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Top comedians in the line-up as NextUp launches hilarious month-long Virtual Comedy Festival

Thirty-one of the country's top Stand-up Comedians will be giving the UK plenty to smile about from today as NextUp, the digital comedy club renowned as the 'Netflix of Live Comedy', launches its Virtual Comedy Festival.

Every night throughout July Next-Up will be streaming a series of 50-minute shows featuring many of the leading names from the world of Stand-up. Sindhu Vee, Josie Long, Tiff Stevenson, Eshaan Akbar, Luke McQueen, Daliso Chaponda, Kiri Pritchard-Mclean, Aurie Styla, Stuart Goldsmith, Paul Chowdhry and Prince Abdi are among the comics who have signed up.

Abandoman kicks-off the ‘Edinburgh Fringe-style’ Virtual Comedy Festival tonight (July 1st) followed by Stephen Bailey on Thursday and Andrew Maxwell on Friday. A full list of the hilarious line-up can be found at
Sarah Henley, co-founder of NextUp, says: “Our aim is to give audiences the closest thing to a live comedy festival as possible with a huge variety of comedy styles - some great names you’ll know and some brilliant rising stars to discover.”

Throughout the pandemic, NextUp has provided platforms for comedians to earn income by streaming performances. NextUp even launched a ‘Heckle the Virus’ Crowdfunding initiative which raised over £120,000 to soften the impact of live events being cancelled and venues shutting.

Sarah says: “All the money raised by our Crowdfunding has gone entirely to support the livelihoods of comedians. We’ve been doing everything in our power to keep the comedy circuit going and to bring live comedy to the masses. Over recent months there’s been lots of talk about the impact of Lockdown on our mental health and the need to combat loneliness. Laughter is a brilliant release for us all. Comedy is a great way to ease tensions and bring much-needed light relief in these turbulent times.”

Using video conferencing software to put their comedy line-up in the same space as the audience, NextUp will create a ‘live gig’ atmosphere to enable comedians to be seen, heard and to interact. Tickets cost £9 to take part in a session with a maximum audience of 200 people. Think of these as large group calls, led by comedians, with an incredible potential to create a one-off shared experience.

Sarah says: “Being part of our Zoom audience means you can interact with our performers — ask questions and take part in the banter. Proceeds of each show will be split 50/50 between the comedian and NextUp.”

And for the hard-core comedy fans, NextUp are offering ‘Festival VIP Passes’, including a NextUp annual subscription, and allowing access to every show, even when they’re sold out. The VIP pass costs just £77 with a beer delivery to your home, worth £15, to give as much of a live gig experience as possible from your sofa. *See website for full terms and conditions.

About Next Up
NextUp is a worldwide subscription video-on-demand platform specialising in stand-up specials. Founded in 2016, London-based NextUp showcases the full spectrum of the live comedy circuit from sketch acts, character comedians and storytellers to gag merchants, observationalists and surrealists. As well as familiar household names, there are also acclaimed rising stars and circuit legends to discover. NextUp members have access to recording tickets and exclusive discounts whilst comedians are supported through a 50/50 revenue share model. NextUp seeks to bring a diverse range of comedians, with comedy to suit all tastes, to a wider audience by providing platforms for them to showcase their work to comedy fans without the restrictions of show dates, locations, ticket availability or cost. Since COVID-19, NextUp set-up a Just Giving campaign which has raised £120,000 for comedians and has been live streaming its virtual venue 'NextUp Now' - five nights a week. As a result of its vast experience in streaming and industry support, NextUp was awarded a small Government 'Innovate UK' grant to help support its innovative Digital Comedy Festival concept. Media Contact: Paul Smith: email: tele: 07771 623 007 NextUp Contact: Sarah Henley: email: tele: 07515 137 564

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6th July 2020