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Entry Requirements

The competition is open to all types of comedy performer - as well as stand-up comedians performers we welcome entries from sketch comedy groups, musical comedy, double acts, comedy cabaret performers and so on.

Any act may enter unless:

(a) An act has already appeared in the Final of a Previous Laughing Horse New Act of the Year Competition. Previous entrants may re-enter again if they progressed no further than the semi-finals - If in doubt ask us!

(b) An act has been paid by the Laughing Horse For a stand-up comedy performance. This does not include travel expenses which many new acts are paid to some out of London gigs  if you want to enter and are in doubt ask us!

(c) An act is considered by Laughing Horse Comedy not to be a new act. Again, if unsure and you want to enter, please ask us. Single acts who were once double-acts, comedians that where once part of sketch groups, acts with a new character that will be their primary act and so on may be included at our discretion, if we agree that what you are doing is 'a new act'.

All acts who enter must be able to travel to one the semi finals, and the Final.

We will endeavour to fit you in to a semi final that is convenient for you, however this is not always possible, so you are advised to keep all of the semi-final and the final dates available - if there are any rounds you cannot make please do not enter and take up the space of somebody who can, e.g: If you are going on holiday when the final is on, don't enter!

Whilst every attempt will be made to fit you into a heat or semi-final that is easiest for you to travel to, this may not always be possible. Early entry is advisable if you need to get to a specific heat.

Competition Rules

1. Acts must perform their own, original, material.

2. Acts must stick to the allotted time for each round.

(a) Heats acts will perform 4-5 minutes each, but should aim to perform 4 minutes. Due to the high chances of acts not turning up a larger number of acts will be booked than is needed - acts will be informed on the night of they can perform for longer than 4 minutes should time permit, basically aim for 4 minutes.

(b) For the semi-Finals the acts can perform a maximum 5 minute set.

(c) In the Final, the acts can perform a maximum 6 minute set.

Please note that Failure to adhere to competition rule 1 or 2 will result in either points being deducted from audience voting or elimination from the competition. Laughing Horse Promoters will decide what action to take in each separate case, and will take any action that they see fit, either on the night of the performance or afterwards.

3. Acts must be available to perform in a Semi-Final as selected by Laughing Horse Promoters, and the Final. All Dates are published on the right side of this page - please ensure you keep dates available to perform in later rounds and not drop out due to date clashes, and therefore taking up the place of someone not able to enter when the competition fills up.

In all cases the Laughing Horse Promoters reserve the right to make any decision they deem necessary, and each case will be judged on its own merits. Any decision the Laughing Horse promoters make is final.

Competition Format

1. Overall Information:

In all rounds the winners and runners-up will be announced at the end of the show, if a performer cannot stay until the end of the evening they should ensure that the laughing Horse Promoters have their contact details to inform them of progression to the next round. If an act is uncontactable then we reserve the right to replace that act with another act.

At all stages of this competition the Laughing Horse Promoters decisions are final. Laughing Horse Comedy reserve the right to make any decisions or changes that we see fit regarding this competition, at any time.

2: Judging

Judging at heats is carried out by audience voting,  with judging also from Laughing Horse Promoters.

In the Semi-finals there will be judging by audience members, alongside a panel of comedy industry judges. These will include comedy bookers, managers and agents, Laughing Horse promoters and other invited members of the comedy industry. 

The Final is judges by a panel of comedy industry judges, with a mixture of reviewers, bookers, agents and professional comedians. 

All audience voting is overseen by Laughing Horse promoters to ensure fairness, and make decisions on additional qualifiers should this be necessary.

3: Heats

(a) The Winner and one runner-up act will qualify at each heat. All of the acts will qualify for the semi-finals by audience voting.

(b) Additional qualifiers from heats may be decided by The Laughing Horse Promoters during the course of the first round, if further acts warrant being put through to the semi finals stage

4. The Semi Finals

(a) The Winner of each of the six semi-finals will qualify for the final by a mixture of audience voting and voting from Laughing Horse Promoters and comedy industry professionals.

(b) The remaining seven Final places will be decided by Laughing Horse Promoters and comedy Industry judges from the best runners-up from each of the semi-finals, to make up the 12 or 13 acts who will perform in the final, using average scores across all semi-finals and judges who attend each of the semi-finals. Depending on the strength of individual semi-finals and semi-finalists this may mean more going through from one semi-final and less from others.

5. The Final

(a) The Winner, runner-up and third place acts will be announced on the night, along with any acts the judges decide to give an honourable mention.

(b) The Winner, runner-up and third place acts will be decided by a panel of Judges that will include a selection of Comedy Industry professionals, promoters and acts - These judges will be announced before the final.

If you have any questions, please contact us on competition@laughinghorse.co.uk


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