Kate Berlant
  • Courtesy Comedy Exposition
  • Kate Berlant

Thanks to a strong showing in its inaugural year, the stand-up-focused Comedy Exposition announces its return for 2015. In an attempt to fill the void left by the disappearance of the mega Just for Laughs festival—which annually populated the city streets with a crop of hyped and established stand-ups—the fivesome of Katie McVay, Stephanie Hasz, Goodrich Gevaart, Zach Peterson, and Matt Byrne began the Comedy Exposition in 2014 with a modest goal in mind: make it good enough to do again next year. Success.

The sophomore version (7/10-7/12) follows the same path as its predecessor. Festivities will again be spread over several venues that are within short distances of one another—Second City’s Up Comedy Club, Schubas, the Playground, and Crocodile are all participating—and tickets will come in the form of three-day passes and straight-up individual tickets (keep an eye out for a spring on-sale date).

Again like last year, nearly 75 comedians from across the country will get behind microphones. And while the Comedy Exposition doesn’t yet have the clout (or the funds) to roll out the monster names that the Just for Laughs festival was able to, it is certainly in tune with the pulse of the scene. An impressive amount of up-and-comers and familiar names will make the trek—as well as comics you’ve never heard of, but will be happy you saw.

The headliners announced thus far (meaning right this instant) are Adam Cayton-Holland, Baron Vaughn, and Kate Berlant. And I’m told by organizer Matt Byrne that the gang is organizing a blowout show at Up on Sun 7/12 with, ahem, “very exciting headliner(s) we can’t announce just yet!!” Who doesn’t love a good surprise?

Visit the Comedy Exposition site in the upcoming weeks/months for further updates on the festival’s lineup and locations.