The fifth year of Gilda's LaughFest Festival in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is being held March 5-15, 2015. The lineup for the first round of talent for the festival was announced on November, 12, 2014. Ticket packages go on sale on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, for the festival that celebrates the healing power of laughter held in 40 different venues over a 10-day festival.
Headliner's for the community-wide festival of laughter include comedians George Lopez, Patton Oswalt, Wanda Sykes, and .LaughFest veterans Bo Burnham, YouTube star and singer/songwriter comedian; Pete Holmes, who will be perform two shows and record a live podcast; and Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood of Whose Line Is It Anyway? Additional acts include Lavell Crawford ("Breaking Bad"), Billy Gardell (CBS' "Mike and Molly") and stand-up comedian and podcaster Brian Posehn.
Ticket packages are on sale as of Nov. 14, 2014, but single tickets will not be available until Jan. 9, 2015. Shows do sell out by the time that single tickets are available, so it is recommended to purchase ticket packages while the the best possible seats. You can customize your own package by purchase two or more tickets of your choice, opt for a pre-built package (Late Night, Headliner’s or Clean Comedy) or purchase a Package Gift Certificate. Festival ticket packages start at $32 and are available to the public on the LaughFest Grand Rapids website or by phone at (616) 735-HAHA (4242).
The Headliners Package ($164.50) includes: Billy Gardell on March 7, Wanda Sykes on March 9, and George Lopez on March 15.
The Clean Comedy Showcase ($84.50) consists of: Clean Comedy Showcase I & Dinner on March 6, River City Improv on March 7, and Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood on March 15.
The Late Night Package ($65) includes: Iliza Shlesinger on March 6, Jerrod Carmichael on March 13, and Brian Posehn on Mar 14.
Gilda's Club is named for Saturday Night comedian Gilda Radner, who wrote the book "It's Always Something." After Gilda died of ovarian cancer in 1989, her husband, comedian Gene Wilder, and cancer therapist Joanna Bull started Gilda's Club to support people afflicted with cancer. Attendees can enjoy the hilarity of the comedians while supporting a good cause. Proceeds from LaughFest, which has averaged 55,000 attendees per year since its 2011 inception, go to support the free cancer, grief and emotional health programs offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids.
“In planning our fifth year, we were looking to bring back some of our most popular acts from festival’s past while continuing to bring fresh faces to West Michigan,” said Joanne Roehm, festival director of LaughFest, in a press release from the organization. . “Following four successful years, the festival’s foundation will continue the tradition of laughter by featuring stand-up comedy, improv, music, dance, speakers, pets, children’s shows, free professional and amateur showcases, and a variety of other events that will allow everyone an opportunity to laugh.”
LaughFest 2015 will bring an abundance of entertainment and laughter to western Michigan with more than 200 free and ticketed shows featuring more than 100 artists at more than 40 venues in Grand Rapids, Lowell and Holland.