Vancouver Isn't Laughing About Kevin Hart's "Super Short" Great Outdoors Comedy Festival Set

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Sep 20, 2023

Attendees of Vancouver's Great Outdoors Comedy Festival aren't laughing following an event they claim was marred by logistical issues and a "super short" standup set from headliner Kevin Hart.

Social media profiles for the Great Outdoors Comedy Festival — the event which also had regional editions hosted in Edmonton, Calgary and Halifax this year — have been inundated with complaints about Saturday's (September 16) show in Stanley Park.

CTV News Vancouver spoke to attendee Jessica Mattice about the evening, who said Hart's headlining set "felt like 15 to 20 minutes."

"It was really confusing," Mattice told the broadcaster. "When people go to comedy clubs, usually the headliner is the one who goes on longest. It seemed like the two people who went on before Kevin Hart were on longer than he was."

Saturday evening's lineup also featured Na'im Lynn and Will "Spank" Horton, who often tour and collaborate with Hart as members of the Plastic Cup Boyz, though Mattice told CTV News their supporting sets "also started about an hour late."

Not unlike his Reality Check tour dates, Hart's set required attendees to check their mobile phones upon arriving at the venue, leaving Mattice unable to confirm exactly how long Hart's set ran for.

"He was like, 'Thanks Vancouver!' and walked off," Mattice added. "It felt like he was just starting and then it was done. It was ridiculous."

Headlining the festival's first day in Stanley Park (September 15) was Russell Peters, whose set wasn't without incident despite reportedly arriving on time to the stage. That evening, Vancouver police arrested a man allegedly carrying two blades and heading towards the stage during Peters's set. 

Commenters on the Great Outdoors Comedy Festival's Facebook and Instagram pages paint a similar picture, also raising issue with the cost of higher ticket tiers for a performance that reportedly ran short, allegedly lengthy wait times for food and drink, poor sound quality and sight lines.

Daily Hive Vancouver notes how an attendee who contacted the Great Outdoors Comedy Festival about a refund received a response reading, "We are sorry the experience didn't meet your expectations, we are taking note on this and always looking for ways to improve for the future. Unfortunately, there are no refunds."

Others defended Hart, noting how his seemingly limited performance time comes during ongoing recovery from tearing abdomen and hip adductor muscles towards the end of August, an injury which landed him in a wheelchair.

Exclaim! has reached out to event organizers Trixstar LIVE for comment.

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