Updated: Nov 19, 2022
I have always maintained I have very funny friends. Very funny, hardworking, and motivated friends. Those who drive this Portland comedy scene forward with nightly performances from local taprooms to small theaters. The type of community who celebrate each other’s successes and motivate during times of failure. Such thoughtful and creative people who don’t simply share stages - but share the creative ideas and energy which make this Portland comedy scene one of the best in the country. On any given day over the course of a week, you can see them pouring work into their craft as laughter spills out into the streets.
From local showcases at places like Neighbors Taproom, to creative themed shows such as Funny Jazz Talk or Dark Web Tonight; we are reminded nightly how creative and connected this community of artists and performers truly is. As someone who’s lived all over the country, I can honestly say the care and dedication employed in creating this comedy scene is unrivaled. It deserves to be celebrated. Their work deserves to be showcased. I may not be a funny guy, but I know how to do it. How to give back to this scene which has provided so many – so much - in way of family and community.
For over a year, you have supported me and my ideas. You’ve come out to my shows, you’ve provided feedback for improvement, and fostered an environment in which I’ve been able to grow as a promoter, and more importantly as a person. So this festival is for you. Because of your support Rip City has gone from local summer patio shows, to working Kyle Kinane to bringing in touring talent for our memorable showcases. This work ethic and accompanied support structure helped us to become the production group of choice for Alignon Mitra, and a platform to showcase our friends on these large shows. Rip City wouldn’t exist without your support – and we are grateful – and capable of throwing a party deserved of this comedy community.
Shain Brenden told me this place deserves a comedy festival – and he’s right. We do. So, we’re going to throw one. It’s in honor of the local comedian endlessly working on his five minutes to try and make moves at the Helium open mic. It’s a tribute to the OG’s like Jordan and Kinane who remember those old Bridgetown days; and people Bixby, Ward, Harkins, and Passeck coming up with amazing themed shows which represent the uniqueness of this creative scene. This is for James Bosquez setting up rooms in nontraditional venues, and Helium employees like Cadence and Marie facilitating a green room or bar back at a different club – on their day off.
I’m just a dude. Neuro-divergent. Socially awkward. Sober. I'm not a funny guy but if there’s one thing my work with events from roller derby to Bumbershoot and Warped Tour to Red Bull has taught me, it’s that I’m resourceful – and I know how to make this happen. I may not know exactly what I’m doing, but I know when good people deserve good things – and that’s a great place to start.
May 4-6th, 2023, I’m bringing a festival back to Portland; because I have really funny, hardworking friends – and it’s time the comedy world remembers just how great this scene is. So get your submissions in – and I hope to see you all in Portland for one helluva party.