Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Massive outdoor comedy festival approved for Vancouver's Stanley Park

"A new and what we believe is an exciting event," says one city official.
The Great Outdoors Comedy Festival is already held in other cities, like Calgary. The event will debut in Vancouver in September 2023.

Plans for the Great Outdoors Comedy Festival (GOCF) can move forward in Stanley Park after the city's parks board approved the event's application.

Scheduled for Sept. 15 to 17, organizers expect up to 10,000 people per day at the Brockton Cricket Fields. Tickets for the event are expected to range from $69 to $399, with the majority between $69 to $89.

Headliners haven't been announced, but GOCF events in other parts of the country this year feature Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Burr; past festivals have featured Amy Schumer, Whitney Cummings, and Pauly Shore.

A preliminary map that was part of the application shows the stage set up in the southeast part of the fields with reserved VIP tables up from and a general admission area behind. Food trucks are included as well, and the festival is planned to be a licensed, gated event (which means alcohol could be sold).

Octavio Silva, manager of business development, spoke about the event at the board meeting March 27.

"This agenda item speaks to a new and what we believe is an exciting event called the Great Outdoors Comedy Festival," he said.

Not all in favour of the funny business

The application was approved by the board's six ABC commissioners; Tom Digby of the Greens abstained from the vote after bringing up issues with the application process and board's approval before guidelines discussed previously were put in place.

"The comedy is really all here, I don't know why we need an event," said Digby.

His concerns ranged from transportation to onsite advertising to food waste and coyotes; staff noted these concerns would be addressed in upcoming planning discussions.

He also focused on the recent lifting of a moratorium on commercial events in city parks. It was lifted in December 2022, with plans to create special event guidelines. Digby questioned why an event was being approved before guidelines came forward.

"The comedy continues around the table here," he added.

An amendment Digby proposed about guidelines died on the floor with no seconder. Commissioner Marie-Claire Howard noted she shared some of Digby's thoughts, but didn't support the amendment for financial reasons.

"We can't afford to turn away cash," she said.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks