NICE CROWD, in partnership with Events DC, is thrilled to announce the return of the Because They’re Funny (BTF) Comedy Festival, a three-day event dedicated to amplifying BIPOC comedic talent. Following its acclaimed debut in 2023, which USA Today named One of the Top 10 New Events of The Year, BTF is back for its second annual installment from September 27-29, 2024, across The Wharf’s venues with performances and events at The Anthem, Pearl Street Warehouse and more.

A spinoff of the American Black Film Festival, BTF aims to propel a new generation of stand-up comedians to stardom and showcase content in the comedy genre that features people of color. In 2023, the BTF festival garnered a tremendous response, drawing more than 5,200 attendees and 1,000 submissions for the showpiece “Breakout Comedian of the Year” competition. Last year’s winner, Alfred Kainga, was signed by Innovative Arts talent agency and is currently on a national tour. The event also included notable talent such as Tommy Davidson, Yvonne Orji, DC Young Fly, Donnell Rawlings and Nicole Byer.

“After witnessing the tremendous success of last year’s festival, we’re inspired to adopt a more community-centric approach,” said Jeff Friday, Founder of NICE CROWD and visionary behind BTF. “We are excited to continue our relationship with Events DC and honored to enrich this year’s festival with a local charitable aspect deepening our engagement with the community that surrounds and uplifts us.”

“I am absolutely thrilled to welcome the Because They’re Funny Comedy Festival back home to

Washington, D.C., the best city in the world for entertainment, culture, and more,” said Events DC

President and CEO Angie M. Gates. “The inaugural festival was a tremendous success and became one

of the top 10 new festivals of 2023. This year, I am excited to build upon that success and showcase the

best comedic talent within the BIPOC community to residents and visitors from across the country.”

New this year, the 2024 festival kicks off with the “Comedy Cares for DC” event, a VIP showcase and charity roast. This event underscores BTF’s mission to deploy comedy as a force for good.

Over three days, BTF will showcase a dynamic array of talent with headline acts, rising standup comedy stars, master classes, lively panels, networking opportunities and BTF’s flagship “Breakout Comedian of the Year” competition, offering a life-changing $10,000 grand prize and the opportunity for the winner to secure representation by a top Hollywood talent agency.

The call for submissions is now open to comedians across the nation and passes are available for purchase beginning April 15, 2024. Headliners and comedy lineup to be announced early this summer.

2024 BTF partners and sponsors to date are the presenting partner Events DC, and programming partners DC Improv and LAFF MOBB.

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