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Covid disrupts Melbourne comedy festival as calls grow for arts support

With 17% of shows forced to cancel performances, the Victorian government is being urged to consider new payment for performers

More than 15% of the Melbourne international comedy festival’s shows have been hit by Covid-related cancellations, prompting some independent artists to urge the state government to boost its arts funding ahead of next month’s state budget.

Despite the festival helping boost pedestrian traffic in the CBD to pre-pandemic levels, 17% of the 505 scheduled shows were forced to cancel some performances due to Covid or isolation as a close contact.

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