After a successful first week, the Santa Barbara LOL Comedy Festival quietly and abruptly cancelled its second weekend of performances after failing to sell enough tickets to fill the Arlington Theatre for Legally Brown featuring Cheech Marin and The Nerdy Show featuring Chris Hardwick and Andy Daly. Ticket-holders have been reimbursed.
“It’s unfortunate that this is now the focus,” said festival organizer Scott Montoya, “but we just needed to cancel the last two shows. I hope people understand and I hope Santa Barbara will come back and really show their support for the LOL Comedy Festival next year when we return.”
Montoya noted that this was the first year the festival did not film any of its performances for TV comedy specials. “When we do film shows during the festival we don’t have to concern ourselves so much with ticket sales,” he explained in an email. “Tickets sold are not a real revenue source or concern. If a show is slow to fill, we find ways to fill the seats with discount tickets, VIP Comps, artist fan appreciation tickets, and so on.” However, Montoya went on, “not having that component of a filmed show this year, coupled with the commitment to return to Santa Barbara this year with the festival and a set date, we had to sell a significant amount of seats.”
Montoya said a number of unforeseen circumstances contributed to low ticket sales, but he declined to elaborate. “Without going into too much detail, because it’s really not important, suffice it to say I believe we delivered on our promise of a great festival weekend. Just ask anyone who attended any of the shows.”