A comedy festival that highlights the diverse talents currently in the industry


“Every year when the weather starts getting chillier and the leaves start changing, New York seems to host nonstop festivals — but few can claim the same level of diversity and inclusivity as Cinder Block Comedy Festival.” -amNY

“Cinder Block Comedy Festival Brings Janeane Garofalo and a ‘Rainbow’ of Comics to BK” -Bedford + Bowery

“How does one woman go from doing stand up as way to combat fear to running New York’s most diverse comedy festival for a second year? Hard work, receiving death threats and a great sense of humour, explains comedian Coree Spencer.” -Bust Magazine

“Laugh to keep from crying at What a Joke!” -Brokelyn

“Learn a lot of bizarre things at the Educated Guess Science Fair, the kickoff for this year’s Cinderblock Comedy Festival, featuring 40+ science projects made by comedians, plus stand-up, performances, and music.” -Brokelyn

“The new show on the block is back! A comedy festival dedicated to promoting minority voices will return bigger and better than ever next week. The second Cinderblock Comedy Festival, happening Sept. 7–10, has added more comics, more venues, and a whole new neighborhood to its lineup, said its founder.” -Brooklyn Paper

“This weekend and next, Brooklyn will have two big comedy festivals that you might want to check out (there are some great LA comics paying a visit as well!).” -The Comedy Bureau

“SEPTEMBER 7th through the 10th The Meatball Shop presents another run of shows committed to showcasing a diverse lineup of tasty talent. This year Cinder Block boats 80 shows and 18 venues at comfortable prices.” -Comedy Cake

“The Cinder Block Comedy Festival is back for another year. The 2017 event, taking place in Brooklyn, NY on Sept. 7-10, boasts an eclectic lineup of comedians topped by veteran stand-up comic and multi-talented actress Janeane Garofalo.” -Eponymous Review

“Spanning 18 venues in Williamsburg and Bushwick, the Cinder Block Comedy Festival takes up a lot of more real estate than the name implies. Its title also belies its enormity, with over 80 shows in four days, plus the caliber of its talent, with names like Janeane Garofalo, Judy Gold and Jo Firestone. Known for its progressivism, this year’s fest highlights abortion at Speakout Laughout (Sept. 10) and new females in the biz at the Gold Comedy Showcase (Sept. 9).” -Metro New York

“School will soon be back in session, and while for some that means jostling with more N.Y.U. students than usual for a slice of dollar pizza, for others it signifies more scholarly things, like pop quizzes and group presentations. This year the Cinder Block Comedy Festival will get started with a night of science projects created by the performers, stand-up comedy and a dance party.” -The New York Times

“Join Coree, and a ton of other comics, including Janeane Garofalo do standup. Watch hilarious acts including Nerd Rage:The Great Debate where a panel of comics will debate some of the biggest and hottest topics in Geekdom today.” -Pop Culture Beast

“The second annual event takes place September 7-10, with 130 performers yukking it up in 80 shows in 19 venues in Williamsburg and Bushwick, with most tickets going for five bucks. The headliners are Janeane Garofalo, Jeffrey Joseph, Judy Gold, and Nikki Carr, with Aida Rodriguez, Amy Miller, Carole Montgomery, Jo Firestone, and Shalewa Sharpe the featured comedians. Below are only some of the highlights of the four-day festival, which includes sketch comedy, stand-up, panels, workshops, benefits, tributes, and even onstage therapists.” -This Week in New York

“One of Brooklyn’s biggest comedy festivals returns to tickle Williamsburg and Bushwick’s collective funny bone… Why You Should Go: We could all use a laugh, and this Brooklyn-based jokeapalooza promises to get you giggling.” -What Should We Do?

“Running the gamut from heartbreaking to hysterical, Speakout Laughout is ultimately an uplifting and humanizing collection of personal tales about a topic that we should all be much more comfortable talking about.” -The Reviews Hub

“When I first scanned the list of shows and performers at the Cinder Block Comedy Festival I thought it was a women’s festival. Then I thought maybe it had an LGBTQ slant … or diversity in general? Why does this weekend of laughs include such a unique lineup?

