This will be the second year of the prize. The only official award given by Glasgow International Comedy Festival, 2024's winner will be announced at the Comedy Gala on Saturday 30th March at King's Theatre. Any individual, show, group or collective performing at the festival now has one month to submit their application with deadlines closing 5pm on 15th January 2024.
2023's winner, Janey Godley, was chosen by Sir Billy Connolly and announced at last year's Gala prizegiving. 2024's award will see an independent panel of judges choose a shortlist from all applications, based on who most personifies the Spirit of Glasgow. The judging panel will make a recommendation to Sir Billy Connolly who will ultimately decide the winner of the award in his name, with the winner receiving a physical trophy with one of Sir Billy Connolly's famous drawings engraved on it.
The award aims to celebrate the city and its Glaswegian warmth, resilience and humour which is renowned around the world. The award examines criteria which both Glasgow and Sir Billy Connolly represent including:
1. Resilience - warm but tough
2. Open - accessible for all
3. Unapologetic - proud and unpretentious; curious and challenging; mould-breaking
4. Gallus - bold and brave; self-starting
5. Funny - above all else, an ability to make people laugh
Registered participants of the 2024 festival can apply online at www.glasgowcomedyfestival.com. The award recognises a person, not a show, meaning any GICF performers, venue staff, promoters or anyone otherwise involved in this year's festival can apply. Applicants do not have to be from Glasgow or live in Glasgow, but instead must embody the Spirit of Glasgow as defined by the award criteria. With over 360 shows registered for this year's festival so far and 36 venues, the organisers point out "there is a huge array of talent eligible for the award".
GICF Festival Director Krista MacDonald says: "Comedy is a significant part of Glasgow's rich cultural identity. From everyday conversations to the comedy superstars the city produces and embraces, comedy lets us celebrate, connect, and find joy even at the bleakest of times. In many ways the characteristics of the best comedy are also the characteristics of the spirit of the city. Being funny, of course, but also to be self-starting, mould-breaking, bold and brave, curious and challenging, warm but tough, proud but unpretentious and open to all.
"Sir Billy Connolly - the best of comedy and the best of Glasgow - has all of these in spades. With the presentation of the Sir Billy Connolly Award Spirit of Glasgow Award, GICF celebrates those participating in the festival who most display these characteristics. This could be a performer, promoter or venue staff; a life-long Glaswegian or a flying visitor; a festival first-timer or an old hand involved for the last two decades."
The Glasgow International Comedy Festival takes place from 13th - 31st March 2024.