Comedy is hard.
Putting together an arts festival is also hard.
Los Angeles is, arguably, the city closest to space in the sense that if you scream, no one can hear you. In NYC, people will hear you scream, but will intentionally ignore you.
With the power of all those overarching stereotypes combined, putting together a comedy festival in LA makes for an incredibly daunting challenge.
Attempts have been made. A haphazardly placed stage in the middle of Santa Monica Blvd. served as a place for comedy during the Silverlake Jubilee street fair last year, and a comedy tent has been regularly featured at the FYF Fest, which has gone well. Yet, the city has lacked, for several years, an entire comedy festival that really captures the thrill of the LA comedy scene.
Riot, a proposed alternative comedy festival for LA, wants to take on this incredibly daunting challenge. By the look of their first promo “PSA” video above featuring Patton Oswalt, Pete Holmes, Kumail Nanjiani, Dana Gould, Marc Maron, Thomas Lennon, Jackie Kashian, Tig Notaro, Jimmy Pardo, and more and more and so on and many more funny folks that are regularly mentioned or featured here at the Nerdist, they have a blueprint of how to do it.
The festival’s head, Abbey Londer, a shrewd independent producer of comedy in LA, plans to have RIOT take place in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles this Fall if successful in gathering the funds. Already, the Kickstarter for RIOT is more than on pace with just under $5,000 of their $20,000 goal (going towards venue deposits, vendors, rentals, equipment, staff, food and drink concessions, and security) raised in three days (over $8,000 by Sunday evening).
So, if you want to see an amazing comedy festival in LA or, if you’re not in LA and want to make what I previously thought was impossible possible, then donate. If not, thanks for just reaffirming all those stereotypes listed at the top.