And now it’s official. Montreal’s Just For Laughs won’t convene in person this summer, or this fall, or at all in 2020.
Instead, JFL is going virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Details to come, but an online edition of showcases, panels and more now will happen Oct. 9-10, 2020.
From the press release just issued:
“With no precise indication of when borders will reopen, and faced with soaring demand for high-quality digital comedy content, we’ve made the decision to move our festival online, while always maintaining our focus on the excellence of our offerings – an excellence that is recognized and appreciated throughout the world,” says Bruce Hills, President for Just For Laughs.
“More than ever, we want to maintain our position as an industry leader by creating innovative comedy events that allow our artists to work and to make the highest-quality comedy available to the public,” says Charles Décarie, President and CEO of the Just For Laughs Group. “Despite all the changes our industry has been going through, the most important thing for us is to satisfy our festival-goers. We’re sparing no effort to present the best festival possible, while respecting the health measures that are in force.”
For the French-speaking Quebec…there will be some sort of hybrid festival that goes on Sept. 29 to Oct. 10 for Juste Pour Rire? If Quebec health guidelines permit anything live and in person, they’ll host shows accordingly. Anything else would go online.
“After presenting the HAHAHA digital festival back in May, we really listened to all the feedback we received from our fans, and we are confident we will present a hybrid festival that will go even further toward pleasing the public and satisfying expectations,” says Patrick Rozon, Vice President of Juste pour rire.
“Assuming the new health measures are maintained, we’re thrilled to be able to offer a part of our festival before a live Montreal audience. Above all, it was very important to us to continue to present a portion of the festival that was free of charge, as we’ve been doing for 38 years!” notes Charles Décarie, President and CEO of the Just for Laughs Group. “We are so pleased to be giving comedy lovers around the world free access to the online portion of both of our festivals. We believe that in doing so, we’re making sure that the best comedy from Quebec and around the world remains accessible to everyone, and continues to widen its popular appeal.”