Comedy Fest acts stranded by volcano

A volcano with a funny name is no laughing matter for a number of overseas comedians, unable to travel to New Zealand for the International Comedy Festival after British airport closures.

Ash from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland had stranded thousands of people in Europe over the past five days, including up to seven comedy acts due to perform at the Comedy Festival, which launches on Friday.

Comedy Festival director Kylie Aitchison was unable to confirm which international acts were affected, as some were booked on flights due to leave tonight.

European Union transport ministers today agreed to resume air traffic in designated zones and the festival was waiting to see if the comedians' flights would go ahead.

Changes to the festival programme would be announced in 24 hours after updates from major airports, Mrs Aitchison said.

Most of the international acts were on the festival circuit and would be flying to New Zealand from Australia.

Comedy Festival organisers were looking at replacement options with international comedians who had finished performances at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival but were now stranded in Australia.

The New Zealand International Comedy Festival would take place in Wellington and Auckland, featuring 250 local and international performers.

- NZPA

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