By Joel Warner
By Michael Roberts
By Alan Prendergast
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By Patricia Calhoun
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Free beer, free food and free entertainment: The annual Too Much Funstival was designed as a gift from the Fine Gentleman's Club comedians (and their sponsors) to the comedy community of Denver. "When we first put it together, we weren't as busy as we are now," says Nathan Lund of the Funstival, now in its third year. "But Sam [Tallent] wanted us to throw a giant party for all the people who supported Too Much Fun, something big to end the summer."
"We do Funstival because people work hard and deserve to party without letting money get in the way," says Tallent. "I grew up planning music festivals, and thought we should showcase everything great about Denver in one basket. And it's free, because that's how cool stuff should be."
Sponsored by everything from marijuana dispensaries to real-estate agents, the weekend-long party at the end of August will travel gypsy-style from parks to pools to bars, with a rotation of comedians, bands and even a bouncy castle throughout the three days. It's grown to be a very ambitious carnival, but no matter how large the Funstival becomes, the structure remains considerably looser than that of other music and comedy festivals, with a greater emphasis on playfulness and improvisation than large profits. "There are no tickets for Too Much Funstival," says Lund. "We've had to charge for events in past years, but this year will be completely free to attend all events."
And more than admission will be free. "There will be free beer on Saturday at the park," says Chris Charpentier, "as well as free sandwiches from Subculture and pizza from Sexy Pizza. The only thing that people will have to pay for are drinks at the Matchbox or Meadowlark, because we have no control over things like that. It's all that we can do in the position that we're in. People have been donating funds at our show each week, and that [along with the sponsors] helps make Funstival such a cool event."
Because the Funstival is put together by a group of hard-partying comics, scheduling can be a bit fluid. While a majority of the upcoming Funstival is locked in, events are subject to minor changes, and the schedule is certain to get additions. Watch westword.com and facebook.com/toomuchfunstival for updates. In the meantime, here's the lineup:
Friday, August 30
Funstival will begin at 5 p.m. with a rock-and-water pool party at Taxi (3455 Ringsby Court), featuring music from SAUNA, Pizza Time, DJ Snubluck and other guests to be announced. In addition to four hours of performances, this portion of Funstival will include beach volleyball, a bouncy castle, a dunk tank, face painting and a "beach blanket bong-off." After the party, the fun train will head to the Matchbox (the bar at 2625 Larimer Street that's home to Kevin O'Brien's Sunday-night open mic) for comedy from the Fine Gents themselves, as well as music from Negative Degree and Tjutjuna.
Saturday, August 31
Kill your hangover and keep the party going at an 11 a.m. gathering at Mestizo-Curtis Park, 31st and Curtis streets, where activities will include such drunken field games as kickball, flag football and dodgeball. "There will be free beer from Vine Street and El Charrito," says Lund, "as well as free sandwiches from Subculture and pizza from Sexy Pizza to balance out all the carbs everyone will be burning running around."
At 8 p.m., the Funstival caravan will venture down to the back patio at the Meadowlark, 701 Larimer Street, for some rib-cracking comedy from David Gborie, Erik Anker and Denver's own Grawlix trio. The night will come to a head-rattling close with an after-party at Mouth House, 2858 California Street.
Sunday, September 1
The gents have a special event planned for the Funstival finale. They're keeping a tight lid on what and where it might be, though, mentioning only that there will be camping and some surprise entertainment. Stay tuned to westword.com and facebook.com/toomuchfunstival for details.