//Boulder Comedy Festival featured comedians. Photo provided by Zoe Rogers.
On Dec. 30, 2021, Zoe Rogers, her husband, their three children and thousands of others on the front range left their homes unsure of when they would return. While Rogers and other Louisville residents were spared from the Marshall Fire, there was little to laugh about. Half a year later, Rogers is hosting the second-annual Boulder Comedy Festival June 23-26 with the hope of bringing laughter to the land still singed.
“I know, for me, comedy has been an awesome healing force in my life that has made me a happier person,” Rogers said. “I love seeing audiences come out and hear a perspective they might not have considered before, connect with it and laugh. I love seeing audience members come and talk to comics after the show and talk about which material resonated with them. Comedy inspires and connects people, and I think that’s important.”
Rogers herself is a comic who has performed comedy for 10 years. As one of the few women running a comedy festival of this caliber in the country, Boulder Comedy Festival brings focus to and highlights women and diversity in comedy.
“Over the years seeing the lack of women and diversity onstage motivated me to consciously book diverse shows at a festival that highlights women and diversity in comedy,” Rogers said. “I think providing an opportunity for different voices to be heard is important. Representation matters.”
The 2022 lineup boasts a number of nationally touring comics, including Los Angeles comics Heather Pasternak, Leslie Liao and Mike Merrill. There will also be plenty of Denver favorites, like comedians Shanel Hughes, BK Sharad and Gabby Gutierrez, who were all featured in last year’s festival. The event also hosts several hilarious folks from all around the Front Range, including Hippy Man John Novosad from Boulder, Linus Leas and Ricky Ramos from Longmont.
“This year, we have more shows and more venues, so we are able to have more comics,” Rogers said. The 2022 festival has seven shows, including two boozy brunch shows, spanning a total of six venues with 30 total comics. Boulder Comedy Festival is also offering a free stand-up comedy class this year, and registration can be found on the official website.
The first event to kick off the festival will be held at Front Range Brewery on June 30, not far from the foundations where families are beginning to rebuild. At a time with seemingly little to joke about, Rogers invites all those looking for a laugh to sit back, enjoy and forget about the world burning.
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