BTF Philly is a comedy festival created in 2016 out of a frustration that stages in Philadelphia were still predominantly white, cis, straight and male. We decided to create a place to celebrate the talented and hilarious women and non-binary comedians who make up a significant part of the local comedy scene. We originally called the festival The Bechdel Test Fest, an homage to Alison Bechdel’s famous comic in Dykes to Watch Out For that coined the phrase “bechdel test” in pop culture.
As the festival enters its fifth year, we realized that as our focus has evolved to be more gender-inclusive, our name should be, too. The fest is now renamed Be There Fest, conveniently still BTFPhilly! What can we say, we REALLY liked our logo.
We started at Christ Church neighborhood house in 2016, and this year we’re again closing out the fest at World Cafe Live. The 2020 festival will be chock full of improv, sketch, standup, variety, clowning, burlesque, and anything under the sun that our amazing performers come up with. Submissions will be opening soon, so if you’ve got an act for BTF Philly get ready and watch this space!
On behalf of the BTF Philly organizing crew, thanks so much for supporting this festival, as a performer or an audience member, and thank you for helping us support this amazing comedy community.