Scruffy City Comedy Festival Check-In Procedure

In case you are not already aware, Festival Passes are no longer available. Also day passes for SUNDAY are also sold out. That means if you snoozed, your only chance to meet and see the amazing Trae Crowder will be if he is hanging out during his buddies Drew and Corey’s sets on Friday and Saturday nights.

We DO still have day passes for Friday and Saturday available HERE>>

I have purchased my tickets, now what?

Ok great, well this is the easy part. Beginning at 6pm you can check in at Scruffy City Hall. They will have a list of all ticket purchasers. Give them your name and they will give you the corresponding wristband that you then will show to the person at door inside to gain access to the showroom.

NOTE: YOU CANNOT CHECK IN AFTER THE HEADLINE SHOWS. This means no check-ins after 11pm on Friday night, no check-ins after 9:30pm on Saturday night.  You have from 6pm-11pm on Friday and 6pm-9:30pm on Saturday.


I want to purchase Day Passes for Friday or Saturday

Day Passes are $21 online if you are worried about them selling and want to get yours now (Note: It is wise to get them in advance but they will also be available Friday and Saturday beginning at 6pm at the door


I want to purchase day passes for Sunday!

Too late, Sunday’s Day Passes are sold out.

Where the hell do I park?

Market Square Garage (which fills up quickly on weekends) State Street Garage, Locust Street Garage (furthest away) or the Walnut Street Parking Garage located RIGHT NEXT to Market Square Garage.

are the closest garages to Market Square where all of our venues besides Saw Works are located.  Here is a link to more parking options

Where ARE all the venues??



Trae Crowder Liberal Redneck

2016 Scruffy City Comedy Festival Headliners

Baron Vaughn, Corey Forrester, Drew Morgan and Trae Crowder

We are very excited about our 2016 Scruffy City Comedy Festival Headliners! We also have this line-up for you a full month before we did last year!

Baron VaughnFriday November 4th
Baron Vaughn
An amazing comedian and actor, Baron Vaughn currently stars alongside Lilly Tomlin and Jane Fonda in the Netflix original series Grace and Frankie.  He also has been cast as the voice of Tom Servo in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 reboot.  See an interview with Baron here>>
Scruffy City Hall
If you haven’t been to Scruffy City Hall, you are in for a real treat.  The building was purchased by the West’s who also own Preservation Pub, Market House Cafe and Uncorked Bar Books and Vinyl Bistro.  Scruffy City Hall, is a 150 seat performance venue that is perfect for comedy and live music


Saturday November 5th
Corey Forrestercoreyforrester
Corey has been writing and performing stand up comedy since the age of sixteen …before he could legally work in a
comedy club. His North Georgia roots have given him an affinity for Southern wit and storytelling. He may often wear a PBR hat, but don’t assume there is anything blue collar about him. Corey has thoughts on everything from race to religion, politics and gender. He loves women and cheese. All dairy, actually.
Corey, Trae Crowder and Drew Morgan Co-Authored the book The Liberal Redneck Manifesto: Draggin’ Dixie Outta the Dark. Corey has been heard on Sirius XM radio and is part of Trae Crowder’s WellRed Comedy Tour. Get your single chance to see him live in East Tennessee on Saturday November 5th at Scruffy City Hall.
Festival Passes and Day Passes
We do not have single show tickets for the Scruffy City Comedy Festival. No worries, we have made the DAY PASS price what is typically being charged to see each of the headliners alone.  This means you can buy a pass for $20 on Friday and see Baron Vaughn and ANY of the other shows. Saturday it’s $20 to see Aparna Nancherla and ALL of the other shows. Sunday it is $15 to see Trae Crowder and ALL of the other shows!!  Also, if you want to see shows on each day, you can buy a FESTIVAL PASS for just $40!  That saves you $15.
trae crowderSunday November 6th
Trae Crowder
SKEEEEW!!!! Wow, what can we say about the “Liberal Redneck” that hasn’t already been shared a million times? Trae got his start doing stand-up right here in Knoxville and won the final Rocky Top Comedy Contest in 2014 (which was how he opened the first Scruffy City Comedy Festival). Now Trae’s videos have gone viral and he is selling out clubs and theatres all over the country.  Check out one of his recenty Liberal Redneck videos.
Also check out the comedy tour he has with East Tennessee’s own Drew Morgan and Corey Forrester from Northern Georgia.  These southern fellas are going to truly make the south RISE again by changing the way the country looks at southerners. NOTE: Trae’s performance at the Scruffy City Comedy Festival will include Corey Forrester, but not Drew Morgan. Therefore this is not a tour stop on the WellRed Comedy Tour. Click the logo below to see dates with all three comics.

