Machynlleth Comedy Festival: 4,000 expected in fifth year

Machynlleth Comedy Festival Machynlleth becomes a town of comedy for the fifth year running

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More than 4,000 people are expected to attend a mid Wales comedy festival that attracts some of the biggest names on the stand-up circuit.

Festival favourites like Arthur Smith, Richard Herring and Josie Long will take to stages in Machynlleth alongside a host of new acts.

The fifth annual festival will kick off with Richard Herring performing at the town's Tabernacle.

More than 150 events will be held during the three-day event.

Three five-minute highlight programmes will be broadcast nightly on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 22.30BST, 23:05 BST and 23:40 BST between Friday and Monday.

Described as a "boutique comedy weekend", the Machynlleth festival has attracted some of the most high-profile performers over the last five years.

Home comforts

It was born out of a desire to give comedy in Wales a wider base outside the cities of Cardiff, Swansea and Newport.

Festival organiser Henry Widdicombe said: "We're really pleased to be able to introduce comedy fans to lots of new talent as well as our more established acts.

Henry Widdicombe Henry Widdicombe said Machynlleth has 'spirit' and 'originality'

"People now know that Machynlleth is the place to be on the May bank holiday for great comedy in a uniquely beautiful setting."

This year the festival sees a new bar 'The Senedd' in the Owain Glyndwr Centre, with its own programme of free acoustic music.

The woodland stage, near the town's leisure centre returns for impromptu shows along with special performances on the Corris steam railway and in the town's sweet emporium.

"Even the camping facilities have had an upgrade with showers, yurts and best of all - flushing toilets," said Mr Widdicombe.

County councillor Michael Williams said the festival had helped to boost trade in the town over the last five years.

"I hope that comedy will be synonymous with Machynlleth, as jazz is to Brecon and books are to Hay-on-Wye, after the success of those festivals over the years."

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