A Weekend of Stand-Up Comedy in the heart of Wales

About Machynlleth Comedy Festival

“A welcome break from the norm... it boasts the kind of top-quality lineup that's beyond many of its rivals.”
The Guardian

“A small but perfectly formed antidote to some of the more sprawling comedy festivals”
The Independent

When we first talked about starting Machynlleth Comedy Festival above of all we wanted to create somewhere where people came to have fun, and get away from it all, whether this be the attendees, the comedians or the festival team. It was all about taking a different approach with an aim of creating a spirit of experimentation and intimacy. We’re passionate about the thrill of seeing live comedy in intimate places, and the glorious, picturesque and enchanting town of Machynlleth gave us a wealth of interesting and unique performance spaces in which to do this.

Most of all we want people to laugh, have a great time and find a warm welcome in the heart of Wales.

If you want to contact the festival you can do so on hello@machcomedyfest.co.uk

If you have a press enquiry please contact andy@writegood.co.uk

Our Supporters

Now in our seventh year the event continues to grow in size, reputation and reach. With comedy fans travelling from across Europe and even the US we can claim to be well and truly on the map this year. And whilst the event continues to increase in size and scope, we work hard to maintain the core values that it was built around; comedians and comedy lovers having as much fun as possible in a creative, relaxed and experimental environment.

The fact that we have the freedom to do what we do is largely down to our supporters, without whom the event would be very different. Their backing of the event and belief in what Machynlleth Comedy Festival represents is absolutely key to creating what we believe is a pretty special event in the Festival calendar.

The Welsh Government 

The Welsh Government’s Major Events Unit (MEU) continues to support the Machynlleth Comedy Festival allowing us to manage the growth of the event. Machynlleth Comedy Festival would like to thank the Welsh Government for continuing to support the development of a major live comedy event in Wales.

Arriva Trains Wales and the Cambrian Rail Partnership

We’re proud to be working in partnership with Arriva Trains Wales and the Cambrian Rail Partnership to deliver an event in the heart of Wales. With so many of you arriving into the town by train we’re especially pleased to announce this new partnership.

Welsh Lamb

Recognised all over the world for its quality and synonymous with the uniquely beautiful landscape of Wales, we are delighted to welcome Welsh Lamb to the festival this year.

Chang Beer

As an internationally renowned brand with an impressive partnership portfolio, we are delighted to have Chang Beer on board as our official festival lager.

Powys County Council

Powys County Council’s tourism department have directly supported the event since 2013 and we would like to thank Powys County Council for their continued support.

Salop Leisure

We’re delighted that Salop Leisure are continuing their sponsorship of the campsite for a second year. Their Machynlleth based showroom is directly adjacent to the Festival Campsite, and is the perfect place to top up on camping supplies.


Machynlleth Comedy Festival is proud to be working with BBC Radio for the fifth successive year. With coverage of the event being broadcast on BBC Radio 4 for the first time, alongside the usual coverage on BBC 4 Extra and BBC Radio Wales.

Waen Brewery

It’s been a pleasure to work with The Waen Brewery since year one, and watch as both have grown. Built on a basis of shared values and good humour, the relationship means we’ll be sharing a post festival drink for many years to come.

Food and Drink

Festival food stalls

 As ever, we're excited to bring an array of top quality food traders to the Plas and Owain Glyndwr to keep you fuelled up from morning til night.

We'll be welcoming back some festival favourites as well as some new stalls for 2016.

Full details coming Spring 2016...


Festival Bars

We have two real ale bars located on site. You’ll find the Beech Bar (including our whopping great Festiv-ale) on the lawns of Y Plas and our new bar on the lawn at Owain Glyndwr which features a dedicated cider festival and cocktail bar.


Explore the town

The town of Machynlleth has many fine pubs, restaurants, cafes and takeaways. Pick up an information sheet at box office and start exploring what the beautiful town has to offer.




Yesss! It's the music line-up. We genuinely love picking our favourite bands to play in the Big Top on the lawns of Y Plas each year. And guess what, it's all still completely free.

