Redmond welcomed waves of laughter over the weekend at Central Oregon Comedy Scene’s first ever festival.
The three-day event saw more than 30 comics take various stages at General Duffy’s Water Hole.
“Post-COVID, when shows were able to start coming out again, we wanted everybody to be able to come together, and it aligns with General Duffy’s ideas, so we were able to make it happen,” said John Reoch, co-owner of Central Oregon Comedy Scene.
A few hundred people had already showed up for shows by Sunday afternoon, with more to come in the evening, including headliner Eliot Chang who has two Comedy Central specials.
Comics came from up and down the west coast, from San Diego to Washington state, and even more from Central Oregon itself.
“This festival kind of came from an idea of wanting to have comics that are here in Central Oregon be able to network with other people, and every other major city has a comedy festival to be able to let comics be able to do that,” said Daniel Hoffman, the other co-partner for Central Oregon Comedy Scene. “With the pandemic ending and over two years of being all sad and depressed, we’re able to come out and just start laughing together as a community, and being able to meet friends and gather around each other.”
Central Oregon Comedy Scene began around eight years ago, and the previous owner sold it to the duo.
To get sponsors for the festival, Hoffman made cold calls to businesses for around 7-10 hours a day for a two-week period, eventually landing sponsorships from KPOV radio station and Desert Sky Real Estate.
“We’re also doing this comedy festival here at General Duffy’s because we have multiple platforms, and people are able to come and eat,” he added. “They even have over seven different types of food trucks.”
Reoch said that people have come up to him on the street to thank him for the festival.
“Laughter is the best medicine, so we hope to provide them plenty of that,” he said.
“I hope someone makes a friend,” Hoffman added. “Being able to get together and say hey, we both laughed at that joke or hey, we both liked that comedian…to feel like they’re able to laugh and make jokes and feel comfortable about that.”
He said he hopes the festival will continue to grow over the coming years and envisions it spreading throughout the whole city of Redmond.
For more information about the festival, visit the event on the Central Oregon Comedy Scene Facebook page.