The Utrecht International Comedy Festival 2023
Very few people in the Netherlands know that Utrecht hosts one of the largest comedy festivals in the world: the Utrecht International Comedy Festival (UICF)! So it is time to shout it from the rooftops because it is not only the largest comedy festival, it is also the kick start of the festival season in the Netherlands. Moreover, I am a huge fan of comedy in general, and particularly of comedy about a controversial topic or seemingly fucked-up life, that I can secretly relate to, and the ever so twisted yet hilarious perspective of the comedian on it. And no worries, this annual festival takes place at the TivoliVredenburg complex, so you will be protected against the elements and have easy access to a bar. TivoliVredenburg is right next to Utrecht Central Station, hence super convenient for visitors from outside Utrecht.
The Utrecht International Comedy Festival (UICF) takes place from 22 February till 4 March 2023. Although most of the shows are in Dutch, here is a list of the shows that are in English:
- Tuesday 28 February: The Epic Comedy Battle
- Thursday 2 March: The Cunnilingus show
- Friday 3 March: Big Binge of Comedy
- Saturday 4 March: Big Binge of Comedy
During the Big Binge of Comedy on Friday and Saturday 3-4 March, the festivals hosts multiple shows so you can pick your favorite ones and in between enjoy a drink at a bar. During the festival the place is so to say infested with comedians, so if you are lucky, you might run into one and get some life-entertainment on the spot. If the conversation gets uncomfortably awkward, as in Andy Kaufman awkward, you just run.
For all the Spanish speakers in the Netherlands, there is a Spanish show on Wednesday 1 March with the multiple award-winning comedian Lara Ricotte!
The festival begins with comedy shows with a particularly line-up or theme. Here is a link to the programme including the Dutch shows (the language is clearly indicated in the programme). You can buy a ticket online.
During the Big Binge of Comedy nights a total of 40 comedy shows are available in 5 different theaters. You can buy a ticket for a single show but the more tickets you buy the more discount you get on your ticket. As a UICF experience expert, I highly recommend buying tickets for multiple shows otherwise you’ll keep craving for more.
About the author: Laura Danielle is a co-founder of Comedy Walks: city walks with a professional comedian as guide or walking comedy shows with the city as the stage! All information in the blog posts is based on personal experience and commission free.