BEST OF PHOENIX®: Best Comedy Festival - Bird City Comedy Festival

Emily Heller was one of the headliners at the first Bird City Comedy Festival.

Emily Heller was one of the headliners at the first Bird City Comedy Festival.

Every big city needs its signature festival that people from all over the country (and if it's good enough, the world) flock to. Los Angeles has FYF Fest. Denver has the Great American Beer Festival. Chicago has Taste of Chicago. And while Phoenix does have the McDowell Mountain Music Festival, the Strong Beer Festival, and the Devoured Culinary Classic, we think Bird City Comedy Festival could be the one to really put Phoenix on the map. You know, in the festival world, at least. Sure, this hilarious fest just debuted this year, but with national headliners like Emily Heller of the Baby Geniuses podcast and Beth Stelling of @midnight and Jimmy Kimmel Live, plus plenty of spotlight for local talent, we can't wait to see what comes next.

Bird City Comedy Festival 2016: A Field Guide to the Event in Downtown Phoenix This Weekend

By Janessa Hilliard, Phoenix New Times

Beth Stelling of  Jimmy Kimmel Live  fame will perform a stand-up set on Saturday night.

Beth Stelling of Jimmy Kimmel Live fame will perform a stand-up set on Saturday night.

There's no shortage of festivals geared toward funny throughout the year. Montréal has Just For Laughs, San Francisco and Chicago each have a Sketchfest, and New York City has, well, New York Comedy Festival. And while Austin's SXSW and Los Angeles' RiotLA are only a road trip away, Arizona's corner of the Southwest is still a desert when it comes to large-scale comedy shows. Until now.

Get Your Laugh on at The Bird City Comedy Festival

By Matt Santos, Prescott E-News

If you ever wanted to be on the ground floor of something big, like an up-and-coming band, good stock tip, or the next best seller, Friday night, April 8th is your chance. 

That’s opening night of The Bird City Comedy Festival, a three-day event packed with some of the best comedians in the country and Phoenix’s first ever all stand-up festival.

The Mile High Show Episode #80: Genevieve Rice & The Bird City Comedy Festival

This week Matt sits down with Genevieve Rice, founder of The Bird City Comedy Festival that’s taking place all over Phoenix this coming weekend, April 8, 9, & 10.

Listen in as she tells how she came into comedy, the process of setting up such a HUGE event, and the comics that will perform, including Dana GouldEmily Heller, & Beth Stelling.

Emily Heller and Beth Stelling to Headline Bird City Comedy Festival in Downtown Phoenix

By Becky Bartkowski, Phoenix New Times

No joke, Phoenix is a pretty funny place. Thanks to comedians hosting shows on the regular, solid comedy clubs, and a thriving improv and sketch scene, there's pretty much no excuse not to laugh — a lot.

And that'll be extra true the weekend of April 8 through 10, when the Bird City Comedy Festival makes its debut. 

The definitive guide to comedy festivals for 2016

By Sean L. McCarthy, The Comic's Comic

n the past couple of years, the festival idea has spread so far and fast that multiple cities compete for the top talent. One spring weekend saw Austin, Grand Rapids and Toronto all hosting comedy fests; on another, Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, Orlando and Vienna. With another week left in 2015, already several cities and festivals have announced their lineups for 2016, while several others have a Jan. 1 deadline for comedians to submit application fees if you want to celebrate in Atlanta, Omaha or Denver.

Let's take a look at the current comedy festival and contest landscape and see what's shaking for 2016. They're arranged here by date. If your festival is missing from the list, please make a note of it in the comments so everyone else knows and I can amend the calendar accordingly.