Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2020

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2020

About the Festival


The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is one of the three largest comedy festivals in the world, alongside Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival.

An annual event, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival literally takes over Australia's comedy capital, Melbourne, each autumn with an enormous program of stand-up comedy, cabaret, theatre, street performance, film, television, radio and visual arts.

The Melba Speigeltent is looking for the weird, wonderful and hilarious to be part of its Melbourne International Comedy Festival Program 2020.

At the Melba Spiegeltent we continue to showcase our broad perspectives and varied works. We are not looking for a standard stand up comedy show, we want to see something different. We will be focusing on works not only performed but created by Women, People of Colour and People from LGBTIQ, CALD and other minority communities.

We think that there are many ways to demonstrate our values and we would like to see shows that celebrate or interrogate humanity whether it is through comedy, physicality, story telling or music.  

We want to program a wide range of contemporary works that reflect our values of community, diversity, humanity and hilarity. To enable more opportunities for work to be seen we are opening the doors to the Circus Oz main building and creating more venues. The Melba will become a hub of activity with an outdoor bar and as many shows as we can jam in!

We are seeking shows of all shapes and sizes; while we would certainly love to see some circus in The Melba Spiegeltent, we are interested in all that is new and engaging in all genres.  The other venues that we are creating are intimate theatre style spaces that are suitable for story telling, comedy and music and magic.

We are also looking for work that is Family Friendly to fill the daytime - we want to invite our audience to bring their kids along and make The Arts part of their lives.

What we can’t accommodate are conventional black box theatre shows or anything that needs moments of silence. Unfortunately they just don’t work in the spaces that we have.

Key dates

The Melba Spiegeltent Expressions of Interest close

10 November 2019

Applicants notified of status of application

12 November 2019

Melbourne International Comedy Festival Registrations

21 October - 15 November 2019

2020 Melbourne International Comedy

25 March - 19 April 2020

What it costs:

The Melba Spiegeltent: $500.00 + GST per show

The Sawtooth: $300.00 + GST per show

The Studio: $250.00 + GST per show

This fee includes one 4-hour bump in / tech rehearsal for the run. The venue will be operational Tuesday – Saturday and we would prefer shows that will do at least a 5 day a week season

What the fees include:

  • The Melba 200-seat capacity, The Sawtooth 50-seat capacity or The Studio 30-seat capacity
  • Lighting and sound equipment as outlined in the technical specifications.
  • Venue manager at all performances. The venue manager will be responsible for the running of the venue including opening and closing the venue, and ensuring that each show starts at the scheduled time.
  • One technician for one rehearsal and for all shows. The technician will be able to operate basic sound and/or lighting. If you show requires complicated lighting design or full band mix please note you may be required to bring your own specialist technician.
  • If your show requires rigging please contact Brian Robertson (spiegeltent@circusoz.com.au)
  • Marketing support:
    • Display space for flyers/posters at Circus Oz in Collingwood and The Melba Spiegeltent;
    • Listing on the The Melba Spiegeltent website with link to online booking links;
    • Ticketing through our exclusive ticketing partner Eventfinda
    • Promotion in e-newsletter sent to Melba Spiegeltent email database about Melbourne International Comedy Festival season;
    • Social media presence: Through The Melba Spiegeltent social media channels – facebook.com/melbaspiegeltent, twitter.com/themelbaspiegel, instagram.com/themelbaspiegeltent
    • Circus Oz will run the bar, employ all necessary bar staff and security and take the bar sales.

Tech specs:

Please see The Melba Spiegeltent Technical Specifications

We are looking to program up to three shows a night in each of the spaces so shows that are light on infrastructure and are able to work with a shared lighting rig are best suited to this format.

The Melba Spiegeltent and The Sawtooth are not blackout venues - if it is light outside, it will be light inside!

How to apply

Complete all sections of the application form HERE and email any support material to spiegeltent@circusoz.com.au

If you have any questions please contact Brian Robertson on 03 9676 0300 or spiegeltent@circusoz.com.au

Please remember you must also register with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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