A unique event that saw dozens of comedians perform in unlikely venues across Bristol has raised £11,000 to help support people experiencing homelessness.
What started out as an idea to inject a bit of humour into the dreary winter nights, and support pubs, restaurants, cafes and breweries, has fast become a popular staple on the city’s calendar.
From bars to bakeries, tap rooms to tiny takeaways, the 2020 event saw top comedic lineups in venues across the city, with all proceeds going to Julian Trust, a St Paul’s-based night shelter and homeless charity.
Brislington-based comedian Mark Olver is the brains behind Belly Laughs and this year he collaborated with Bristol24/7 on an event that was bigger than ever and saw many gigs sell out within hours.
Speaking about the success of the 2020 event, Olver said: “The first two years of Belly Laughs were great, but working with Bristol 24/7 and Better Bristol this year has made us able to take things to a much higher level.
“We have sold more tickets than ever, made more money for charity than ever. The coverage we got from Bristol24/7 allowed us to reach so many more people. We sold the tickets faster than we ever have which then allowed us to add more gigs. We went from 12 gigs in 2018 to 35 gigs in 2020.”
Julian Trust has now confirmed receipt of the £11,000. The treasurer of the charity said the donation is “very much appreciated”.
Main photo of Belly Laughs in Tapestry Brewery, with headliner Mark Watson by @JonCraig_Photos
Read more: Mark Olver on Belly Laughs with Bristol24/7