Sunday, July 21

Comedy Festival to celebrate Blackpool’s legacy of laughter

Summer spectacular spearheaded by Eddie Izzard & Seann Walsh at the Winter Gardens Blackpool

The Winter Gardens Blackpool has joined forces with the Comedy Station to deliver two high profile, side-splitting line-ups on 7 & 8th July 2023 as part of a weekend of entertainment as part of the Blackpool Comedy Festival which returns for the first time since 2019.  

Compere Ryan Gleeson will host Friday Night Laughs and Saturday Live! welcoming some of the best stand up and most celebrated comedians to the Opera House stage.

Friday Night Live will feature MC Ryan Gleeson, Jojo Sutherland, Angelos Epithemiou, Tom Stade and Eddie Izzard. Eddie is one of the most celebrated comics of her generation since the early nineties and has an equally stellar reputation as a film, television and stage actor.

Canadian émigré Tom Stade has earned a reputation as one of the most distinctive and engaging stand-up talents around, he is now firmly established as a leading touring act and has amassed a legion of loyal fans along the way.

Saturday Night Live! will see Scott Bennett, Nina Gilligan, Tez Illyas & Seann Walsh join Gleeson as host. Walsh is described as ‘the best observational comedian of his generation’ (The Guardian). Seann has also starred in Netflix’s Flinch, Live at the Apollo, Tonight at the London Palladium, Celebrity Juice, The Stand Up Sketch Show, Virtually Famous, 8 Out of 10 Cats, Chatty Man and Stand Up Central.

Blackpool’s very own Ryan Gleeson is one of the UK’s most in demand comedians, performing across the country since 1997, when at the age of just 16, he was introduced to the world of stand-up by a friend of his, who got him his first ever comedy club gig in Barnsley. Ryan is resident host of the Comedy Station Comedy Club the first ever (2002) and longest running comedy club in Blackpool from its home on Bank Hey Street, opposite The Blackpool Tower, which this year celebrates its 21st anniversary.

Anthony Williams, Sales & Marketing Manager, Winter Gardens Blackpool said: “This is a hugely exciting partnership for the venue and it’s brilliant to be working with a comedy legend to bring this to the stage as part of the weekend’s programme of events.

“With over 40 years of comedy industry experience the team is well placed to make sure that this weekend is one to remember for everyone looking to add to their laughter lines.”

The two new events, join the already announced Legends Of Variety which will bring the festival to a close on Sunday 9th July 2023. Legends of Variety brings together much loved classic stars for a show filled with comedy and charm. Their experience and knowledge gained by years of honing their craft is still a joy to behold.

Alongside the headline events, Showtown, Blackpool’s new museum of fun and entertainment, will host a series of events throughout the weekend funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. This programme is partly about giving residents more opportunities to experience culture on their doorstep and try new things.  

There will be a range of free and reduced ticketed events and activities over the weekend for visitors and residents to enjoy. There will be a drop-in area with storytelling, dressing up and opportunities to learn more about Blackpool’s entertainment heritage alongside timed comedy events for families and adults.

The programme will also include 2 family laughter workshops with a clown/entertainer. One of these sessions is specifically for families with additional needs for example Autism.

The programme also includes 3 family comedy shows and a cake and coffee morning event with comedy legends talking about their experiences, which will be on-sale soon.  

A full programme of events at the Blackpool Comedy Festival will be released in due course.   For more information and to book tickets visit