Yvonne Orji, Nicole Byer and More Set for New Because They’re Funny Comedy Festival

The three-day event, taking place on The Wharf from October 6 to 8, will spotlight comedic talent within BIPOC communities and celebrate DC as a comedy hub

LOS ANGELES, (August 2, 2023) – NICE CROWD, formerly ABFF Ventures, today announced the exceptional artists that will participate in the upcoming Because They’re Funny (BTF) Comedy Festival, a three-day festival showcasing comedic talent within BIPOC communities. Taking place October 6-8, 2023 at The Wharf on DC’s southwest waterfront, BTF will feature Anthony Anderson and Maryland-native Yvonne Orji as well as performances by Nicole Byer and Donnell Rawlings, among others.

From the producers of the American Black Film Festival, Because They’re Funny will promote the diverse talent that exists within the comedy arena to propel a new generation of artists to stardom. Attracting comedy fans and industry professionals alike, the centerpiece event will be the “2023 Breakout Comedian Of The Year Competition Finals” on Friday, October 6. The contest, hosted by BTF’s ambassador, Anthony Anderson, aims to discover emerging comedians from around the world and guide them to successful careers in Hollywood. With more than 300 submissions to date, only six finalists will be chosen to perform at BTF, competing for a $20k grand prize and a chance to be signed by Innovative Artists talent agency.

“We’re thrilled to bring The Breakout Comedian of The Year competition to life as the showpiece event of Because They’re Funny,” said NICE CROWD founder and CEO Jeff Friday and President Nicole Friday. “With the help of our friend, Anthony Anderson, we will showcase the diversity that exists in the world of comedy, bringing six talented artists to DC for a chance to be launched to stardom. Because They’re Funny provides emerging acts with the chance to share the stage with some of the biggest names in comedy, many of whom started their careers right here in Washington, DC.”

On Saturday evening, The Anthem will welcome some of the best female comedians in the business for the “Hey Ladies Fierce Female Comedy Show,” featuring performances by Luenell, Aida Rodriguez, Ego Nwodim, Nicole Byer and more. Sunday’s headline event will shine a light on DC as a hub for comedy, featuring the exclusive DC premiere of “The Mecca of Comedy” directed by Parrish Smith, a documentary on the legacy of Black comedy in the region. Following the documentary’s debut, Yvonne Orji will host the “DMV Black Comedy Homecoming Show,” an evening of laughter in celebration of the top standup comics from the DC area, with performers including Donnell Rawlings, Red Grant, Pierre, Joe Clair, Tony Woods and more, returning to their hometown.

“We are excited to launch the inaugural world-class comedy festival, Because They’re Funny in the nation’s capital and work with Jeff and Nicole Friday of NICE CROWD”, said Angie M. Gates, President and CEO, Events DC. “DC has historically been a hub for comedic talent and Events DC looks forward to being a part of that tradition by providing a backdrop for comedy to be showcased. The DC Wharf is the perfect location and the economic impact for the District is welcomed. From the use of our local venues, The Anthem, Pearl Street Warehouse and Union Stage to tourists visiting the spectacular restaurants and cultural attractions on the Wharf, we could not ask for a better event to attract visitors to our beloved city this October.”

The festival’s headline shows will be held at The Anthem, with additional events including panels and podcasts, screenings, workshops, networking opportunities, open mic nights and more, to be held at other venues throughout The Wharf, including Union Stage and Pearl Street Warehouse.

Because They’re Funny Comedy Festival is a property of NICE CROWD, a leading entertainment company in the live events arena, and is presented in partnership with Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia. Tickets to Because They’re Funny are on sale now at becausetheyrefunny.com.

NICE CROWD, formerly ABFF Ventures, is a leading entertainment company in the event tourism
arena. NICE CROWD specializes in the development and marketing of festivals and other live experiences that showcase BIPOC culture and achievement while promoting travel to leading destinations around the world. To learn more about NICE CROWD events, visit www.nicecrowd.com

BTF partners and sponsors to date are Events DC (Presenting Partner); General Motors (Presenting); LAFF MOBB (Supporting).

About Events DC
Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, delivers premier event services and flexible venues across the nation’s capital. Leveraging the power of a world-class destination and creating amazing attendee experiences, Events DC generates economic and community benefits through the attraction and promotion of business, athletic, entertainment and cultural activities. Events DC oversees the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an anchor of the District’s hospitality and tourism economy that hosts more than 1.7 million visitors and generates more than $400 million annually in direct economic impact and the historic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. Events DC manages the RFK Stadium-Armory Campus (RFK Campus), including Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Festival Grounds at RFK Campus, the non-military functions of the DC Armory and the Skate Park at RFK Stadium. Stay current on the 190-acre RFK Campus Redevelopment Project at www.RFKFields.com. Events DC also built and serves as landlord for Nationals Park, the first LEED-certified major professional sports stadium in the United States. Events DC manages Gateway DC, R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center and Entertainment & Sports Arena all conveniently located in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC. For more information, please visit www.eventsdc.com and find us on social media – Facebook, Instagram and YouTube (Events DC), and Twitter (@TheEventsDC) — and on our new hub for live and on-demand event programming on GATHER by Events DC at www.gatherbyeventsdc.com

Media Contacts:

Clare Zenczak-Murray
The Brand Guild
[email protected]

Liz Biber
The Lede Company
[email protected]

Christy Goodman
Events DC
[email protected]