can be purchased at £20 pp). Pitches also include space for an awning/gazebo - you make yourselves comfortable! 

To book your pitch click here.

Freds Yurts 

"More luxury!" we hear you clamour. Fred's yurts will be setting up camp once again in the new official Comedy festival campsite - ready and awaiting your arrival, located just minutes from the action. 

Expect a lovely range of classic bell tents, yurts (of all sizes) and large canvas family sized tents as well.

Yurts can come with wood burners plus beds and bedding can also be added.

Prices start from £190 for a four person bell tent – click here for full details.

 

 

 

Fred's Yurts

"More luxury!" we hear you clamour. Fred's yurts will be setting up camp once again in the new official Comedy festival campsite - ready and awaiting your arrival, located just minutes from the action. 

With options from as little as £190 (for a bell tent that can sleep up to 4) expect a lovely range of classic bell tents, yurts (of all sizes) and large canvas family sized tents as well.
Yurts can come with wood burners and for those without, there are hot water bottles available to borrow.
 
Beds and bedding can be added from as little as £15, futon beds, air beds and full bed linen options all available
 
Check in from 2pm Friday until 11am Monday and enjoy 3 nights under canvas!
 
 

Theatre

A warm welcome to Machynlleth Comedy Festival’s new dedicated theatre programme. Hand-picked by us to showcase the most interesting and innovative theatre pieces we’ve seen this year. Enjoy!

Friday 2nd May

Molly Naylor
If Destroyed Still True
Y Plas Vane Tempest
10:30pm
£6

Last year Molly saw an old school friend in a sauna. Rather than engage in small talk, she found a way to hide from her in what's essentially a small, hot shed. It was weird.

(Read More)

Saturday 3rd May

Rachel Mars
The Way You Tell Them
Y Tabernacl
2:30pm
£8

Turning the spotlight on the inner workings of comedy, The Way You Tell Them interrogates the desire and – sometimes uncontrollable – compulsion to be funny.

(Read More)

Bread and Circuses
Wot? No Fish!!!
Y Tabernacl
5:30pm
£10

Written and performed by Danny Braverman, directed by Nick Philippou. In 1926, shoemaker Ab Solomons drew on the wage-packet he gave to his wife Celie. He then drew a cartoon weekly throughout their marriage until the early eighties. These cartoons, chronicling the Solomons’ family life through all their ups and downs, were recently discovered by his great nephew.

(Read More)

Sunday 4th May

The Islanders
Y Tabernacl
4pm
£7

An indie musical about memories, first-loves and growing up - by Amy Mason, Eddie Argos (lead singer of Art Brut) and folk star Jim Moray.

(Read More)

John Osborne
On The Beach
Y Tabernacl
5:30pm
£8

John Osborne – creator of Radio 4 and West End sell-out show John Peel’s Shed – has spent the past twelve months visiting British seaside towns.

(Read More)

Throught Saturday and Sunday

Greg Wohead
Hurtling
Outside Performance
£6

I have a message for you from the past.

Ok, it’s a message from this morning, so it may be the recent past. But it’s still the past.

(Read More)