Want to know who is headlining the 2016 Scruffy City Comedy Festival?

Do you want to know who will be headlining the 2016 Scruffy City Comedy Festival?

The 2016 Scruffy City Comedy Festival is Friday November 4th through Sunday November 6th, 2016. The festival will be held at Scruffy City Hall and associated venues all in the Market Square District of Downtown Knoxville, Tennessee. This is the 3rd annual festival. Last year we had headliners Andy Sandford, Jackie Kashian, Shane Mauss and Mia Jackson. This year we have another spectacular line-up of headliners as well.

Once again the festival will take place on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The reason for this is we want working folks that do the 9-5 thing to be able to enjoy some great headliners, but we also want our service industry people (who often don’t work on Sundays) to be able to enjoy the festival as well!

The headliners will be performing each night at Scruffy City Hall. We will also have a few dozen amazing performers form all over the country performing showcases throughout the weekend at nearby venues AND at Scruffy City Hall as well.

If you are interested in being the first folks to hear the line-up of headliners for our festival, simply sign up for our notification e-mail list and we will send you the list of headliners on August 10th at 9am.  This is a full 5 days before the announcement will be made on our web site or social media accounts!

Sign up HERE>>

How to Get in Comedy Festivals

How to Get in Comedy Festivals

Submissions are now open for the 2016 Scruffy City Comedy Festival.  Here is how you can improve your chances to get into, not only the Scruffy City Comedy Festival, but other festivals all across the country.

As many of you know, I (Matt Ward) also help run the Cape Fear Comedy Festival.  This year was our 7th Cape Fear Fest. Since the inception of the festival I have watched hundreds and hundreds of submission videos myself.  In addition, I have spoken with others who run comedy festivals and discussed with them the things that they look for when it comes to selecting comics to perform in their festival from submissions.  The following is a summary of the most important things.

1.) Be Funny

Yeah, No shit.  Be funny is kinda like a Realtor saying “location, location, location”.  Sounds great and of course it is true, but what the fuck does it mean?  Well, a few things actually.  First off, be funny in your submission video. We know what WE find funny, but an audience laughing at your jokes is pretty helpful to influence how funny we feel a bit is.

2.) Be Original

Are your premises and/or punchlines unique, ones we haven’t heard others do, and genuine?  There is nothing less funny to the seasoned eye/ear than someone who is getting laughs in a room with jokes we have heard elsewhere or by using topics that are tired, common and played out or simply approached in a lazy manner. This isn’t about censorship, this is about hard work showing through in your writing.

3.) Make a GREAT Submission Video

What is a GREAT Submission Video?  One that is high quality, easy to see you on stage, easy to hear you speaking and hear the audience laughing and showcases a chunk of your better material.   Make sure your video is the length requested by the festival you are submitting to. Cut out the host. No one needs to hear them introduce you. Cut it to the moment you touch the mic. Below is a list of common mistakes I see all the time when reviewing submission videos.

*Bad Lighting

*The video is private or requires a password

*The video has a fucking ad in front of it. Seriously??

*Bad Sound Quality

*Host doing three minutes before actual performer who submitted the video is onscreen

*Doing recording at a poorly attended show or open mic

*Recording video horizontal on a smartphone.

*Having your laughing buddy/spouse hold the camera, making them the only laugh heard on the recording.

*Making your video clip private on Youtube so it can’t be viewed by anyone but you.

*Recording a ‘Bringer’ show.  Yes, we can tell, mostly because the audience is laughing at ‘non’ jokes and stuff that isn’t as funny as they are making it out to be.

