Leicester venue enjoys boom in trade following city-wide comedy festival

By Muhsin Cabdi

james_acaster_comedian_-_comedyclub4kids

James Acaster, one of the acts at the Cookie

A Leicester bar owner is smiling after an increase in revenue and ticket sales during the city’s annual comedy festival.

Anthony Hopkins, owner of The Cookie, a bar in High Street, Leicester, said his business sold 25 per cent more tickets than it had at last year’s festival.

Mr Hopkins was sure the increase was due to the increasing profile of the Leicester Comedy Festival, a three-week laughs extravaganza which takes place all over the city.

“We had a variety of shows in three venues for the duration of the festival. It’s a very busy month,” he said.

“We sold 6,000 tickets this year as opposed to the 4,500 we sold last year.”

The venue hosted a variety of comedy events ranging from stand-alone performers to comedians on tour.

While it hosts acts all year round, the bar profits more during the comedy festival than other times of the year, said Mr Hopkins.

Some of the headline acts included stand-up comedians Tom Allen and James Acaster.

Mr Hopkins lives in America but flies back to Leicester every February to catch the comedy festival.

He said: “I caught Paul Foot and I caught Dane Baptiste. It was great.”

A total of 650 shows took place during the Leicester Comedy Festival, with 106 taking place in The Cookie’s three venues (The Cookie itself, the O2 venue and The Globe pub).

When asked if he would invite any of the acts back, Mr Hopkins said he would be delighted to ask them back.

“Generally, we research the acts at the Edinburgh Festival for ones we want and we invite them to perform during the festival.”

Mr Hopkins’ bar has been involved in the Leicester Comedy Festival for the last seven years.

 

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