28th July – 1st August.
The program includes a wide range of comedy with national and international top comedians, talent from the Netherlands and local stars from Amsterdam. Early bird tickets are available for sale now. Life is better when you laugh!
After the year we’ve had, human connection is more important than ever. Comedy does just that. Laughing together is the perfect way to look at life and to feel part of a community. That’s why, this summer, Boom Chicago’s three stages will be buzzing for five nights with improvisers and comedians from all over the world, including their main cast.
“It’s definitely time to laugh,” explains Stacey Smith, artistic director for the BCCF: “I’m looking for a variety of comedy showcases and line-ups that represent the diversity in the comedy community; both in the variety of shows and in the depth of performers.”
The festival’s program is jam-packed with offerings in improvisation, standup comedy, sketch comedy, variety shows, drag shows and character shows. Shantira Jackson (writer of The Amber Ruffin Show) is one of the comedy masters to fly in from Los Angeles to offer workshops and to perform on stage. And every day, the audience has the opportunity to join Q&A events live from the Rozengracht with famous Boom Chicago alumni on Zoom from New York and Hollywood. The first announcements are Brendan Hunt (co-creator and star of the Apple TV+ award winning sitcom Ted Lasso), and Colton Dunn (star of NBC long-running comedy hit Superstore and writer on Key & Peele).
Talent development and autism
Developing talent is one of the central themes of the first festival. In addition to the lineup, the festival offers a full slate of workshops from international improvisation superstars and trainers from the Boom Chicago Academy – Amsterdam’s premiere location for improvisation training with 350 students.
Non-profit InterActing will be featured during the Boom Chicago Comedy Festival. With this program, Boom Chicago encourages teenagers with autism through improvisation skills to break out of their patterns of ritual and routine to embrace the unexpected. These life skills help the students to become more confident and enjoy interacting with our unpredictable society.
About Boom Chicago
28 years ago, Boom Chicago introduced improvisation comedy to the mainstream Dutch audience. Since their start in 1993, they have made more than a million people laugh and kicked off the careers of many famous comedians. In 2013, Boom Chicago moved from their spot at the Leidseplein to their new home on the Rozengracht in Amsterdam. This beautiful historical site is now an inspirational, cultural meeting space, celebrating international creativity.
Comedy lovers are spoiled for choice during this fabulous festival with close to 200 performers. Comedians Seth Meyers and Arjen Lubach are among the newly confirmed names who will take the stage. The festival features top comedians for nine days of nonstop comedy.
Dutch comedian, author and television host Arjen Lubach will be joining his old improv group Op Sterk Water for a one-time reunion show. Seth Meyers began his career at Boom Chicago where his shows attracted the attention of scouts. After a 13 year stint at Saturday Night Live as a writer, he was given his own Emmy-winning TV show Late Night with Seth Meyers. He will make an exclusive appearance (from New York) during the festival’s Comedy Conversations.
Boom Chicago’s comedy extravaganza boasts four shows per night and received over 100 submissions by interested participants from 12 different countries, spreading the laughter far and wide. The line-up includes top international comedians, talent from all over the Netherlands and local stars from Amsterdam including Boom Chicago’s main cast. There will be a full slate of comedy shows, workshops, Q&A events and of course the festival bar will be buzzing.
Calling all creatives and aspiring comedians
The interactive program is as diverse as the people it serves. Special guest Heather Anne Campbell, Boom Chicago alumna, Emmy nominee and producer/writer of Rick and Morty (Netflix), will host a workshop on TV writing. Her past credits include Saturday Night Live, Whose Line is it Anyway?, The Eric Andre Show and Animation Domination Hi-Def (Fox). She will be a special guest in shows throughout the week and weekend.
In addition to their late-night quiz, seriously satirical news website De Speld will organize an afternoon devoted to comedy writing and their style of catchy headlines. All workshops will explore essential tools and new ways to craft stories and create concepts, making them perfect for creatives like copywriters and content creators down to marketing specialists and social media managers. The courses, 15 confirmed so far, will take place all week during the day and will be held at both Boom Chicago and partner The Student Hotel.
Special theme nights and activities
Monday the 26th of July will be all about celebrating ‘Possibilities not Limitations’ of those with autism and includes the young talent on the spectrum from InterActing, Dutch comedian Fabian Franciscus and Boom alumna Suzi Barrett: star of Just Roll With It (Disney). The Cunnilingus Show, dedicated to female and queer expression, mixes elements of stand-up comedy, games and drag, including a live version of RuPaul’s infamous Snatch Game in honor of Pride. Female-First Friday, the women-first comedy special on Friday the 30th of July, features talent from around the world and includes sharp improvisation, musical comedy and great comedic characters.