In 2017 we welcome back old friends, many with new albums on the way. From our own fair shores Sweet Baboo, Tender PreyY Niwl and Climbing Trees all return to the tent after periods of absence. MachFest mainstays The Spook School are back for the third year running (we've decided to make them an institution because we love them so). Same goes for Gavin Osborn. When he told us he didn't have a show to do this year, we told him to play the music tent instead. He happily agreed. And finally making their MachFest debuts, which we're rather excited about, are Powys' very own Farm Hand, West London's Colour Me Wednesday, and Minneapolis via Edinburgh's Faith Elliot!

We are pleased about this.

Mary Bijou Cabaret


Our friends and festival favourites Mary Bijou Cabaret and Social Club will present another spectacle from their international cavalcade of talent - all for free on Friday night in the Big Top.

More details coming soon.

Children's Programme

We're thrilled to announce the Children's programme for 2017!

Saturday – 10:45 - A Pirate’s Life for Me

Calling all adventuresome land lubbers - come join the good ship Vagabondi with their popular family show A Pirates Life for Me.

Saturday – 12:30 - James Acaster Babysits

James Acaster gets the audience to write and perform a play and the audience are kids.

Saturday  - 14:15 - Michael Loader – Glorious Greeks

Outwit greedy Monsters, escape the savage Cyclops, survive the sweet-singing Siren Sisters and overcome a sucking and spewing Whirlpool.

Sunday – 11:15 - Phil Kay – Gimme Your Left Show

Every kid gives Phil their left shoe then does a skit to get it back. A show of shoe-shows within a show.

Sunday – 12:30 - Gaz Smith – The Music of Sound

From making instruments with straws to sending sounds with lasers, you’ll be amazed at what you will discover. Come on Machynlleth – LET’S MAKE SOME NOISE!

Sunday – 14:15 - Paddle Boat Theatre Company – According to Arthur

PaddleBoat Theatre Company invite you to bring your unbounded imagination as together we try to help Arthur find the Moon. With your help, who knows what else he might discover outside his front door…

All shows are £4 per ticket of a family ticket for 4 for £12.

Keep your eyes peeled for news of our craft tent and children's workshops.

Portrait Drawing with Carl Chapple and Selected Models/Comedians

This festival favourite returns for 2017. Details on where, when and how to buy tickets are coming soon.

About the tutor: Wales based artist Carl Chapple has many years experience and has had exhibitions of his work displayed across the UK, including a solo exhibition at MoMa in Machynlleth in 2007 and 2014.

About the models: Up to 4 comedians will sit for you to draw their portraits. 

The class will be tailored to all levels of ability and experience and all materials will be provided.

Cream teas will be served at elevenses.

Work from the class will be displayed in a festival exhibition.

This is an over-14 event

Festival Super Camping


***Campsite open from 12pm on Friday 28th April.***


Our very own spacious festival campsite behind the Bowling Club is back. The site is located just a few minutes walk away from all our glorious festival venues in the perfect central location in the middle of town.

Complete with all the luxuries you would expect (including hot showers, flushing toilets, complimentary phone and tablet charging and an all new for 2017 morning coffee stall), you can once again stay in comfort at the heart of the festival without breaking the bank.

Facilities include:

24 hour manned site 

Private hot shower cubicles

Posh flushing toilets

Drinking water

Complimentary phone/tablet charging facilities

Free on-site parking

Waste/recycling points

Central location just a few minutes from every venue

Freshly brewed morning coffee available from Cuti Coffee

Great vibes


All this for the bargain price of £30 per adult for all 3 nights! No restriction on the size of tent, it's still only £30.

Under 18s are also welcome on the site (accompanied by a responsible adult) at a discounted price of £15. Under 5s are free.




Campervans, Caravans and Trailer Tents

If you've got a live-in vehicle you want to bring, that costs just £65 per vehicle and includes 2 campsite wristbands (additional wristbands can be purchased at £30 pp). Pitches also include space for an awning/gazebo - you make yourselves comfortable!




Need even more luxury in your festival weekend? Fred’s Yurts are the answer!

