The Limestone Comedy Festival will be, Sept. 2-4, featuring 60 different comedians and performers from around the country..
After the first festival in 2013, Limestone director and co-founder Jared Thompson said he heard many comedians describe the event as the greatest weekend of their lives. Nine years later, he said the festival is a staple of Bloomington as it advertises itself as ‘The Greatest Weekend of Your Life Volume VIII.’”
“I came up with that as a tagline for us,” Thompson said. “There's also legitimate testimonials from people who say that it's their favorite weekend of the year and it's the most fun that they have in a year.”
The majority of the acts booked for last year’s festival are still performing this year since the festival had no 2021 submission process. Thompson said this lineup is just as good, if not better than what they would have had in 2020. He said he is also proud of the diversity in this lineup.
“When you have a 45-to-60 comedian palette to work with, you can really take a lot of liberty and make sure everyone is represented on stage,” Thompson said. “Limestone has all different styles, all different walks of life, all different races and genders and that's really the way it should be everywhere.”
Throughout the weekend, comedians will perform in multiple venues, including the Comedy Attic, Buskirk-Chumley Theater, the Bishop, the Backdoor and the Blockhouse. All venues are 21 and over, except for the Comedy Attic and the Buskirk-Chumley Theater which are 18 and over.
“Different venues keep us flexible with that festival mindset,” Limestone director Dwight Simmons said. “The other nice thing is that all the venues are in a one-to-two block radius, so it's really easy to hop from one show to the next show.”
People planning on attending the festival need to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the past 72 hours, Limestone director and co-founder Mat Alano-Martin said. Masks will also be required at all venues.
“It's gonna feel good to finally do this in a safe, controlled way,” Alano-Martin said. “And to still have fun and have some laughs that everybody needs right now.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 festival was pushed back three times and eventually canceled, Alano-Martin said. This year’s festival was pushed back until September to give people time to get vaccinated, he said.
To attend, people can purchase VIP or Verified Very Incredibly Important Party Person badges. These badges allow entry to all venues and acts with some added perks like autographed posters or brunch with some of the performers.
People can also purchase a three-day badge for entry to all events for the duration of the festival or a Friday and Saturday badge for entry to events on those days. This year, Alano-Martin said the festival is also selling tickets for individual shows. If venues are not completely filled, tickets will also be sold at the door.