“Particularly, I think, in regards to support for the arts and creative industries,” she said. “It’s always had that strong connection with Melbourne’s and Victoria’s creative community.”
Ms Provan said this year’s festival – which will run from Wednesday, March 25 until Sunday, April 19 – will feature a record number of comedians from India. The 2020 program will also celebrate the 21st birthday of Comedy Zone, an event that has helped kickstart the careers of household names such as Josh Thomas and Hannah Gadsby.
“We’re ramping-up our engagement with our regional friends,” Ms Provan said. “What’s really important about the comedy festival is it’s an opportunity to discover new people. I find it very satisfying to look back and think, wow, I was at their first comedy show. Comedy never sits still.”
The Age’s editor, Alex Lavelle, said the comedy festival is one of the highlights on Melbourne’s arts and entertainment calendar.
“I am delighted that The Age is confirmed as an official media partner,” he said. “Melbourne is Australia’s premier city for comedy and the arts and we are excited to showcase the festival’s immense talent and share their best jokes.”
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is the second largest comedy festival in the world. The annual event has been running for just over 30 years.