The organisers of Wagga Comedy Fest are confident the event will be able to go ahead without a hitch despite the recent coronavirus outbreak in Melbourne.
Big names in comedy like Wil Anderson and the Umbilical Brothers will be in town over the Queen's Birthday long weekend for the festival's return to the Wagga Civic Theatre.
Theatre manager Carissa Campbell said this year's Comedy Fest had seen the highest number of pre-sale tickets ever purchased with three shows already sold out.
Geraldine Hickey and Nath Valvo are the only two performers coming from Victoria, which yesterday recorded four new COVID-19 cases.
Ms Campbell said the two performers' management were "really confident" they would make it to Wagga and said in a worst case scenario their individual shows could be postponed.
"More by luck than design, most of our comedians are not coming from Melbourne this year, even though practically every comedian in the country lives in Melbourne," she said.
Other comedians taking the stage include Nat's What I Reckon, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival roadshow, ABC Radio's Thank God It's Friday, Nurse Georgie Carroll, Shad and Pete, and performers organised by the Riverina Comedy Club.
Wil Anderson will return to Wagga after his infamous arrest on a flight to the city to perform at a Comedy Fest in 2017.
"I think Wil Anderson's show on Saturday night will be pretty incredible. I've heard rumours that the police who arrested him are going to be there on the night," Ms Campbell said.
Comedy Fest artistic director Dane Simpson, who heads up the Riverina Comedy Club, said he loved bringing major city comedians to Wagga because it "works both ways".
"The audiences get a little taste of these amazing comedians that live in cities, but these incredible comedians get to experience a little bit of country hospitality and a Wagga crowd and build new audiences," he said.
The Riverina Comedy Club "Access All Areas" show will feature performers from regional NSW on Thursday night, including a few talented locals.
"I really want to normalise comedy. Comedy comes from anyone and everyone. It's just fun," Mr Simpson said.
"We've been doing this for a while now and I love that we get so many people coming to our shows, and they just trust us that we'll pick great comedians and build a great regional NSW scene."
Tickets are available online via civictheatre.com.au or by calling the Box Office on 6926 9688.