After chatting with many incredibly hip and very friendly festival volunteers I learned that Cinder Block is simply … a comedy festival. What sets them apart is that the coordinators do an incredible job of including comedians and acts from a range of age, race, sexuality, and gender experiences. In the comedy world, having this level of inclusion is somewhat rare. ” -Curve Magazine

“There are plenty of comedy festivals these days, but the inaugural Cinder Block Comedy Festival has already differentiated itself by specifically seeking to diversify the lineup beyond the white men who tend to dominate the comedy scene.”

– Afar

“Next month, Williamsburg will be treated to stand-up shows from a hilarious collection of comedians when the inaugural Cinder Block Comedy Festival takes over the New York neighborhood.”


“Spencer organized the festival on her terms in order to challenge the ongoing status quo in the comedy world.”

– Bedford + Bowery

“There are plenty of reputable comedy festivals out there, but a scant few that can boast a progressive political agenda alongside the laughs. The inaugural Cinder Block Comedy Festival, which kicks off tomorrow in Williamsburg and runs through this weekend, was explicit throughout its submission process about prioritizing comedians who didn’t fall into the SWM category. As a result, the roster features an excitingly diverse array of performers — not only in gender, race and sexual orientation, but also in style. There’s sketch, standup, improv, musical comedy and everything in between.”

– Brokelyn

“This fest is sending a concrete message.”

– Brooklyn Paper

“It has garnered attention for its unorthodox approach to submissions: it utilized “wage-gap pricing,” in which performers who were not straight, white, and male received a discount for registering. Their tactic, though controversial, seems to have worked: the festival is filled with three full days of comics culled from diverse backgrounds… The festival really takes advantage of the Williamsburg locale, showing there are still fringe-y parts of the neighborhood that now has a Whole Foods and an Apple Store, and displaying Brooklyn comedy as it comes into its own.”

– Brooklyn Vegan

“Thanks to festival director Coree Spencer, a new festival is coming to the ever-burgeoning comedy that’s just happening in Brooklyn (there’s already a few comedy festivals that regularly happen in Brooklyn alone) within the already giant NYC comedy scene.”

– The Comedy Bureau

“This is going to be one amazing comedy festival!”

– Comedy Cake

“Get your comedy with a dose of diversity this fall.”

– DNAinfo

“Not sure how you’ll smile again once it’s (the Brooklyn Comedy Festival) over? The answer to maintaining happiness lies in The Cinder Block Comedy Festival”

– The Huffington Post

“In a move to diversify the world of comedy, this festival initially only accepted submissions from women and LGBTQ and non-white applicants. The result is four days of over 150 talented performers doing sketch, improv, musical comedy, and stand-up spanning all subject matter and perspectives.”

– New York Mag

“When this Williamsburg-based festival was announced earlier this year, it made headlines for charging female, minority and gay performers less to apply for the festival in an effort to diversify their lineup — with great success.”

– New York Times

“This new comedy showcase seeks to correct the gender and racial imbalances of the industry by offering more spaces to diverse performers who happen to be excellent.”

– Time Out NY

“What makes this comedy festival stand out over others is that the organizers are deeply committed to providing a truly diverse array of performers, rather than just checking a “token minority” off of a list… The roundup of festival performers is quite impressive, and the 12 participating venues stretch from the Williamsburg Bridge up to McCarren Park.”

– Viewing NYC

“The Festival grabbed headlines when it announced that their submission process would have ‘wage gap’ pricing: female, gender nonconforming, queer, and trans performers and comics of color would pay 77% of the fee required for applications from straight white male comics. It was a pointed commentary on the homogeneity of comedy and a signal to performers that this festival would take a different approach. Unsurprisingly, it did not go over well with some corners of the internet, but large parts of the comedy world (and beyond) embraced the organizers’ radically tongue-in-cheek approach.”

– The Village Voice


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