Biggest Ever Event Issued Over 50,000 Tickets To Comedy Fans 

Glasgow International Comedy Festival (GICF) has revealed 2024’s edition was a record-breaking year, with the highest number of shows in the festival’s history as Glasgow became ‘the funniest city in the world’. Hosting over 560 shows across 19 days, GICF issued over 50,000 tickets to comedy fans in more than 50 venues across the city, from the East End to West End and more. Organisers have now revealed 2025’s dates. 

Glasgow International Comedy Festival will take place from 12th – 30th March 2025.

The Festival’s final shows took place on Easter Sunday, including homegrown talent Some Laugh Live at the Pavillion Theatre with special guests Greg Hemphill and Raymond Mearns, a sold out show at The Stand for Susan Riddell and more. The closing weekend also saw the announcement of Susie McCabe as 2024’s Sir Billy Connolly Spirit of Glasgow Award winner, with the Glasgow comedian receiving a personal video message from Sir Billy himself at the GICF Comedy Gala following performances from Janey Godley, Raymond Mearns, Jin-Hao Li, Kiri Pritchard-McLean and more. Presented by Festival Director Krista MacDonald, Elaine C Smith and 2023’s winner Janey Godley, Susie McCabe accepted the award to a standing ovation followed by an emotional speech on the stage of the King’s Theatre. 

The event issued over 50,000 tickets to comedy shows across the city, with over 100 events selling out to capacity audiences. The Festival showcases the very best of comedy, encompassing traditional stand-up alongside kids shows, drag performances, live podcasts, musical comedy, clowning and more. 2024’s highlights included sold out headline slots from Frankie Boyle, Susie McCabe, Frank Skinner and Elaine C Smith, plus rising stars including American stand-up Leslie Liao, West End Mum Zara Gladman, Kim Blythe and countless more. 

Festival Director Krista MacDonald said, “As a record-breaking Glasgow International Comedy Festival comes to a close, I’d like to extend a huge thanks to everybody who makes Scotland’s largest dedicated comedy event happen; from staff at our incredible venues, audiences who make trips all over the city to see shows, partners, stakeholders, our small in-house team and of course the acts who give so much of themselves on stage – it’s a combined effort to ensure Glasgow can claim its title as the funniest city in the world. 

“With over 560 shows and over 50,000 tickets issued, GICF is well on its way to achieving our three year growth plan within its second year, put in place to ensure Glasgow’s comedy festival can go from strength to strength and continue to support homegrown talent whilst welcoming huge international touring names to the city. 

“At a time when acts and audiences are facing tighter budgets and less disposable income, we saw more people than ever come out to support shows across the Festival, proving that with everything going on in the world, there’s always a demand for laughter. 

“With Susie McCabe’s Sir Billy Connolly Spirit of Glasgow Award win this year, we saw Susie’s innate comedic talent celebrated, something which she has widely accredited to the city of Glasgow itself. The city’s inherent ability to laugh, and provide laughter, is something we should all be incredibly proud of. A huge congratulations to all of this year’s acts and we’re looking forward to building on the success of 2024 for next year.” 

Glasgow Life Chair, Bailie Annette Christie, said: “Glasgow International Comedy Festival is one of the city’s most renowned and most popular cultural events, and this year’s 21st edition has been a real triumph.  The success of the biggest-ever festival in the history of the event is testament to the dedication and enthusiasm of the GICF team. They pulled out all the stops to deliver a packed programme offering a wonderfully diverse range of comedy from stand-up to sketches, improv to music, and family fun. And the superb line-up of established and emerging comedy talent – from Scotland, the UK and overseas – attracted and delighted audiences from near and far.

“GICF24 has, I have no doubt, boosted the festival’s international billing on the worldwide comedy stage, and further enhanced the city’s reputation as a superb destination for first-class entertainment and show-stopping events.”

As Scotland’s biggest dedicated comedy festival, GICF shows took place in over 50 venues, from the 25-seat capacity Whistler on the Green to 1700 comedy fans in the King’s Theatre, the Pavillion Theatre, Drygate, The Stand, Blackfriars and everywhere in between. The event brings comedy to every corner of the city, from Byres Road to Newton Mearns, Barlanark to Drumchapel, with this year seeing a special series of community events take place with a GICF headliner for the first time with Elaine C Smith. The comic performed her ‘65’ show in community centres throughout Glasgow including Pollok, Castlemilk and more, bringing a GICF headline quality show to communities that experience multiple deprivation and disproportionate socio-economic challenges. Tickets were reduced in price, with proceeds donated to local charities including food banks and women’s charities. 

Another first for 2024’s event was the creation of an Introduction to Comedy Course for women and marginalised genders. The free six-week course culminated in a live mixed-bill performance during GICF, headlined by Marjolein Robertson and hosted by course leader Viv Gee. An overwhelming success, the course aims to diversify the stand-up scene and ensure comedy is open and accessible to all with stellar performances from participants ensuring the future of women in comedy looks bright. 

With no shortage of homegrown talent and international comedians performing throughout the event, GICF shines a light on the importance of comedy to Glasgow as fans, comedians and venues  came together to celebrate being the funniest city in the world once more.

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