Planning your upcoming three-day weekend is no laughing matter — unless you're going to Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, that is.
Austin's original chuckle fest returns this year with some seriously giggle-worthy programming over the extended Labor Day weekend. From September 1 through 7, more than 500 performers and 120 shows will take over stages across town. The 14-year-old homegrown festival showcases some of the best in improv, sketch and stand-up comedy from Austin and beyond.
Fans of Out of Bounds more than likely have tickets already (if not, get 'em now). Here are five reasons why any Out of Bounds newbies should check out the festival this year:
You'll get the most bang for your buck
Unlike other festivals where there are staggered levels of access, at Out of Bounds you become totally immersed in the experience with just one pass. For $119 ($129 gets you a T-shirt and pack of performer trading cards), you get an entire week's worth of programming. If a particular show strikes your fancy, you can opt to get tickets for just that performance, but since the festival pass works out to $17 a day, it's definitely worth the splurge. In addition to gaining access to the performances, you'll be invited to all the fun after parties across the city — no VIP status necessary.
This year's programming is the bomb
Did you know Senator Kirk Watson has a sense of humor? The Texas politico will be the guest star of one insanely hilarious improv show — and that's just one example of the stellar 2015 lineup. This year's range of talent includes a 10-year-old stand-up comedian, top-notch improv groups from Chicago, an avant-garde theatrical ensemble, a live version of Epic Rap Battles of History (the popular YouTube series) and much more.
Ladies, put your hands up!
Cue some Beyoncé tunes: 2015 marks the most representation of women in the festival than ever before. There will be several workshops focusing on female performers as well as shows featuring all-female troupes, like Austin's own Girls Girls Girls and Damn, Gina!
Your badge comes with tons of perks
Festivals are often synonymous with eating out. Luckily for Out of Bounds badge holders, you get 10 percent off your purchases at a variety of local eateries, including Royal Blue Grocery, Slake Cafe and Hideout Theatre's coffee shop. When it's all over, use your badge to receive a discount on your next massage at Blue Iris Therapy.
You'll get a sense of local gratification
In addition to all the sweet local perks that come along with the badge, you also get the satisfaction of discovering some amazing Austin talent. More than half of this year's lineup includes local performers, so Out of Bounds is the perfect opportunity to get a taste of the Austin improv scene. After the festival ends (and you've shed a tear), you can follow up with your favorite acts and performers around town on a regular basis.