Queenstown – you’ll Dai laughing

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The country’s top comedians return en masse to Queenstown this year for the New Zealand Comedy Gala. 

Brendhan Lovegrove, Paul Ego, Dai Henwood, Urzila Carlson, Ewen Gilmour and Jeremy Corbett are all booked for the mega laugh-in as part of Queenstown’s Winter Festival. 

Festival bosses have decided not to repeat last year’s live recording of topical panel show 7 Days to allow more flexibility in scheduling and choice of comedians. 

But many of the comics who appear on the hit show will instead deliver their own polished stand-up routines. 

Northern-based Henwood, who often jokes that Queenstown is his favourite Auckland suburb, says: “I love coming to Queenstown because I love the snow. 

“However I have never seen it … a good restaurant and a cocktail always gets in the way.” 

Ticket sales for various events across the 10-day June festival go on sale this coming Monday. 

Winter Festival manager Lisa Buckingham says: “The comedy shows are usually among the first to sell out. 

“I know festival-goers are in for a night of great comedy so it’s definitely not a show to be missed.” 

No stranger to the festival, 7 Days host Jeremy Corbett is looking forward to returning this year. 

“It makes my Auckland friends very jealous, and the cold weather forces people indoors to watch our comedy. I love a captive audience.” 

Tickets for the gala – at Queenstown Memorial Hall on Tuesday, June 25 – cost $69. The event is R18. 

The festival, now in its 39th year, takes place between June 21 and June 30 and is expected to attract about 
45,000 attendees. 

Other festival highlights include Mountain Scene’s Thriller in the Chiller on Saturday, June 29, which will see first-time boxers battle it out at Queenstown Events Centre for charity. Tickets start from $59. 

The glitz and glam of the festival ball returns this year after skipping 2012. Tickets for the SkyCity Casino Royale Ball, held on Saturday, June 22, at the Queenstown Memorial Centre, are priced $149. 

The full festival programme will be published next week.