The Festival Club: Melbourne’s riotous Comedy Festival venue where the who’s who of comedy let loose

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The Festival Club: Melbourne’s riotous Comedy Festival venue where the who’s who of comedy let loose

Festival Club
Rhys Nicholson at The Festival Club - image by Jim Lee
Words by Staff Writer

Comedy. Never. Sleeps.

The Festival Club is the beating heart of Melbourne International Comedy Festival every year, where every show is a brand-new must-see, and the who’s who of comedy perform in a raw, intimate setting with a superb atmosphere. It’s your very own late-night treat for laughs, dancing and all-round good times throughout the festival.

The Festival Club in 2024 

Max Watt’s

  • Thu 28 Mar – Sat 30 Mar: 10.45pm;
  • Sun 31 Mar: 9.45pm;
  • Wed 3 Apr – Sat 6 Apr: 10.45pm;
  • Sun 7 Apr: 9.45pm;
  • Wed 10 Apr – Sat 13 Apr: 10.45pm;
  • Sun 14 Apr: 9.45pm;
  • Wed 17 Apr – Sat 20 Apr: 10.45pm

Artists’ Bar at Max Watt’s

  • Tue 2 Apr: 10.45pm;
  • Tue 9 Apr: 10.45pm;
  • Tue 16 Apr: 10.45pm

Explore Melbourne’s latest arts and stage news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

What’s on at The Festival Club

Tuesdays: Singalong Tuesdays In The Artists’ Bar

Gather ’round the piano for a night of sing-along classics in the Artists’ Bar upstairs at Max Watt’s. Hosted by Nitida. Free entry

Thursdays: 10 Comedians For 10 Bucks

What it says, is what you get.

Fridays & Saturdays: Comedy Bonanza

The biggest Festival names in an epic late-night line-up.

There’s a room at Edinburgh Festival Fringe called Late’n’Live, although its nickname is ‘the bear pit’ because of how unhinged it can sometimes get. Our festival club is loosely modelled on that, in so far as it’s a late night comedy lineup show where the festival’s biggest acts come to misbehave on stage every Friday night, or do their slick set – it can go either way. It’s also a chance to sample some acts you may not have heard of before, so it’s the place to be to keep your finger on the festival pulse.

The Late, Late Show

After the comedy from Midnight (11pm Sunday)

Fridays: Lip Sync Battle

The most epic (and best costumed) lip-sync battles of the Fest. Come for the Comedy Bonanza and then stay for the Lip Sync Battle. Michelle Brasier will be familiar to Aunty Donna fans, appearing in their Big Ol’ House of Fun Netflix series; has acted in Damian Callian’s feature film The Merger and when she’s not winning accolades as one half of comedy duo Double Denim, by god can this ridiculously-talented woman sing. She’s hosting epic battles from the best lip-syncing comics in da biz every Friday night of the festival after the stand-up.

  • Friday 29 March & Friday 5 April hosted by Gillian Cosgriff
  • Friday 12 April & Friday 19 April, the final hosted by Michelle Brasier

Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays (+ Easter Thursday): Time To Dance

Party the night away with Club DJs that slap! Meet you on the dancefloor.

Plus, the following extra special events

Sunday 31 March: Haus Party!

Hosted by Otto & Astrid. Berlin band Die Roten Punkte rock the haus with DJ Andrew McClelland and world class musical comedy, circus and variety.

If musical comedy is your thing, then your thing is Die Roten Punkte’s Haus Party. Hosted by comedic wunderkinds Otto & Astrid, Haus Party! brings musical comedy, circus and variety acts as guests, followed by DJ Andrew McClelland.

Wednesday 3 April: Yes Yes Yes

Hosted by Stuart Daulman & Oliver Coleman, this is a very special character comedy show from the most lauded and applauded comedians around.

Sunday 7 April: Backyard Stories

Hosted by Claudia Nankervis, this is Melbourne’s cult storytelling night. One topic, five comedians, infinite possibilities.

Wednesday 10 April: Roast Beef

Hosted by Henry Yan & William Wang. The funniest Asian comedians of the Festival come together for a night of jokes and roasts.

Sunday 14 April: Improv Throwdown

The best comedic improvisers join forces for a high-stakes battle royale!

Wednesday 17 April: Comedians On Stage Auditioning For Musicals

Hosted by Michelle Brasier. Festival favourites dazzle with their showstopping skills as they audition for their dream musical roles.

The Festival Club will be open throughout the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Check it out here.