Just For Laughs: Hillberry offers four nights of comedy

Just For Laughs: Hillberry offers four nights of comedy

Taking a cue from last year, the Deadbolt Comedy Hour has returned this year to Hillberry. The Hillberry Harvest Moon Festival happens this weekend with four days of live music from national touring artists and local musicians as well as workshops on music, art and more. Included in that “more” will be the Deadbolt Comedy Hour, four nights of shenanigans in the Activity Tent planned during the set breaks of the nightly headliners, each night festivalgoers will be entertained by some of the best comedians in the region, promising to delight with original jokes and engaging stories.

Emcee AJ Finney gave us a quick interview ahead of the festival:

Q. How did you find out that comedy was a good fit with a music festival?

A. I honestly wasn’t sure that it would, but it’s always been a dream of mine to try and meld the two worlds. The 2022 comedy set at Hillberry was eye opening. This is when I realized that while the closing band is setting up is the perfect time to do comedy. People are looking for something to do, they don’t want to go back to camp, and they don’t want to just wait at the stage for 45 minutes, so the Dead Bolt Comedy Hour was born.

Q. What do you like about performing at festivals that’s different from a club experience?

A. For one, I love the relatability at a festival; you can really get far out with a festival crowd and they dig it. Sometimes when you try that at a club people get a little weirded out.

Q. What came first for you? Comedy or jam bands?

A. It’s really hard to discern, but I believe I was listening to and watching comedy before I was introduced to the jam world. That being said, I had been a jam fanatic long before I started doing stand-up comedy myself.

Q. Do you have a podcast or website that folks can check out ahead of your set?

A. I do, my podcast is called Hippie Not Hippie, and my website is www.Ajfinney.com

The roster for the weekend includes:

The Dead Bolt Comedy Hour Thursday with Kyle Gilbert

Kyle Gilbert is a stand-up comedian based out of Fort Smith who’s performed all over the region. He’s told his jokes everywhere from dispensaries to the U.S. Marshals Museum. Onstage, Gilbert loves to talk about his delinquent brother, growing up in a village, and occasionally serial killers. In 2022 he was selected to perform at the Blue Whale Comedy Festival. He can be regularly seen at The Grove Comedy Club in Lowell where he has opened for Christopher Titus and Jay Pharoah.

The Dead Bolt Comedy Hour Friday with Chase Myska

Now a regular at The Grove Comedy Club, Myska levels with the audience with a quirky outlook on being a dreamer growing up in a conservative home in rural Oklahoma. As a responsible parent and esteemed college dropout, he offers a sense of relatability to a generation that’s just trying to get by and make less mistakes than their parents did. His lovable demeanor and quick-wit have earned him opportunities to work with Dusty Slay, Greg Warren, Greg Fitzsimmons and Aaron Weber.

The Dead Bolt Comedy Hour Saturday with AJ Finney

Based out of Denver but originally from Kansas, AJ Finney is an eclectic mid-westerner with a passion for psychedelics, jam bands and Volkswagens. His personal stream of consciousness storytelling makes every show a unique and unforgettable experience that will remind you of the joy of growing up, family, friends, and the beauty of the strange world we live in. He was one of the 100 performers chosen for Season 8 of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” was featured on the FOX television show “Laughs,” and was crowned “Best of the Midwest” winner at Gilda’s LaughFest in Grand Rapids. He was a semifinalist in the Comedy Central talent search “Up Next,” as well as a finalist in the San Francisco International Comedy Competition. He was voted “Best in Fest” at the Detroit LaughFest and was a finalist in HBO’s “Lucky 21” comedy competition

The Dead Bolt Comedy Hour Sunday with Andy Davis

Andy Davis is a young comic hailing from Gallup’s “eighth most miserable city in America.” His fiancé has called him “the least interesting person I know,” and audiences have called his material “at times too highbrow to understand.” Davis has graced stages from clubs to bars to theaters and festivals such as The Plano Comedy Festival, Tower City Comedy Festival and Backwoods Music Festival and has had the privilege of making money by performing at churches and corporate events. He has opened for Brian Regan, John Crist, Dusty Slay, Greg Warren and Jackie Kaishan and been honored as the season champion of the Comedians NWA Roast Battle League.



Hillberry The Harvest Moon Festival

WHAT — Live music from festival partners Railroad Earth and headliners Sierra Hull, The Wood Brothers, Leftover Salmon, moe., Kitchen Dwellers, Elephant Revival, Here Come The Mummies, Sicard Hollow. Fireside Collective, The Sensational Barnes Brothers, The Vine Brothers, Front Porch, Rochelle Bradshaw & Hypnotion, Magnolia Brown, The Gary Lawrence Show, Arkansauce, Sad Daddy, Opal Agafia and more.

WHEN — Through Oct. 8

WHERE — The Farm, 1 Blue Heron Lane, Eureka Springs

COST — One-day passes start at $75 and then vary depending on the number of days. Tax and fees applied to all ticket prices. Kids 12 and younger are free. Camping by your car is included in the ticket price. (RV camping sold out.)

INFO — hillberryfestival.com

BONUS — A Berry Festival Passport for $335 includes full access to the Ozark Mountain Soul and Hillberry festivals.

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