Leicester Comedy Festival founder to leave after 30 years

By Greig Watson
BBC News

Image source, Leicester Comedy Festival
Image caption,
Geoff Rowe set up the festival when he was a student

One of the founders of the Leicester Comedy Festival is stepping down after nearly 30 years.

Geoff Rowe set up the annual event with fellow students in 1994 while studying Arts Management at De Montfort University,

He will officially leave the role of founding director after the February 2023 festival.

Mr Rowe said it had been an "incredible privilege" to be involved but it was "time for me to leave the stage".

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Comedian Henning Wehn appeared at this year's festival

The comedy festival is billed as Europe's biggest, with this year's event seeing over 800 performances from comedians including Pam Ayres, Rosie Jones, Stewart Lee, Nabil Abdulrashid and Henning Wehn.

Mr Rowe said: "I have had the most amazing time over the years, and the incredible privilege of working with some fantastic comedians, and people from the UK live comedy sector.

"I'm really proud of the community we have developed, of people who love British comedy and work so hard each February to deliver our festivals.

"However, after 30 years of Leicester Comedy Festival, and five years of The UK Kids' Comedy Festival, I think it's time for me to leave the stage, and hand the microphone over to the team and trustees of Big Difference."

Martyn Allison, chair of the trustees, said: "Both the city and the wider UK comedy community can be justifiably proud of what Geoff has achieved over the last thirty years and the legacy he has created."

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