4.) Have a web site

If you are submitting to comedy festivals, you should have a web site. You can have one for free, doesn’t have to be fancy, but it allows promoters to refer someone to a single space that YOU control to view more about you.  Don’t understand computer boxes?  Get one of your computer savvy friends to make one for you that you have all the passwords to.  HAVE. A. WEB. SITE.  Don’t have  a web site, it doesn’t count you out, but it does make a difference to ME more-so than to other comedy festivals. Your web site can link back to us, and that is important for SEO and for other promotional reasons.

5.) Have a head shot

If you are submitting to comedy festivals, you have to understand that these festivals WANT to promote an image of you.  Why not take a few minutes one day to have someone capture who you are as a comic or person.  You don’t even need a microphone in the picture, it’s cool, we know comedians use microphones, you ARE submitting to a COMEDY Festival after all.  Did you know that an Iphone or a Samsung S6 or above can capture an acceptable HIGH RESOLUTION head shot? Toy around with it and watch this youtube video to learn how to do this yourself.

6.) Don’t WAIT until the last day to submit

We all collectively as festivals view all of the submissions we receive.  However, if you submit earlier, we can take the time to view your submission with fresh eyes and ears.

That’s really all there is to it.  So if you don’t have a good submission video already, plan in the next month or so to film a few different shows to make a reel that is representative of what you do.


Matt Ward

Trae Crowder Liberal Redneck

Trae Crowder goes viral with Liberal Redneck

Trae Croder goes Viral with Liberal Redneck Videos

Trae Crowder is killing it with his new video series The Liberal Redneck. Those who are familiar with Trae’s comedy knows that these videos don’t stray far from his act on stage.

More about Trae:
trae crowder liberal redneckTrae Crowder
Trae Crowder is an Liberal Redneck from the small backcountry town of Celina, TN, which somehow manages to be both extraordinarily beautiful and soul-crushingly depressing at the same time. He first stepped on stage in November of 2010, and hasn’t looked back. He likes to think of his material as being southern-fried intellectual humor. So basically he says a lot of big words in a funny sounding accent and sometimes people like that.

Trae has performed all over the country and has participated in multiple comedy festivals. He is also a writer and was accepted into the 2015 NBCUniversal Late Night Writer’s Workshop, as well as having multiple scripts be finalists in national screenwriting contests. Trae is not opposted to acting either, and once filmed an upoptioned pilot for CMT (produced by the Impractical Jokers).

Contact Trae through his Facebook or Twitter

Gatlinburg Improv Fest returns to Smoky Mountains

GIF 2016, 2 Days, 5 Improv Classes, 12 Improv Groups, 5 Improv Shows
Every year we invite improv groups to come perform at the historic Sweet Fanny Adams
Theatre in Gatlinburg, Tennessee Laughs and fun abound. Suggestions are taken from
audience members and the hilarious scenes created on the spot are completely unscripted.
Several improv coaches also teach $15 improv comedy classes that are open to everyone.
Improv Classes will be held Saturday, March 5th, during the day. Class Schedule coming

Ian Covell and Highwire Improv Co. from Atlanta
Shenanigans from Lee University in Cleveland, TN
Featuring 12 Improv Comedy Groups:
Einstein Simplified from Knoxville
The New Fangles from Gatlinburg
The Adult Table from Atlanta
Full Disclosure from Knoxville
The Maybe Pile from Chattanooga and beyond
Nashville Improv Co. from Nashville
The Improv*ables from Knoxville
Red Pill Players from Atlanta
LOL Nashville from Nashville
The Blast from Atlanta

Where: Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre, 461 Parkway (Traffic Light #3),
Gatlinburg, TN 37738, ph: 865-436-4039
When: March 4-5, Friday @ 8pm, 10pm, Saturday @ 6pm, 8pm, 10pm
Tickets: $10 or $25 for a weekend all show pass – Order online at, or at,

or by phone at 865-325-9712

Show Schedule:
Friday, March 4, @ 8pm The Improv-ables, The New Fangles, Nashville Improv
Friday, March 4, @ 10pm Einstein Simplified, LOL Nashville, Improv Jam
Saturday, March 5 @ 6pm The Maybe Pile, Shenanigans, Full Disclosure
Saturday, March 5 @ 8pm The Blast, Red Pill Players, The Adult Table
Saturday, March 5 @ 10pm Ian Covell and Highwire Improv Co., Improv Jam

