High Plains Comedy Festival unveils 2014 lineup, new dates, venues and podcast recordingsBy John Wenzel | June 26th, 2014 | 4 comments
High Plains Comedy Festival, Denver’s only all-stand-up, multi-day event, has revealed exclusively to Reverb the lineup for its second year.
The roster is led by TBS late-night host Pete Holmes, Denver native and upcoming “Transformers: Age of Extinction” co-star T.J. Miller, in-demand actor/writer Kumail Nanjiani (like Miller, a co-star of HBO’s “Silicon Valley”), comic/writer/producer Emily Gordon, Nerdist podcaster and “The Meltdown” co-host Jonah Ray, and new and returning comics like Kate Berlant, Beth Stelling, Nate Bargatze, Ben Kronberg, Ian Karmel, the Walsh Brothers, Amber Tozer, Jared Logan, Cameron Esposito, Dan Soder, Andy Haynes and many more. (See full lineup below.)
The festival takes place Aug. 22-23 at South Broadway venues 3 Kings Tavern, the Hi-Dive and Mutiny Information Café — with “finale” sets in and outside of the McNichols Building in downtown’s stately Civic Center park.
Expect a healthy crop of Denver comics and another round (or two) of national stand-ups to also be added in the coming weeks.
High Plains was founded by Denver comic Adam Cayton-Holland, who’s one-third of the Grawlix troupe and monthly showcase, and comedian/producer Andy Juett. It’s bankrolled by Pete Turner of Illegal Pete’s burrito chain — which owns Cayton-Holland’s record label, Greater Than Collective — with help from Greater Than and Illegal Pete’s marketing maestro (and old-school Denver punk-label owner) Virgil Dickerson.
Here’s the current 2014 lineup:
The Walsh Brothers
Billy Wayne Davis
Ian Douglas Terry
Last year’s inaugural event, which took place at the Hi-Dive, 3 Kings Tavern, the Hornet and the Gothic Theatre along South Broadway, was a sold-out success according to organizers, so a second installment was all but assured.
“There are simply more comics and more shows this year,” Juett said. “With the demand from last year, we brought in even more heavy hitters to make the festival an even richer experience with more choices. The Denver comedy fan is discerning so we needed to up our game and what is available!”
Also look for related shows to spring up in the coming weeks. Besides the “High Plains Festival Preview Show” at the Oriental Theater July 18 (with Aparna Nancherla, Ian Douglas Terry, Ashley Barnhill and Sean Patton), Juett promises a Thursday, Aug. 21 party/show night “with some specialty programming we’re excited to talk about.”
Cayton-Holland told us there will also be a greater focus on live podcast recordings, which have become a staple of comedy and music fests in recent years (trust me, they’re super fun). Last year’s My Dining Room Table recording at High Plains, for example, drew WTF podcast host and IFC star Marc Maron, who was headlining at nearby Comedy Works.
Cayton-Holland said this year to look for recording sessions from You Made It Weird, Indoor Kids, Jonah Raydio, Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction, My Dining Room Table and a few more.
“This is going to be a party,” Juett said. “I’d start sleeping now.”
Full-festival passes are on sale today for $80 via highplainscomedyfestival.com, with single-day and single-show tickets on sale in the coming weeks.