THE Somerset Comedy Festival – which was to be held at venues across the county – has hit a financial crisis and many of the shows have had to be cancelled, Clinton Rogers writes.

But the organiser, Trish Caller, says some smaller shows will still go ahead. And she is confidently talking about a big festival next year.

Trish said today: “The Somerset Comedy Festival has been a dream of mine for so long.

“But the reality is these are tough times for people and tickets for some of our bigger events just haven’t sold. I have no option but to cancel them.

“I don’t think the timing of the general election has helped. People are just feeling nervous about everything right now.

"But I have no intention of giving up and I’m already planning for next year.”

Comedy stars like Sean Walsh, once described as the best observational comedian of his generation, doctor-turned-comedian Phil Hammond, Royal Varity Show performer and famous prankster Simon Brodkin and Emmanuel Sonubi, who has gathered a huge following after being voted best newcomer at the Edinburgh Fridge in 2022, were due to headline the Somerset Festival throughout July.

But all their shows are now off.

Of the 40 shows which had been planned at venues in Taunton, Bridgwater, Weston-super-Mare, and Bridgwater, 22 are having to be called off.

People who have bought tickets will get their money back.

A full list of the shows cancelled – and how to get refunds – will be on the Somerset Comedy Festival website (

But Trish is hopeful that the shows which ARE still going ahead – including those at Tacchi Morris Arts Centre, Taunton Minster, The Castle Hotel, and the CICCIC venue in Taunton – will attract good audiences and she is urging people to come forward and buy tickets.

She said: “I often find that people say they intend to buy tickets for an event but they haven’t got round to it yet.

“I would plead with those people - buy the tickets now and we can make sure parts of the festival can be saved.”

As for Somerset Comedy Festival 2025, she says that lessons have been learned from this year.

Trish added: “I will be working hard to get sponsors on board for next year, not just financial support but people who can, for instance, help us with marketing and promotion.

“I know we can make a success of this – I know the people of Somerset love comedy.

“There were many things that conspired against us this year. Next year will be different.”