Andrew Dipper

Introducing: The Great Yorkshire Fringe

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A new, ten-day comedy festival has been confirmed for York city centre.

York is to host a ten-day comedy festival as part of plans to emulate the success of the Edinburgh Fringe.

From 24 July until 2 August 2015, York city centre will welcome comedians from the UK and beyond as part of the first ever Great Yorkshire Fringe.

The event will start a fortnight before proceedings in Edinburgh, with organisers hoping to attract acts previewing shows ahead of the world’s largest arts festival.

The full line-up will be announced in November, but we understand the festival will feature a Yorkshire stage in a bid to promote local comedy talent.

The Great Yorkshire Fringe has been organised by York resident Martin Witts, who founded the Museum Of Comedy in London earlier this year.

Witts said: “The festival will be a great reason for people to visit the beautiful city of York and its many attractions, whether to take in a show or simply soak up the atmosphere and visit some of the great places to eat and drink.

“With the success of this year’s Grand Départ and last year’s Mystery Plays, York has proved itself as a destination city, and offer much more charm for an event like this than some of the bigger cities.”

Toby Jones, who runs The Hyena Lounge Comedy Club in York, has welcomed the festival.
He said: “York is very well served with comedy venues at the moment with the Barbican making a name for itself as a big venue, and the Opera House welcoming more comedy back, coupled with smaller venues and groups such as us doing weekly events as well as touring shows.

“As a result there’s a real appetite for comedy here, and a to have our own festival will be absolutely brilliant.

“From what I can see from the early plans it will be superb, and if York attracts just ten per cent of what Edinburgh attracts is going to be a fantastic event.”