The best Comedy Festival venues in Melbourne

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The best Comedy Festival venues in Melbourne


The Festival Club

Max Watt’s hosts an unbelievable who’s-who of festival highlights. Be part of ABC’s television experience with Comedy Up Late. Score a bargain with 10 Comedians For 10 Bucks and catch mercilessly unscripted shenanigans with Comedy Bonanza. Local legends Aunty Donna host a night of sketch with So You Think You Can Sketch and Otto & Astrid from Die Roten Punkte join forces with DJ Andrew McClelland for Eurotrash fun in Haus Party! For late night adventurers, Geraldine Quinn’s Spandex Ballet unleashes goth rock antics upon us and Rhys Nicholson leads a musical showdown for the ages with Lip Sync Battle.

Trades Hall

Trades Hall has cemented itself as an icon of the festival, presenting the best in emerging local comedy. Grab a three-show Trades Hall Pass to see any of the 21 incredible performances, including Impromptunes’ The Completely Improvised Musical, Natalie Harris’ Dragon, Simon Taylor’s Spectacular-ish, North Melbourne Comedy Competition winner Eve Ellenbogen and surreal sketch spectacular Chimp Cop Forever. Catch some of Australia’s sharpest with Aboriginal Comedy Allstars and Arcade Arcade’s interactive nostalgia-fest Stranger-er Things.

Forum Theatre

The Forum houses some of the festival’s most loved forgers of funny, including keyboard maestro David O’Doherty, prop aficionado Jason Byrne, Bookish’s Jennifer Wong and Whose Line Is It Anyway? star Tommy Little. Hayley Butcher explores motherhood and John Farnham with Pressure Down, Rose Callaghan takes us through dating disasters in Will You Take This Rose? and the eccentric Sam Simmons reads the phone book (yep) in A-K.

Victoria Hotel

The Victoria Hotel will play host to an eclectic range of hilarious acts. The unstoppable Barry Award-nominee Anne Edmonds returns with No Offence, None Taken, Sammy J recounts tales of crime and heroism in Hero Complex andthe energetic improvisational beatboxer Jared Jekyll wows with Young, Dumb and Full Of Pun. Tom Walker provides improvisational antics with Bee Boo and New Zealand’s Alice Snedden & Donna Brookbanks will team up for split bill Please Stop Clapping.

Melbourne Town Hall

Amidst the mighty plethora of venues at which to catch comedy during the MICF, the Town Hall is one of the most iconic and salubrious. Opened in 1870, the Town Hall is playing host to just shy of 100 shows. The lineup includes US comedian Arj Barker with his show Organic (Barker plays the Town Hall so frequently, it’s a second home), and comedian and now author Dave O’Neill, who’ll be regaling us with the plum bits of his new book Summer of ‘82. Hopefully, O’Neill will tell the one about his DIY Devo hat, which he wore on the train on his way to catch the band. Bless.

Taxi Riverside

Right next to Fed Square overlooking the Yarra, Taxi Riverside is a convenient and classy hotspot for all of your comedy needs. The venue is hosting a powerhouse of internationally-acclaimed shows, including Scottish superstar Daniel Sloss’ So?, intelligent and engaging festival favourite DeAnne Smith’s Post-Joke Era and Australian YouTube sensation Neel Kolhatkar’s #ObjectifyNeel.

Chinese Museum

Housing the important heritage and culture of Australia’s Chinese community, Melbourne’s Chinese Museum has also provided a space for many much-loved comedians to showcase their talents. Catch the critically-acclaimed intellectual Alice Fraser in Empire, the eccentric wisdom of Michael Workman in Nothing You Do Means Anything, the wry wit of RAW Comedy winner Matt Stewart in Pretty Dry and the blunt ferocity of Luke Heggie’s Rough Diamanté.


True to its namesake, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image contains some of the most visually interesting and adventurous hilarity this festival. Global sensation James Veitch responds to spam emails in Dot Con, Michael Williams amazes in the 2017 Moosehead Award Recipient narrative Escape from a 90s Educational CD-ROM!, and Penny Greenhalgh detonates left-of-centre theatrics in Pony Greenhorse – as well as world-renowned acts Nazeem Hussain, Jimeoin and Matt Okine.

The Famous Spiegeltent

The Famous Spiegeltent is a legendary staple of the Domedy Festival, serving to accommodate the most ambitious and theatrical of acts. Paul Foot unveils more poignantly-absurd observations in ‘Tis A Pity She’s A Piglet and Ali McGregor returns with the much-lauded cabaret Late-Nite Variety-Nite Night. There’s fun for the whole family with Alex and Luke’s Make Your Parents Disappear!, Head First Acrobats’ Arrr We There Yet?! and holiday hilarity with Comedy Club for Kids.


Tucked away deep within Melbourne’s CBD, Belleville is one of the funkiest bars to catch emerging talent and a tasty meal. The Green Room Award-winning Michelle Brasier and Laura Frew infuse high-energy dance, sketch, singing and jump rope into Double Denim. You’ll find a rotating line-up of three fantastic emerging comedians each night in 3 Course Comedy. Alanta Colley will delight and disturb with her accounts of adventure and parasitic contact in Parasites Lost.

Malthouse Theatre

The Malthouse Theatre serves as a rich artistic icon for the city – and the Comedy Festival proves it. Best-selling writer and comedian Sami Shah untangles the mess of the world in Punching Down. Josh Earl and Daniel Tobias cram a whole music festival into one hour with Josh Earl’s Festival. The Bedroom Philosopher plays all of his songs that mention cats in Cat Show and Green Room Award-winner Jude Perl presents Roommates: The Musical.

Tasma Terrace

Tasma Terrace has prestige and architectural beauty to its hallowed halls – and there’ll be some serious laughs held within. Sarah Jones shares dark tales of ventriloquism with Creepy Dummy, Nadine Sparks shares strories from her 15 years in education with Teacher and Chris Martin and Taylor Edwards act out some darn fine police work in Undercover Festival Cops. Blake Everett revels in being King Of Nothing and Chelsea Zeller sends-up life coaching in High Achievers.

Greek Centre

The Greek Centre has very much become a much-loved venue for the Comedy Festival, increasingly jam-packed each year with iconic local acts and international performers alike. Catch two of Melbourne’s most exciting rising stars Jess Perkins and Naomi Higgins Twins, the unmatched energy of the amazing Tessa Waters in Fully Sik and the true-blue laconic vibes of Aaron “Goccsy” Gocs. Malaysian star Kuah Jenhan returns with Perfect Strangers and the UK’s Jeff Green dispenses whimsy in Honestly!.