Let the comedy begin! 500 shows at 60 venues - it's Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival
The stage is set for the biggest comedy festival the city has seen.
Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival starts tonight, with 21 venues holding gigs on the first of 17 nights of hilarity across Leicester and beyond.
Festival founder Geoff Rowe said: "It's going to be enormous and as well as all the shows people know about, there are going to be surprise acts that will be announced at short notice via the Leicester Mercury, Twitter and Facebook.
"The branding is up all over the city centre – we've got the scaffolding towers up to advertise the festival in Leicester – and we've also got the exhibition open now at Leicester railway station.
Cheap Van Insurance For 17,18 & 19 Year Old Drivers - Call Insure365 01782 898188, Free Legal Expenses Cover Included Valued at £25.00!
Terms: 1 Voucher Per Customer
Contact: 01782 898188
Valid until: Saturday, June 22 2013
"This year, as well as new locations in the city centre such as The Exchange Bar and Just the Tonic, we've got pubs and other venues throughout the county that are taking part.
"There are 60 venues in all and, with 500 shows, this year's festival is easily the biggest."
Some of the major shows will be taking place at De Montfort Hall. The fun kicks off at 7.30pm tonight with Milton Jones. Geoff said: "Milton Jones and Alan Davies at De Montfort Hall are probably going to be the biggest shows, but there's also a lot of excitement around some of the smaller shows.
"I'm most excited about seeing Paul Currie at the Exchange Bar on February 23."
The Exchange Bar, in Rutland Street, will be playing host to six acts this weekend alone.
Manager Anna Webb said: "We've got two weeks-worth of comedy and we're really trying to push it and get lots of people in.
"I reckon it's going to be a really great year."
John Helps, venue manager at Firebug, is also looking forward to a busy schedule of non-stop laughter.
He said: "It's going to be great. Every year we've been involved has been amazing for us and we get more and more acts every year.
"It's a good venue because our upstairs room holds 100 people, which is a nice intimate size but also suitable for big names.
"Our first act is Ian D Montfort, who is on tonight and does some great psychic medium schtick.
"Then on Saturday there's Chris Stokes, who's a very funny local lad."
Comedians are also looking forward to the event.
Leicestershire stand-up Charlie Chuck, who has been appearing at the festival since the late 1990s, will be on at the Looking Glass, in Braunstone Gate, tomorrow, Sunday and on Saturday, February 16.
He said the festival was putting Leicester on the comedy map.
"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "I really enjoyed last year and I managed to sell out the venue so I've got three shows this year.
"Leicester's festival has got bigger and better and is attracting more and more performers.
"It really feels like a big event, especially with more venues getting involved.
"I do other festivals around the country but it feels like Leicester is leading the way."
See the website for full details on all the shows and performers: www.comedy-festival.co.uk