The Out of Bounds Comedy Festival is a seven-day live performance festival that showcases some of the best in improv, sketch, and stand-up comedy from all over the country and across the globe. Now in it’s 15th year, the festival will host over 500 performers in 120 shows over the 7 days leading up to Labor Day.
The Out of Bounds Comedy Festival endeavors to enrich the communities of Central Texas through the education, performance, and promotion of the live comedic arts.
The Out of Bounds Improv Festival and Miniature Golf Tournament was founded in 2002 by Well Hung Jury’s Jeremy Sweetlamb as a way to get performers from Texas and beyond to come and enjoy the Austin comedy scene. Since then the festival has expanded from a handful of improv and sketch groups, mostly from Texas, performing on one stage for a couple of days, to a seven-day festival at multiple venues featuring performers from across the country and around the world.
In 2003, after the second festival, Sweetlamb left Austin for Chicago, entrusting the festival to the gentle hands of Mike D’Alonzo and Shannon McCormick, two longtime veterans of the Austin comedy scene. 2004 and 2005 saw the first significant expansions of OOB, as D’Alonzo and McCormick added a second stage and doubled the total number of shows. D’Alonzo headed for the West Coast in 2006 and founder/co-producer Jeremy Sweetlamb returned to produce the 2006, 2007, and 2008 festivals with McCormick.
In 2009, McCormick left day-to-day production and joined the newly formed Board of Directors, which came with the festival’s minty new 501 (c) 3 non-profit status. Sweetlamb added stand-up to the slate of shows and rebranded the festival as the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, adding veteran producers Dave Buckman, Roy Janik, and Kareem Badr to the mix. In 2014, the festival continued to grow with impressive numbers of attendees, performers, and venues. The festival added Jon Bolden as a fifth producer in 2013 and Ruby Willman replaced Badr in 2015. In 2016, founder Jeremy Sweetlamb retired as executive producer and named Ruby Willmann his successor.
Now in its 15th year, Out of Bounds stands out in the crowded Austin comedy festival scene, still able to call itself the largest multi-disciplinary comedy festival in the south.