Denver has been bursting at the seams with top-shelf comedy talent for the past several years. And so comic (and former Westword staffer) Adam Cayton-Holland feels it’s high time this city had a nationally recognized comedy festival to share space with music festivals like the Westword Music Showcase and the UMS. Flying in big-name talent like Sean Patton, Kyle Kinane and Reggie Watts, the High Plains Comedy Festival will place the big boys alongside such locals as Jim Hickox and Jordan Doll, as well as comedy teams like Moxie and the Fine Gentleman’s Club — showing the world just what Denver’s funny farm has to offer.
“Over the years, when we bring in national comics for Grawlix, they think we live in a fantasy land,” says Cayton-Holland, who is co-producing the event with Andy Juett. “Every comic who comes here thinks it’s ridiculous how amazing the scene is. They think we’re putting on airs with these shows; they’re like, ‘It can’t be like this all the time.’ And we’re like, ‘No, it’s like this year-round. There are great shows constantly.’”
While this won’t be Denver’s first comedy festival, it will be the first to showcase heavyweights from Comedy Central and hit podcasts like Comedy Bang! Bang!. “Fine Gentleman’s Club has done a festival, and there’s been the Laugh Track Comedy Festival, and those are great, but they didn’t bring in a large amount of out-of-town comedians, or any huge names, because they couldn’t really afford it,” Cayton-Holland says. “But this one is trying to do that, and it’s overdue.”
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The High Plains Comedy Festival begins at 4 p.m. today and runs through tomorrow on stages across town. Festival passes are $65; tickets for headliner Reggie Watts will be sold separately, and day passes are also available. For more information, visit highplainscomedyfestival.com.
Aug. 23-24, 2013