Well there have been some rumblings in the community regarding the upcoming DC Comedy Festival during the weekend of August 7, 8, and 9th. There has been concern that there is a significant lack of comedians from the DC area in the festival and those that are in the fest, have been promoted as an after-thought. For example, some artists in the area have raised an eye-brow to the fact the "District of Comedy Show" is getting a 8pm Thursday slot and a 10:30 pm Saturday slot that is right in the middle of the DC Comedy Fest wrap party. Improv wise, the DC Comedy Fest is competing with the Del Close Marathon in New York which is 24-hour a day improv festival that attracts improvised acts from all over the world. I think what many people are wondering is if the DC Comedy Fest is a festival for comedy that is being hosted in DC or is it a festival that's first priority is to showcase the talent inside the District? It might be pertinent as a comedic community to ponder. In the end though, it’s the organizer's prerogative. Get your own festival! Anyway, The following was a letter that was sent to dccomedy4now.com this morning that expressed those concerns to the chair of the DC Comedy Festival (Seaton Smith is mentioned in the letter as being excluded but recently has been added to the lineup at Velvet Lounge after his triumphant return last week from the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal) M. Bergnes
Dear Ms. Postman,I have been looking forward to this year's DC Comedy Fest all summer. Last week I treated myself to an "Uber-Pass" so that I could enjoy as many shows as I could squeeze into the weekend. Yesterday, I started to comb through the schedule, trying to figure out which shows I would try to attend and I was completely startled to see an almost complete lack of any DC comics on the line-up of any shows. I have been a DC resident for more than 12 years and I am a dedicated fan of stand-up. I believe that there is something special about these local artists who work so hard and have so much talent, who toil at small shows and open-mic nights, sharpening their skills, performing with all their hearts for small audiences and no money. I am so proud of the comedians that I have been lucky enough to see perform in DC and I was so excited to see my favorite DC comics perform at the DC Comedy Fest. Unfortunately, there appears to be only two performances of local comics ("District of Comedy") on the schedule for the entire festival, and, tragically, in those two meager shows, there are no more than seven of DC's many talented comedians scheduled to perform! This is really quite a disappointment. I cannot imagine why some of my most favorite and some of the most talented comedians I've seen perform in Washington, DC are not on schedule at the DC Comedy Fest. I think it is outrageous that many of DC's finest comedians, like Nick Turner, Jake Young, Seaton Smith and dozens of others have been excluded from the festival. What is point of the DC Comedy Fest if not to spotlight all of the amazing local comic talent that working and living in DC? I hope you will consider supporting the dedicated and passionate comic artists in Washington, DC as the host and organizer of the DC Comedy Fest. I have been so fortunate to find these artists and enjoy their work, and I hoped that events like the DC Comedy Fest would illuminate our the citizens of our Washington, DC about the wonderful comedy scene happening all over the city, all year long. I hope that the DC Comedy Fest will use its power and influence to support local comedians and give their talents the attentions they so sincerely deserve.