Live Nation is touring a new comedy festival through Europe, called the Comedy Stop, headlined by British comedian Chris Turner, which will premiere in six EU countries this September.
The capitals of France (Paris), Denmark (Copenhagen), Norway (Oslo), Finland (Helsinki), and Stockholm (Sweden), as well as Haarlem, which is close to the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, will each host a few days of international, and in some cases national, comedy.
Chris Turner has been announced as the first act on the bill. The British YouTube sensation broke through with his unique combination of witty comedy and mind-blowing freestyle raps made up on the spot and based entirely on suggestions coming from the audience.
The final lineup will feature a minimum of eight comedians from England, Scotland, United States and Canada in the end, according to Jeps Salfischberger, senior booker at Live Nation's Mojo Concerts in Holland, who promotes the Dutch Comedy Stop.
So far, Paul Foot, Fern Brady and Troy Hawke have been confirmed. The acts are shared around each Comedy Stop, all six of which take place across three weekends between Sept. 3–19.
Salfischberger shared a few insights into the Dutch Comedy Stop at the Patronaat in Haarlem, Sept. 17-19. He said Mojo Concerts was focussed on international talent from outside of the Netherlands, seeing that the local comedy scene was already strongly represented by local promoters and events.
On Feb. 22, for instance, Salfischberger booked Dave Chappelle at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam. The Comedy Stop is a different story, he explained, designed to introduce up-and-coming talent to an audience in the Netherlands.
The Patronaat in Haarlem is made up of two rooms with a total capacity of around 800. "It's small, but the plan is to grow it," Salfischberger explained. "We made a five-year plan. Hopefully in five years it will be the biggest go-to festival in Holland, where you discover all these new and upcoming comedians, that will explode in the next couple of years. Hopefully, after five years, we can look back and say, 'yes, this big artist, we had him at our first edition."
He also said that the plan was to extend it from a three-day to a week-long event eventually.
While the Dutch edition focuses on international acts, the promoters of other Comedy Stops may add local talent to their bill. Live Nation Finland, for instance, already confirmed Ali Jahangiri.
Live Nation Sweden also plans to put on local acts, when the Comedy Stop visits Nalen Klubb in Stockholm, Sept. 11-12. Comedy Culture is huge in Sweden, and it continues to grow, according to promoter Axel Söderbäck.
"As with music and other live entertainment there are comedians for different levels – from the smaller clubs to the big arenas," he explained, adding, "right now we have several interesting stand-up comedians coming to Sweden, like Mo Gilligan, Malik Bentalha, a sold out arena show with Ricky Gervais a few weeks ago – and of course Comedy Stop. It’s nice to see big non-Swedish acts as well as Swedish acts doing really well in our market.
"Comedy Stop is super exciting for Live Nation Sweden here in Stockholm and will bring a weekend of both international and domestic talent together in different settings. I think it will be a very fun weekend and we hope to see more of these types of events in the future."
also reached out to Comedy Stop headliner Chris Turner, who's been living in the US for a while, where he said the audience felt more "optimistic. As Brits, we often expect everything to be awful, including the thing we're about to watch onstage, so a lot of crowds give off a 'This better make me laugh' vibe.
"In the States, I find that they're in more of a 'I can't wait to have a great time' mindset, and so laugh harder, and applaud more. Of course, this means that by starting comedy in the UK and then moving to America, you learn how to deal with tougher audiences and then move to a place where they, for the most part, are less of a problem."
He also shared his favorite and least favorite things about being on tour. "Visiting Museums and Galleries in different cities is by far my favourite. Let's me feel like my degree (Archaeology & Anthropology) wasn't so useless after all.
"The worst is that I end up eating way too much unhealthy food, and end up not being able to wear my favourite t-shirts."