NEWCASTLE Comedy Festival promoter Andrew Milos plans to unveil a more culturally diverse offering when the joke-fest returns for its fourth edition in May next year.
COVID-19 restrictions and border closures have played havoc with curating the past two editions, but despite the difficulties the November 2020 showcase was the first comedy festival of its kind worldwide to return since the start of the pandemic.
After establishing a fanbase and reputation, Milos says the next step will be growth and offering something fresh.
"I'm really hoping to have predominantly brand new acts who haven't been to Newcastle with us before like Wil Anderson or Michael Hing," he says.
"I also want to diversify it a little bit. I want to get Indigenous acts for what's called Deadly Funny. That's something I haven't done before.
I definitely think it's pretty important to do something like that. Diversity is a vital part of the festival next year.Andrew Milos
"I definitely think it's pretty important to do something like that. Diversity is a vital part of the festival next year."
Meanwhile, Milos' Big Dog Comedy is preparing to return with their first show since lockdown next Wednesday and Thursday at The Happy Wombat.
The line-up features Becky Lucas, Nikki Britton, Newcastle's Cameron James and Elouise Eftos.
Then on December 17 comedian puppet Randy Feltface will perform at Newcastle NEX in his last local show before he attempts to conquer the US.
"Randy has gotten a visa and he's going over in February and do it all and see what happens," Milos says.
The Grand Hotel is also hosting a comedy night featuring Sarah Gaul and Daniel Muggleton on December 18.