Submission FAQ

Q. Where can I find an application to perform?  
A. Visit the Submissions page for all the info and link to the form.
Physical application forms or PDF’s are available upon request, Email

Q. Does it cost anything to apply to the festival?
A. Yes, application fee is $20, late submissions $40. Paypal or Major Credit Card accepted and required to process all applications. After completing the application you will be re-directed automatically to Paypal. The fee goes directly to covering costs to review submissions and is not refundable. Incomplete applications and those without payment can not be processed.

Q. What kind of comedy does the festival accept?
A. All forms of Stand Up, Sketch Comedy, Long & Short Form Improv Teams, Musical Sketch or Video Sketches are accepted. Comedy from across the country as well as international submissions will be accepted.

Q. How long is a performance slot in the festival?
A.  Headliner: 45 minutes
Host: 7-10 minutes
Stand Up: 15-20 minutes
Improv: 20-25 minutes
Sketch: 20-30 minutes

Q. When are applications due?
A. Applications for the 2017 Fest will be accepted until 11:59pm on May 1st, 2017.

Q. When will groups be notified of acceptance to the festival?
A. All applicants will be notified by June 1st

Q. What are the performance dates of the 2017 Comedy Festival?
A. Festival Performance Dates:

Thursday, August 3, 2017
Friday, August 4, 2017
Saturday, August 5, 2017
Sunday, August 6, 2017

Q. Is there compensation for performing in the festival? 
A. There is no payment for performing in the Milwaukee Comedy Festival, but there are many perks offered including free food and beverages backstage, free admission to the official Kick Off Party, free admission to festival shows, discounted fest t-shits, and more. The Milwaukee Comedy Festival also strives to create an environment where comedians of all styles and abilities can interact and are treated with respect.

Q. How are performers judged for acceptance in the festival?

A. Submissions are reviewed by a panel of judges including the producers of the festival and select area comedy professionals. Applications are judged on quality, originality, professionalism, audience reaction and above all, funniness. We review each and every submission we receive equally!

Q. What kind of video should I submit?
A. We need to see how you perform in front of an audience. Clips should be at least 10-15 minutes but can be longer. Stand Up comedians may submit a minimum two different 5 minute sets. We ask for a few video links of you performing so we can figure out if you are a good fit. We will not accept gag reels, punch lists or clip shows!


Video Tips:

  • Send a good video!  This sounds simple, but one of the top reasons performers do not get accepted is the video or audio quality is bad, the stage action is blocked by the audience or the camera operator is laughing over the jokes. Videos with bad audio or video make our jobs very difficult and do affect the review process!
  • We review video starting with the first 5 minutes. If your video includes a long intro or other content, this could count as part of your submission. We watch hundreds of hours of submissions and simply can’t always tell what is part of the act or not.  Simply tell us when to start watching. For example: “Begin watching at 1:07, the host has a long intro”. This helps us immensely! 
  • Be honest.  We have been doing this for more than a decade and believe it, we have seen it all. If it’s your first show, tell us! We support growing talent with plenty of outreach and opportunities for rising talent. Do not lie, or otherwise try to forgo the application process. You will be disqualified from participating in this and future festivals.