With the viability of the Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2023 still in doubt, an alternative set of awards titled The (ISH) Edinburgh Comedy Awards are to be launched this year.
Run by a collective, the new awards launch in the wake of May's revelation that the long-running Edinburgh Comedy Awards may not go ahead this year, unless a new sponsor or sponsors can be secured.
The organisers of the new set of awards say: "We LOVE the Edinburgh Comedy Awards. We grew up with the excitement of the whole month, the nominees, the winners. We didn't want to let that go this year when the Edinburgh Comedy Awards lost their sponsorship. We hope they get another sponsor but to make sure an Awards goes ahead this year we are today announcing the (ISH) Edinburgh Comedy Awards. It's the Edinburgh Comedy Awards...ish! ISH also stands for Insert Sponsor Here and once we get a sponsor their name will be on the Awards!
"We are a collective of people that love the Edinburgh Fringe and were going to be there anyway, so we worked out a way to run the awards on a voluntary basis this year. All comedy shows that are there for pretty much a full run will be eligible (not compilation shows) and shows will be long-listed before the 14th August before being seen again by as many of the judging panel as possible before a list of nominees is announced on Monday August 21st and the winners announced at the awards ceremony on Saturday August 26th 10.30am at The Three Sisters."
They add: "There will be the same three awards that everyone has got used to - Best Show, Best Newcomer and Panel Prize and assuming we get the sponsorship the prizes will be £10k for Best Show and £5k for Best Newcomer and Panel Prize. If we don't get a sponsor, well the prestige will be priceless! How are we judging the awards? - quite simply if a show makes the judge and audience laugh lots then you're in with a great shot.
"Want to sponsor the awards ? - please go to edinburghcomedyawards.com/sponsor and contact us!"
The awards panel is being co-ordinated by comedy producer and comedian Sarah Bowles, who runs Laughs at the Louis comedy nights in Dover, is a producer on The Rat Pack stand-up comedy shows, and was a finalist in this year's Silver Stand Up Competition at the Leicester Comedy Festival, whose awards are "a big inspiration for the way these will be run".
Sarah Bowles says: "We love the Edinburgh Comedy Awards and it's been great to see so many people already getting on board to make sure they happen this year. I'm sure there will be questions and most will be answered on the website. But rest assured, we are going to do our best to see every eligible show - if you are asked for a comp for your show by the judging panel please help us out!
"We will be doing everything we can to make these awards as good and fair as possible, it's about complete inclusivity and supporting the comedy community. If we miss something, or we don't get it quite right, please be kind as we are all volunteers doing this for free and know we just have the best intentions of having an Edinburgh Comedy Award this year. We love the awards, but of course it's not the main thing about the Festival is it, and you know whether your show is great, you don't need us to tell you!"
To find out more about the awards, or to apply to be a judge, visit edinburghcomedyawards.com