I think of all comedy Festivals as the best example of Schrodingers cat.
When you apply you to a festival you are on it and not at the same time till you open the email. After you apply to a festival you have the surge of thinking you got on. You have to prepare for it. Most of the time its out of time and to get a cheap plane ticket you need to buy as soon as possible. A lot of festivals you have about a month after you find out you got in before the festival starts. This blog post sadly is about the other kind of email you get from submitting. The rejection. Sometimes you won't even get that. A lot of festivals don't email you if you don't get in. They state that in the submission process and you just have to hear someone else got in and then go on a hunt for your name. When you see list of all the comics that got in but you search for yours and its not there. Its going to happen. It'll happen more than not when you are starting out; even when you are a few years into comedy you'll get rejected from festivals.
What not to do :Don't feel bad. Just because you didn't get in doesn't mean you're not funny. There was a festival where 500 people applied and 46 got in. That doesn't mean 434 weren't funny it just means the people who booked it weren't looking for that particle type of comedy. I've applied to 15 festivals in 1 year got into 2. I'm not going to quit comedy. I'm not going to call up the festival and say how wrong they are for not having me. It'll hurt for a minute. You'll think why did they let that guy in but not me. I sent my best video great production and fantastic audio. I should be on. That's the worst attitude to have.
What to do: Hey its all good. Just be happy for the people that got in. If you know them congratulate them. Festivals are so important and even if you didn't get in you're money for the festival is going to help them put it together and keep promoting comedians that other wise couldn't do for that area. If it was only comedy clubs and bar shows there wouldn't be enough for everyone to get a shot. Festivals are important for the comedy community. Next time you can apply have a better video. It'll be about a year so make another video; Get better so that next year you'll be so good that they can't say no to you.
I love festivals. I get to meet new people, hear new jokes, and try comedy in front of a completely new audience. The first one i did was Laugh fest. I drove 13 hours from Baltimore, MD to Grand Rapids, MI just for 2 shows. It was still one of the funnest shows I've done. When i got off stage i was so happy i felt drunk with ecstasy. I'm saying this as not only for new comics to read and to not get discouraged; i also do this for me. After 4 years of comedy I still face rejection on a daily basis for shows. I won't quit and neither should you. Get a good video. Submit it and you'll get into one. Remember when you stop having fun with this is the only time you should quit.