Headliner announcement: Floodwater Comedy Festival is back for 2018

Floodwater Comedy Festival

Various Venues — March 1-3, 2018

Comedian Carmen Lynch kicks of Floodwater with a set at The Mill on March 1. — photo courtesy of Floodwater Comedy Festival

The Floodwater Comedy Festival announced the lineup today for their next fest, coming up March 1-3, 2018. Leading the pack is comedian Carmen Lynch. She will start off the festival with a show at The Mill on Thursday, March 1. PREACH Improv follows with a Friday performance at the Blue Moose, and the festival returns to The Mill on Saturday, March 2 with Jo Firestone.

The New York-based Lynch has appeared on Conan, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing and more. In addition to her stand-up career in the United States, she has also toured in Spain, translating her jokes into Spanish and learning from scratch what would work and what would fall flat.

PREACH Improv is a spoken word improv troupe out of Chicago. They are issues-based and socially conscious, striving to provoke and drive thoughtful audience engagement.

Firestone was highlighted on Rolling Stone’s 2017 list of “10 Comedians You Need to Know.” She has a weekly podcast on Earwolf with Manolo Moreno called Dr. Gameshow, where the two play games created and submitted by listeners, and she has her own card game, created with her father, called Punderdome.

The headliners will be supported, as in years past, by a bevy of local, regional, national and perhaps even international performers. Submissions are open through Dec. 29, so performers still have a chance to give it a shot. Floodwater works to keep its submission fees nominal: It costs $20 to submit your stand-up act, $10 for improv and $15 for variety acts. The “best of the fest” will be invited to perform at an industry showcase on March 2 at the Blue Moose.

“We are looking for interesting variety acts,” Mike Lucas, an executive producer of the festival, said in an email. “Things like themed shows, musical comedy acts, podcasts or anything weird.”

Dr. Gameshow Live at Del Close Marathon

Live at #DCM19, Dr. Gameshow does a one off show on a Sunday afternoon, with guests Cathryn Mudon and Ken Beck. Thanks to UCB Comedy!

Posted by Dr. Gameshow on Friday, July 14, 2017

Floodwater returns to the Iowa City comedy scene after a year hiatus due to a change in leadership, Lucas said, and will be an annual fest going forward.

“We didn’t want to hastily put a fest together with inexperienced team members,” Lucas said. “We have an entire staff of volunteers that have been working on this festival for over a year now.”

Along with the volunteers, Lucas is joined by co-producers Leela Bassuk, Elaine Stewart and Devon Friese. Bassuk and Stewart, both improv performers, are students at the University of Iowa. One of Floodwater’s goals, Lucas said, is to build connections between the Iowa City and university communities.

“I’m a comic from here in Iowa City and I can’t get enough of it. I want Iowa to become this hidden gem of comedy,” Lucas said. “A place where people speak fondly of the talent here and the genuine effort we put into it.”

One key element of community engagement is the fundraising that the festival will do. In what Lucas calls the “most important” goal, Floodwater will be donating some of their proceeds to Johnson County Crisis Center and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

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Tickets are on sale starting today, Dec. 15, at noon. A full festival pass is $55 ($40 for students). Tickets for individual headliner shows are also available. Carmen Lynch tickets are $12 ($15 at the door), PREACH Improv will run you $8 ($10 at the door) and tickets for Jo Firestone are $12 ($15 at the door).