His collection of classic bell tents, yurts and large canvas family tents come in a range of shapes and sizes, all set up ready and waiting for you to arrive on site.

Have a look through the fantastic list of optional extras including bed frames & mattresses, duvets, cushions, heaters, kettle & gas hob tea stations, wood burners and more!

Click here for the full list of options and prices.

Get in touch with Fred's yurts by email - info@yurtevents.co.uk or call 07974 139 078 


Cuti Coffee

Cuti coffee .This delicious coffee is grown under the shade of rainforest canopy by an association of Ashaninka coffee growers in the Ene Valley Peru. They also grow Cacao, which is used in Forever Cacao's award winning Raw Chocolate . This community has been growing and selling coffee and cacao as part of an avoided deforestation project, started in 2004 by Ecotribal .Both are products are processed in Wales


Fancy Camping


Book yourself a luxury yurt or classic bell tent and have a home from home awaiting your arrival at the festival.

Fred’s yurts return for their 5th year bringing their pre-pitched village to the Comedy Festival, nestled in their own corner of the campsite with parking and facilities close by.

Arrive, check in at the reception tent and enjoy 3 nights under canvas.

The campsite is located just a short walk from all of the festival venues (just behind the co-op supermarket). There is 24hr security, flushing event toilets and hot showers provided

New for 2017 there will be a cafe serving hot drinks, festoon lights in the boutique camping area, somewhere to charge your phone and luxury compost toilets located behind the luxury camping

With accommodation from as little as £62 + vat per person for the whole weekend, check out what Fred’s Yurts have to offer HERE



£50 discount for all festival staff and artists


Here we are! Me drinking a three ginger tea, Trump tweeting something harrowing and you looking through the listings of a comedy festival in Mid Wales. How we all ended up here involved a series of incremental decisions, non-decisions (is that a word?) and probably some Grade A procrastination. It is these incremental moments that binds this year's theatre programme through stories of war, disney towns, fake news and pens.

Sort of. Stick with me.

In History History History, mega award winner and theatre hero Deborah Pearson brings us a documentary, performed live alongside a Hungarian comedy film about football. It's a magnetic and poignant performance that makes for an extraordinary show rooted in the past and utterly relevant today. Everyone should see it.

Even people from Celebration, Florida – a town designed by Disney and introduced to us by two un-rehearsed performers wearing headphones who meet for the first time on stage.

A beguiling new show from Greg Wohead about what happens when we miss a person, place or time.

“It burns slow and sure, leaving both sadness and hope hanging fog-like in the room.” The Stage

John Osborne is a writer of non-fiction books, a tv show and good old Radio 4 and sold out his Mach debut with John Peel's Shed a few years ago. In this new show Osborne has found a series of clues in a pile of Radio Times magazines – each day timetabled with deliberate red circles. See it here first – toot toot.

Good Grief was named one of New York Times' four highlights of the Edinburgh Fringe. Four highlights seems a strange number of highlights, but don't focus on that. Focus on the fact that Jack Rooke and his 85 year old Nan Sicely (great name) invite you to the happiest town in Britain to explore death and lasagne.

“Rooke is a delight to spend an hour with, cheerily but sensitively tackling the most painful of subjects and finding hope in them.” The Scotsman.

Catriona James is an actor, a lover of true stories, a physical performer and a depressive. Sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes funny and always engaging Worse Things Happen combines all of those elements and does what all good theatre should do – it makes us look again.

1 billion pairs of running shoes were bought last year. Nicola Burgess has two of those. Runner, theatre maker and Machynlleth resident Nicola explores in this new show how running sneaks into our lives and what is means to people all over the world.

Finally after all this plundering into what makes us human – come and have a go at a musical coconut shy made of massive balloons. Composer Timothy Tate and artist Jay Harrison met at last year's Machynlleth Comedy festival over an electromechanical lithophone (great words) and went on to make a giant balloon based interactive musical instrument (great idea) and now you can wang balls at it (great vibes). It's a genuine delight.

Tea drunk. Harrowing tweet sent. Trainers on.

See you at the clock.

Lisa Jones - MCF Theatre Manager