Stars such as Dave Hughes, Wil Anderson and Charlie Pickering said that they are angry at the event organisers' decision to move the festival from October to February or March, meaning that it will be on during the same period as Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Melbourne Festival has cited the better weather in March as the main reason for rescheduling the event. Arts Victoria has now called a meeting today with representatives of 23 arts events and venues in the city to discuss the idea.
Anderson told the Herald Sun: "They don't have the AFL Grand Final the same weekend as the Australian Open. It just doesn't make sense. It might be a good idea for the Melbourne Festival, but it's only going to hurt the Comedy Festival."
Hughes said that he was upset because comedians had worked hard to launch and develop a world-class event, while Pickering said that arts events needed to be spread across the year.
"I think the balance has been right," he said. "If you were going to try and plan things based on [the] weather, nothing would happen in Melbourne.''
Melbourne Festival executive director Tim Jacobs said he was "not surprised" at the Comedy Festival's reaction because it had a "long-standing practice" of taking place in April with "very clear space all around them".
However, he added: "I have no difficulty with that whatsoever. I just don't think they own the calendar."
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