GIF 2016 will be the 5th annual Gatlinburg Improv Fest. Festival producers James and
Krisha Newport are excited once again to have these shows and classes at the amazing
Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre in Gatlinburg, TN. James, previously with SAK Comedy
Lab in Orlando, FL, has almost 30 years of improv experience, teaching, performing and
producing. Krisha is well-known as the morning co-host on radio station Q100.3 in
Knoxville, TN. They really love bringing the joys of improv comedy to East Tennessee.
“It is always a great time and we hope you’ll be able to join us in all the fun and laughs.”
To learn more visit, our Facebook page, or call 865-325-9712.

MURDER! Saying Goodbye to Angela Garrone and Ian Ferguson and much much more

The crime is MURDER and the victim will be your brain cells. Prepare to have your liver rocked and your mind blown! Angela Garrone and Ian Ferguson are moving away and it might be your last chance to see them perform for awhile. As a special treat Cliff Andrews is coming down from Johnson City.

A group of local comedians that have been labeled too raw, 2 X-treme, or too female to be a part of Knoxville’s Mainstream Alternative Comedy will be performing. These Alternative Alternative comics will be pulling out all the stops to make sure you have a memorable evening filled with fun, laughter, and surprises.

I promise they will be fun surprises and not me walking around shouting “Surprise!” and throwing bottle rockets at people.

The show starts at 8:37 PM and we’re going to try to have things over by 11 PM or shortly after, because we know people hate Wednesdays. Bring five dollars or your invitation or be prepared to flirt with the doorman to get in.

About the Evenings Performers:
Angela Garrone: Angela Garrone is a slick big city lawyer. She works to keep us safe from Black Lung and Monday Fever. Kings of the Coal Industry have nasty nicknames for her. They shout her name in laments aimed towards a regal and indifferent sky.

Ian Ferguson: Ian Ferguson convinced a lady to punch another lady at a party once. I had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Liz Brooks: Liz Brooks makes sculptures out of old pizza crusts. Her pizza crust bust of Charles W. Fairbanks is on display in the Cincinnati Museum of Vice Presidents and Toilet Flush Handles.

Cliff Andrews: Cliff Andrews lives in Johnson City, but he’s spent enough time in Madisonville to know that the Lost Sea is mostly just a boring pond in a cave with some sterile fish in it. The Flea Market…that’s where the real action is!

Larissa Radtke: Larissa has had four different names in the time I’ve known her. I’m almost certain she is a spy sent from the future to steal my recipe for making an “Everything in the Fridge Burrito”. The secret is having at least six kinds of things, but don’t trust her with that information.

Daniel Wade: Daniel Wade is a man with no past. I heard he once ate an entire cow. Not in one sitting of course. That would be ridiculous.

Ashton Binkley: Ashton Binkley has a Sheryl Crow lyric for every occasion. Her idea of a perfect sandwich is one with a fancy good sauce and really nice melted cheese, veggies and maybe meat should be there…but they are not as important.

Lance Adams: I assure you Lance Adams is a person. His facial hair currently has a three picture deal with Universal. He seems like the kind of man that could explain how a carburetor works.

Todd Lewis: Todd Lewis is a mentally ill person who really likes planes. His favorites are the A-4 Skyhawk and the SU-27 Sukhoi. He is often accused of not taking joking seriously.

Will Fist (As The Spirit of Comedy): Will Fist’s idea of a Super Food is Memphis style barbecue on Chicago style Deep Dish Pizza. He has a mouth you can’t argue with.

Jeff Danger: Jeff Danger might stop by; riding in atop majestic steed or he might be atop tennis shoes. Also, he might have to work. Making Krystal burgers for all of the drunk people. God bless him and the important work he does.

The Barfly Gallery Players: The Barfly Gallery Players are a group of people Todd Lewis was able to weasel into doing various short bits and things during the show. This group will vary depending on how drunk the people were when they agreed to participate and whether they remember it or not. Also, please inquire within if interested.

