2015 In Review for the Cape Fear Comedy Festival

2015 In Review for the Cape Fear Comedy Festival

2015 was a great year for the Cape Fear Comedy Festival. The date of the festival was Wednesday April 29th through Saturday May 2nd, 2015.  This was a week earlier than the 2014 Cape Fear Comedy Festival.  We moved our festival earlier in the season so it would not be the same weekend as the Bridgetown Comedy Festival or Women in Comedy Festival. In 2013 all three festivals fell on the same weekend.

Ahmed Bharoocha at the 2015 Cape Fear Comedy Festival
Ahmed Bharoocha at the 2015 Cape Fear Comedy Festival

We brought back 2010 CFCF alumni Ahmed Bharoocha to headline our opening night of the festival.  The audience turned out on Wednesday even better than they had in 2014. The opening party was a blast and the festival was kicked off with a bang.

Baron Vaughn came in to perform Friday and Saturday at City Stage while Sara Schaefer headlined Dead Crow Comedy Room simultaneously. This was the first time we had ever booked two headliners that went on at roughly the same time at different venues.  The result was very positive.

Overall, the Cape Fear Comedy Festival was a success. Our ticket sales grew and performers got more quality stage time.

The Takeaways
This year we had some very solid takeaways from the festival.  First off, we came to the realization that we needed to improv stage time quality.  For the past two years we used Bourgie Nights next to manna on Princess Street.  We had made solid efforts to get an audience for these shows but it simply wasn’t enough.  We were having to put much more effort and resources into this room than it was worth in the end.  We decided to retire this room for 2016 as a result.

Also, The Beam Room upstairs at Front Street Brewery say some decent crowds, but not enough to prove beneficial to all involved.  While it gave us additional slots on our schedule for comics to perform, the shows were not up to the standard that we would prefer. In addition, they only would let us use the space on Thursday and Saturday. We have mutually agreed that The Beam Room will not be a venue for our 2016 festival.

Changes for 2016

Three Venues
We have decided to focus our resources on three venues.  Dead Crow Comedy Room, City Stage and Reel Cafe will be the three venues used for the 2016 Cape Fear Comedy Festival.  Combined these venues seat over 400 audience members. While we won’t have the amount of stage time we have in the past, the stage time will be of a much higher quality.

Shorter Submission Period
Submission typically run from Dec 1st through Feb 15th.  This year submissions will end on January 31st at Midnight. Submit here>> if you haven’t already. Also, if you are a past performer or have been rejected, Promo Code for CFCF Submission for a promo code that makes submitting free for you.

Festival Moved Back Three Weeks
We decided to move our festival back from the first weekend in May to the weekend of the 20th-21st.  There were a few reasons we did this. The primary reason is that on November 29th Bridgetown Comedy Festival announced their dates as May 11th-14th. We had just announced those same dates as our new 2016 dates.  We changed so that our comedian friends could attend both their festival and ours. They ended up moving their festival to the first weekend of June. Another reason for the move is to avoid finals week and commencement weekend for the two colleges in town.  Finally, the last reason for the move is weather. It is much warmer in Mid-May than early May on the Cape Fear Coast. We really enjoyed our beach day last year and hope to do it again this year with a little warmer water.

We appreciate all those who help make our festival greater each year and look forward to an amazing 7th Annual Cape Fear Comedy Festival May 18th-21st in Downtown Wilmington, North Carolina!


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