Just for Laughs Comedy Festival – The Montréal Festival That has been Making People Laugh for More Than 3 Decades!
Get ready for a barrel of laughs: Just for Laughs Comedy Festival is just for you!
Welcome to Just for Laughs Festival
Just for Laughs isn’t just another comedy festival. This festival is actually the largest of all comedy festivals around the world! It is one of the must see festivals for those that are fans of comedy, film festivals, and fun! For two weeks in July, this festival highlights comedic greats from all around the world, celebrating humor in whatever form it takes.
Just For Laughs got it’s start in 1983 when creator and producer Gilbert Ronzon launched a festival of French speaking comedians called Juste Pour Rire, or Just For Laughs. Following the wild success of the first two years, producers brought in American comedians like Jay Leno and opened their success to the world stage.
Tickets and Pricing
The most pricy part of Just for Laughs depends on what comedians artists you would like to see. Given the free shows this festival puts on, you will really be spending your money to see the big name artists at the various venues around the city. Check on the festival website as prices do vary based on location and artist.
While most tickets and shows do sell out at high prices, you can find reduced price tickets the day of the festival. Just for Laughs has a booth for last minute tickets that many people can get for almost half the price! Don’t count on these however- the seating may be far away or these tickets may be gone by the time you get there.
Planning for Just for Laughs
Just for Laughs is a collection of the world’s finest musical performers. The best way to have a great time during the festival is to make a plan of action before you set out. Here are some tips to help you plan!
First things first, download the Just for Laughs app as soon as possible so you can skim through the program, see the schedule, and peruse a map of the venues. The app is really a lifesaver when you’re trying to navigate through all the free events, the headlining acts, and everything else that is going on in the city at the same time.
The Free Side of Just for Laughs
When checking the lineup for which shows to go to, pick the comedians that you never thought you’d get to see. With all the big name headliners joking it up at Just for Laughs, there are a lot to choose from. After choosing the best few comedians you would like to see, purchase the tickets quickly as they do sell out fast. These headliners range from comedians like Tina Fey to characters like Mr. Bean.
When it comes to seeing the free shows at Just for Laughs, prepare to arrive early and to be ready for an all day outdoor festival. Offering the majority of the festival free to the public, Just for Laughs really does it big with it’s outdoor shows—where many attendees spend most of their time. Take some comfortable walking shoes, a bottle of water, and some gear for the sun with you and prepare to have an awesome day—or couple of days depending on the length of your stay.
One of the most popular and memorable parts of Just for Laughs are the parades and family activities. This festival features a parade of twins, costume contests, olympic like games, a children’s musical and so much more. Bring the whole family, Just for Laughs has everything you need to keep everybody entertained for a long time.
Getting Around the City
During Just for Laughs, you’re going to want to be strategic about your travel. In the Festival areas, most streets are closed down for foot traffic. Try to leave early for events in case you get stuck walking for a long time. Look into using Montreal’s biking program, Bixi, if you are trying to find an alternative to walking through the no-vehicle areas.
When traveling around the city when you outside of Just for Laughs, consider taking the city bus or the subway. Using public transportation is a great way to see everything around town while saving money on cabs, Uber’s or a rental car.
First Timers at the Festival
If you’re looking to attend Just for Laughs but don’t know much about the featured comedians, don’t worry! Go for the experience and with the knowledge that you’ll have a great time listening to new entertainers for the first time. Many attendees don’t know EVERYONE that is on the lineup so you’ll be no different. The festival is designed as a way to introduce people to all the fabulous talent that you may or may not have heard of.
If you’re really preparing yourself before you visit Just for Laughs, take some time to listen to some of the featured bands. Search for them on the internet and make a playlist so you will be more familiar before you go. Flip through the Festival app as well so you can check out some fast facts about all of the acts on the lineup.
A Summer in Montreal
Yes, Just for Laughs is indeed a summer festival but what will that really look and feel like in Montreal? In the summer months, Montreal does get a bit warmer and often people tend to overdress. But as nightfall approaches, you may be in for a chill. Take an extra layer of clothing with you, just in case the weather hasn’t warmed up yet. Bring an umbrella or raincoat in case of rain.
When it comes to Festival attire in general, the Just for Laughs outfits can be a little different. Dress comfortably for the outdoor shows, but feel free to get a little wild or outlandish. For the headlining concerts you may want to think about getting a little dressy, as the venues are a bit classier.
If you need to communicate with the organizers Just for Laughs, you can talk with them at the lost and found. This service of the festival is an excellent way to locate anything that you or a friend may have lost. Call by phone or find them at the festival grounds.
Traveling to Montreal
For the Just for Laughs festival, thousands of people will travel to Montreal to see the best of the best in the world of comedy and film. If you’re one of the visitors that is flying, driving, or bussing into the city, I have some tips for you!
Check the Just for Laughs site if you are looking for places to stay. With all the concerts and festivities going on, the Just for Laughs festival has arranged for travel packages that make sure attendees get just what they want out of the festival. These Just for Laughs packages involve a variation of show tickets, dinner in one of Montreal’s finest restaurants, and hotel accommodations.
For those of you that are flying in to see the Just for Laughs festival, book your flights to come through the Pierre Elliot Trudeau InternationalAirport in Montreal. Grab a shuttle or taxi to take you on the 40 minute trip downtown or to wherever your reservations are booked. Many hotels offer their own shuttle from the airport, so definitely check on that as well.
All the Place You’ll Go
The Just for Laughs festival itself spans across the several different venues. Do your best to get a location for all the artists and comedians you really want to see. The best thing about this kind of festival is that it takes over the whole city. The celebration and shows take place throughout the city’s best venues and the street performances take place through all the various plazas and intersections throughout Montreal. Going to a festival like this will make you see as much of the city as possible!
Many of the venues for Just for Laugh headlining acts are held in some pretty classy places. The Montreal Symphony Orchestra building is state of the art and a location for a few of the headlining acts. Take a chance to check out this place during the day, it really is something to see.
During your free time outside of Just for Laughs, try to visit some of the most iconic places in the city. Take a trip to the beautiful Notre Dame Basilica for a true culturally enriching experience, visit Mont Royal to see the architecture and sculpture, go see the Montreal Botanical Gardens for the best of Montreal’s greenery, take advantage of the free admission at the Montreal Museum of fine arts and see much more as you continue to explore. Visit the Festival site for more information on local places to visit.
After hearing so much about Just for Laughs, there’s no way you can miss out on Montreal this summer!
Visit information about festivals section to explore a full list of festivals happening around the world yearly!