Kam Comedy Fest gears up for its fourth year and first-ever tour.

COVID-19 inspires organizers to spread laughs to three nearby communities.

The local fest has dates set in Kamloops, Chase, Salmon Arm, and Merrit and plans to give patrons a chance to get out and enjoy some belly laughs in a safe environment. To provide a safe environment that is empathetic of COVID-19 safety protocols, “[Kam Comedy Fest] is coming to a variety of different venues and is actually moving into different towns for the first time ever” said the event’s founder and organizer, Drew McLean.

McLean urged students to purchase tickets quickly if interested in the fest, saying, “the Kamloops shows are pretty well sold out… there are about 20 tickets left for the late show on Thursday night… about half a dozen left for Friday nights show at the Plaza and around the same amount remaining for Saturday’s show at the Stagehouse [Theatre] on Tranquille.”

The show at the Plaza in Kamloops and shows in Merritt and Salmon Arm will seat 50 patrons.

“The other [smaller] venues will be limited to 36 [seats] although they are normally licensed for around 75,” Mclean said.

Kam Comedy Fest is confident they can provide safe spacing between groups of six to 10 individuals with the decided number of seats, so they capped the event to keep guests safe.

Mclean said the event opted for table service at most venues except for the unlicensed ones to help encourage social distancing.

Kam Comedy Fest will be enforcing a variety of rules, such as the use of hand sanitizer and face masks.

“Patrons will not be required to wear masks while seated at their table or in their [assigned] designated areas, but if they wish to get up from those designated areas, they will be required to put their masks back on,” Mclean said.

Mclean said, “[he] is very ecstatic that [Kam Comedy Fest] was able to come up with an alternate plan in order to adhere to protocols required to ensure a safe environment for everyone.” Adding that he is thrilled the fest was able to “get artists a paid gig considering many of them have been hurting because of COVID.”

Kam Comedy Fest is featuring a variety of both old and new comedy acts this year. Jason Rouse, a well-renowned and edgy comic, is bringing an uncensored show to all four cities while the ever so popular Sterling Scott is joining the party for the third year in a row, among others.

Mclean reflected that he feels fortunate to be able to provide the community with a kind of “out” saying, “[he] feels like people are really aching to get out and do something

Mclean remarked that “[he] feels people are really aching to get out and do something” and added that Kam Comedy Fest is fortunate to be able to provide the community with laughs in a safe environment. In his opinion, the upcoming fest is a win for both comics and comedy lovers.