Applications open for Billy Connolly Spirit of Glasgow award

Glasgow International Comedy Festival (GICF) has today opened applications for its legendary Billy Connolly Spirit of Glasgow Award with acts in 2024’s festival encouraged to submit an application now
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 The only official award given by Glasgow International Comedy Festival, 2024’s winner will be announced at the Comedy Gala on Saturday, 30 March at Glasgow’s King’s Theatre.

2023’s winner Janey Godley was chosen by Sir Billy Connolly and announced at last year’s Gala prizegiving. 2024’s award will see an independent panel of judges choose a shortlist from all applications, based on who most personifies the Spirit of Glasgow. The judging panel will make a recommendation to Sir Billy Connolly who will ultimately decide the winner of the award in his name.

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The Sir Billy Connolly Spirit of Glasgow Award was first introduced for 2023’s festival, aiming to celebrate the city and its Glaswegian warmth, resilience and humour which is renowned around the world. The award examines criteria which both Glasgow and Sir Billy Connolly represent including: 

  1. Resilience - warm but tough

  2. Open - accessible for all

  3. Unapologetic - proud and unpretentious; curious and challenging; mould-breaking

  4. Gallus - bold and brave; self-starting

  5. Funny - above all else, an ability to make people laugh

Announcing Janey Godley as the inaugural winner in March 2023, Sir Billy Connolly said: “Glasgow deserves to have an international comedy festival - it’s the funniest town in the world, bar none. The standard is colossal and I’m always amazed when I see TV or live comedy from Glasgow. Janey Godley is a great comedian with an extraordinary life story to dwell on. I’m very proud to be part of the international festival and I’m very proud that my drawing has been part of the trophy. It’s lovely - let’s get on with it!” 

GICF Festival Director, Krista MacDonald said: “Comedy is a significant part of Glasgow’s rich cultural identity. From everyday conversations to the comedy superstars the city produces and embraces, comedy lets us celebrate, connect, and find joy even at the bleakest of times. In many ways the characteristics of the best comedy are also the characteristics of the spirit of the city. Being funny, of course, but also to be self-starting, mould-breaking, bold and brave, curious and challenging, warm but tough, proud but unpretentious and open to all.

“Sir Billy Connolly - the best of comedy and the best of Glasgow - has all of these in spades. With the presentation of the Sir Billy Connolly Award Spirit of Glasgow Award, GICF celebrates those participating in the Festival who most display these characteristics. This could be a performer, promoter or venue staff; a life-long Glaswegian or a flying visitor; a festival first-timer or an old hand involved for the last two decades.” 

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Karen Koren, of GICF corporate director GB Festivals Ltd said: “We are honoured to be working with Sir Billy again to celebrate that which makes both comedy and Glasgow so special and can’t wait to present the winner as part of GICF’s Comedy Gala at the King’s Theatre in March.”

The Glasgow International Comedy Festival takes place from 13 - 31 March 2024, featuring hundreds of shows and transforming Glasgow into the funniest city in the world for 19 days this spring.

Any individual, show, group or collective performing at the festival now has one month to submit their application with deadlines closing at 5pm on January 15 2024. 

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