It probably comes as no surprise at this point, but one of the biggest international comedy festivals has now been postponed due to the coronavirus. In a press release, Montreal’s Just for Laughs comedy festival announced today that it’s decided to postpone this year’s event. The festival was originally slated to take place in July but will now run from September 29 to October 11. “We are energized by the ability of our teams to adapt to current conditions and present a festival redesigned in its form and content as early as the fall,” Charles Décarie, president and CEO of the Just for Laughs Group, said in the release. “The teams in place at Just for Laughs worked hard to achieve this feat and look forward to offering Quebecers, and our international visitors the very best in comedy this fall. I would like to add that in doing so, they are also working to ensure that their colleagues return to the company as quickly as possible.”
JFL isn’t the only comedy festival to be affected by the pandemic. Earlier this week, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe announced that this year’s event, which was slated to begin in August, had been canceled. “Today’s decision that the Fringe will not go ahead as planned was not taken lightly. We have spent the past month listening to a broad cross-section of Fringe participants, as well as to government, healthcare professionals, residents and many more; however, in light of present circumstances it was unavoidable. Public health must and always will come first,” Fringe chief executive Shona McCarthy said in a statement. “Whilst the Fringe and its sister festivals may not be able to provide a stage in the same way as before this summer, we are committed to working with artists and creatives from Edinburgh, Scotland and across the world to find new ways of uniting people under a Fringe umbrella. It’s too early to say what this will look like, but we are confident that as a collective we can find a way to reach through the walls that currently surround us and inspire, cheer and connect.”
The news comes just a little over two weeks after Netflix announced that its first-ever comedy festival, the Netflix Is a Joke Fest, would also be postponed. Netflix has not yet announced new dates for the event, which was originally set to begin on April 27 in Los Angeles.
You can keep up with our full list of coronavirus-related cancellations here.