Founded by Dulcet Sounds’ Hazel O’Keefe in 2013, the Women In Comedy Festival was born out of O’Keefe’s all women comedy night, Laughing Cows, which featured entirely female (and all those who identify as women) line ups. Set up in London at The Vespa Lounge in 1998, the club’s creation was in direct response to an off-the-cuff, but very telling, comment by a male comedy promoter who said that he wouldn’t take the chance of putting more than one woman on the bill at his club. O’Keefe decided to prove him and his doubts wrong and Laughing Cows was born.
A few years later O’Keefe moved back up to her native Manchester and it was inevitable that the gig would follow too. It’s not stopped since and O’Keefe has put on nights all around the country as well as in continental Europe too. It seemed like the natural next step to stage a whole festival.
Highlights from the past five festivals and sister projects have included Susan Calman (Dead Boss / The News Quiz), Roisin Conaty (Game Face), Jo Neary (Miranda / Ideal), Zoe Lyons (Mock The Week), Jo Enright (The Job Lot / Pheonix Nights), Janey Godley, The Birthday Girls, Ava Vidal, Jo Brand, Jenny Eclair, Luisa Omelian, Gina Yashere, Sarah Millican, Shappi Khorshandi, Angela Barnes Shazia Mirza, Tanya Lee Davies, Aisling Bea