Comedy Tonight (01/11) in Sevierville!

High Tide Comedy has found a home at Boogaloo’s Bar & Grill in Sevierville, Tn. Not only does Boogaloo’s offer a wide variety of drinks, they also offer a menu full of excellent food. Boogaloo’s is a beach themed sports bar that has entertainment from trivia night all the way to live music, and, for the first time ever, a stand up comedy show. This month we will get to laugh with Riki Higgins, Joe Leeper, Shane Rhyne, Gail Grantham and January’s headliner Knox Vegas’ own Jay Kendrick! Hosted by yours truly, Aaron Chasteen. The premiere show will be Monday, January 11th, 2016, tide comes in at 9pm. ALSO, the show is during Boogaloo’s Happy Hour. Not only is there free comedy, but there’s also a full menu of drinks at a discount! Free Admission. 18&Up to laugh, 21&Up to drink.
Boogaloo’s 815 Parkway,
Sevierville, TN 37862.
Go like Boogaloo’s and Scruffy City Comedy’s facebook pages!

2015 Scruffy City Comedy Festival Audience Grows, Sexiness Remains

Scruffy City Comedy Festival a Success Once Again!

The 2nd Annual Scruffy City Comedy Festival was a success in the eyes of all whom attended, performed or staffed the events.  We saw nearly 400 comedy fans over the course of our three day event.

Some Big Successes

Dustin Meadows wins Air Sex
Dustin Meadows wins Air Sex

Air Sex
Holy shit, this show went over so much better than expected. I KNEW it was funny, but I wasn’t sure if the crowd would turn out for it as they might be pre-gaming and getting drunk elsewhere for the next afternoons University of Tennessee Football game.  Nope, not an issue.  Chris Trew opened the show to a growing crowd that eventually filled most of the seats in Scruffy City Hall.  His opening routine had people in the room doubled-over with laughter.

Jackie Kashian
We intentionally put the empress of dorkdom on the main stage on Saturday night after the home football game because we knew she wouldn’t draw from that demo.  Jackie came in and performed an amazingly funny set to the largest crowd we have ever had for a comedy show at Scruffy City Hall.

Sunday Nights Shows
I personally began sweating bullets at about 7pm when the crowd seemed to be very light for the Sunday evening shows.  Little did I know, folks had been reading the schedules and were coming to see specific acts, so they all showed up about 15 minutes before showtime.  The biggest success here is that while Mia Jackson’s crowd was sizable, they stayed and even grew slightly for the Shane Mauss 10pm show.  We had an audience watching the final show of our festival at 11:45pm on a SUNDAY NIGHT.  This is what I was personally told would never work in Knoxville. A Sunday night show.  Glad to prove some folks wrong on that one.

Day 2 Scruffy City Comedy Festival Highlights

Blue Umbrella Tour
Matt Chadourne Kicks off the Blue Umbrella Tour

The Blue Umbrella Tour

Just as the sun went down, the Blue Umbrella Tour kicked in. This was a walking tour of Downtown Knoxville where comedians told an improvised ghost story about the various structures and places they passes on the tour.

Jackie Kashian
Jackie Kashian performing to packed house at Scruffy City Hall

Jackie Kashian headlined Scruffy City Hall at 8pm

Jackie Kashian really had a great turnout of fans for her performance last night at Scruffy City Hall. The crowd went with her no matter where she went. My favorite quote from the evening “My husband and I decided not to have kids, but instead to go to Paris.. Because.. Well, We are still going to Paris, fuck those guys.” The crowd erupted and we couldn’t have been luckier to have her at our festival.

Einstein Sinplified
Einstein Simplified closing out Saturday Night of the Festival at Scruffy City Hall

Improv Blow-out Closes out Saturday Night at Scruffy City Hall

Saturday night saw the combination of the improv talents of Full Disclosure and Einstein Simplified.  This combination of talents produced an amazing show with a great crowd.

Laughs Uncorked
Grady Ray making them laugh at Laughs Uncorked inside Knoxville Uncorked