Quirky New Festival Combines Stand-Up Comedy & Burritos
The San Francisco Comedy & Burrito Festival is a brand-new festival celebrating comedy and burritos in San Francisco’s culturally vibrant Mission District. Spanning three days, the festival will showcase both local talents and national headliners from across the country performing at venues as unique and varied as the Mission itself.
The festival will feature top local talent as well as national headliners from all over the country. “It isn’t hard to get comics to come here- they love the city and love performing for its crowds,” says festival co-founder Ameen Belbahri. Prior to working on the festival, Ameen spent several years working at the Punch Line, one of the nation’s top comedy clubs. His co-founder Jeff Cleary has put together independent shows all over the city and runs sfstandup.com, a resource website for comedians and comedy fans alike. After carefully studying the successes of other comedy festivals such as San Francisco’s own Sketchfest and Portland’s Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Ameen and Jeff grew confident that they could put together their own festival. When their Kickstarter fundraising campaign raised several thousand dollars in just three days, they knew that they had a potential hit on their hands. “Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” Cleary says, “everyone who hears the premise immediately and enthusiastically gets on board.”
At the heart of the festival will be the much revered Mission burrito, a culinary creation unique to San Francisco’s Mission District. Many argue about the exact definition of a Mission burrito, but it generally features a steamed or grilled tortilla nearly bursting with rice, beans, salsa, meat, sour cream, and avocado tightly wrapped up in foil. Chipotle Mexican Grill founder Steve Ells readily acknowledges that he studied the taquerias of the Mission before presenting his own version of the foil wrapped delight to the rest of America. There’s even a chain called “Mission Burrito” in England, which purports to serve authentic San Francisco style burritos in its five locations. Attendees of the SF Comedy & Burrito festival will each receive two coupons for free super burritos with their ticket purchases redeemable at local favorites Pancho Villa and El Toro.
Shows will take place at a variety of venues throughout the Mission district, each venue representing the diversity of the neighborhood that surrounds it. Esta Noche, for example, is a Mexican drag bar that has been serving the area’s gay clientele since the mid 60’s. Sub-Mission, a gallery and all-ages music venue, is owned and operated by local artist Txutxo Perez, who teaches homeless kids art during the day while running the venue at night. The Dark Room, a small independent theater space long favored by local comics, is decorated with paintings and drawings of its mascot Maggie, a one eyed french bulldog. The Cinecave is a tiny underground screening room that lies hidden beneath Lost Weekend Video, one of the city’s last remaining independent video rental stores.
The recently announced line-up features a solid mix of local comics, new talent, and nationally touring headliners. Some of the highlights include Chelsea Lately performers Guy Branum and Renee Gauthier, MadTV alumni Matt Braunger, and local favorite Chris Garcia. Brendon Walsh, a veteran of the late-night talk show circuit with his own recently released Comedy Central special, will be recording his debut album as part of the festival for a release on AST Records.
Specially priced early bird passes will be on sale for $55 until the 15th of September, when ticket prices jump up to $75.
For tickets and more information, please visit www.sfcomedyandburritofestival.com