The Rogue Island Comedy Festival is returning to Newport October 5–9. Now in its third year, the festival has seen a huge boom – an organic shift according to the festival’s marketing director, Katie Latimer.
“We didn’t want to go too big too soon,” she says, adding that despite the urge to swing for the fences, the festival’s organizers, which include native Rhode Island comics Doug Key and Rob Greene, preferred to take smaller steps last year, sticking to what had worked for their inaugural run. All ten shows last year sold out, and the fest’s reputation has earned the organizers their first major headliner: Silicon Valley and Deadpool star TJ Miller.
With TJ currently having a moment, the fest needed a bigger venue, so the Jane Pickens Theater will be joining Firehouse Theatre, Studio Three, Dockside and Brick Alley Pub to play host to this year’s nearly 70 comics – including plenty of local talent like Ray Harrington, Andrew Williams and Brian Beaudoin.
This year they’re putting on 14 shows across five days – including a family-friendly “PG-13” set at Empire Tea and Coffee on Saturday, October 7. Despite the success and the attention that TJ Miller is bringing to the festival, Katie, Doug and Rob aren’t getting ahead of themselves. So we’ll do it for them: this year sounds like a game changer for bringing big names in comedy to Rhode Island. Check out the full festival schedule at RogueIslandComedyFest.com