Austin loves fun. Austin loves festivals. And Austin damn sure loves funny — every year, Cap City’s Funniest Person in Austin contest draws scores of comics and comedy fans for a month-long showcase of our city’s brightest talent. In just four years, SXSW’s comedy programming has quadrupled in size. Comedy 102.7 radio, broadcasting out of Georgetown, is a pre-set station staple for commuters. Open mics around town are changing as, every month, more hopeful comics move to town and take the stage.
The Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival, presented by The Paramount, is ready to take Austin's comedy cred to the next level. Today, the fest announced the first half of its 60+ performer lineup, getting us psyched for the biggest all-comedy party this city’s ever seen.
The Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival, presented by The Paramount, is ready to take Austin's comedy cred to the next level.
The line up so far includes SNL head writer Seth Meyers, Parks and Rec star Aziz Ansari, queen of impressions Maria Bamford, tongue-in-cheek magician The Amazing Johnathan and former Austinite Brendon Walsh. The list features plenty of our favorite acts, like Joe Mande, Baron Vaughn, Brody Stevens and Rachel Feinstein — and there’s still plenty more to be announced (see the full list of confirmed acts below).
Taking place April 25 - 28 at 12 venues around town, and featuring acts from stand up, sketch and improv comics, Moontower ambitiously aims to claim recognition as the best comedy fest in the country — and with their programming, perks and prime location (who doesn’t want another excuse to visit Austin?), they’re heading in the right direction.
Moontower marries the traditional Austin festival experience (exemplary organization, lots of options and swank afterparties) with distinctly comedy-centric delivery; organizers, who cite Montreal’s iconic Just For Laughs festival as inspiration, hope to create a sense of community among patrons and performers, exposing fans to new acts and promoting the not-so-big names as loudly as the headliners.
Sponsors include The Onion and Funny or Die; we were excited to learn that the LA-based video site, helmed by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, will be curating events at the State, right next door to the Paramount, all four days of the fest.
You’ll have plenty of chances to catch shows; there will be events at the Paramount Theatre, Stateside at the Paramount, Capitol City Comedy Club, The Parish, Beale Street Tavern, ND @ 501 Studios, 29th Street Ballroom, Velveeta Room, inside and outside at The Mohawk and The New Movement.
Badges go on sale Wednesday, Feb. 1; you’ll be able to purchase online, at the Paramount box office or by calling (512) 474-1221. Single performance tickets to Paramount events will go on sale Feb. 23.
There will be two badges available, a VIP pass and a standard pass, both of which will get you into all venues and acts (the Standard pass doe not include shows at the Paramount). Perks include:
VIP Badge ($799)
- 4-day festival pass
- First access / first in line preferred seating to all venues, including the Paramount
- 40 drink tickets
- Access to VIP bar
- Access to pre-show happy hours
- Parking at One American Center
- VIP gift bag
- Special concierge access
- Moontower Film Festival access
Standard Badge ($99)
- 4-day festival pass
- Pre-sale access to Paramount event tickets
- Gift bag
- Access to badge holder-only party
- Moontower Film Festival Access
The festival is sponsored by Esquire, The Onion, Funny or Die, Giant Noise, Capitol City Comedy Club, CultureMap, Hell Yes Fest, Patron Spirits Company, Vintage IT Services, Proof Advertising, Thomas Properties Group, and the Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel.