If you’re a comic in Sydney, it’s pretty tough. There are few venues that do comedy and the general public doesn’t seem to know it exists. It takes big campaigns of big names in order to get a big event happening, and so it’s tough for an up-and-coming comedian to get started. Often-times it’s hard to get a crowd for someone quite well known.

There are several reasons for this:

  • Sydney loves comedy, but has no idea where it is
  • If I want to see comedy, I assume there are only a few comedians that exist and they all come from overseas
  • Whenever someone happens upon a comedy venue, it’s sparsely populated or a different style of comedy than they expect, so they are turned off
  • If the night is good – it’s a one off show – or they can’t find the details for the comedian they liked – or they can’t remember their name etc…

Obviously there are good nights and bad nights of comedy, but it’d be nice to know exactly what’s on and exactly what style of comedy is being performed before you head out.

You Had To Be There gives performers the chance to promote and build a name for themselves online. It gives the audience a chance to discover new comedians, connect with comedians they like, get an idea of which venues are to their tastes and who is performing on which night. Comedy in Sydney is everywhere. I considered myself reasonably knowledgeable on the subject, but there is so much much on every week it’s funny to think that no one in Sydney is aware of it.

We aim to break down the barriers for new comedians – even if you’ve been uploaded once by us, your friends and their friends can see your material. People who saw the event can find you. You can start creating a fan-base straight away and wherever you turn up next, even with a days notice, you can let those people know. In an industry like comedy, it’s important that everyone who is interested
in your work can find you if they want to. Unless you have a well-maintained personal webpage, you’re likely to lose connection with every audience member you impress unless they happen to walk past a flyer of yours two months later and remember your name.

With one single location for all the comedy dealings in Sydney, You Had To Be There will be able to shepherd all the interested parties to your personal websites via the events you performed in. The more clips you have, the more likely it is that you will gain new fans incidentally.


  • I’d like to be involved, but I’m really famous and don’t need promotion.
  • That’s awesome! In that case, please link to our main page and if there are no contractual issues, let us post a clip of you on the site anyway to attract viewers. You’ll be the people’s hero.

  • I only have 10 minutes of good material… How much are you likely to use?
  • We tend to use about 3 minutes of any support acts (usually a single gag) and 2 clips of similar length of a headliner (30 minutes of more). I guess this is also subtle encouragement to create new material. Over time you’ll be able to see who your recurring audience members are, and this will be great for knowing when to pull out the tried and tested. Another important note is that we tend to like anything that seems to be improvised on the night – this is handy since it’s unlikely to be recreated.

  • What if I don’t want my material online?
  • We won’t put it up. You need to sign a waiver giving us the rights to publish your material – Don’t sign this and we won’t post anything.

  • What if I sign and I hate my set? Can I un-sign?
  • Sure. We won’t put anything up if you don’t want it there. Also, we choose exactly what to put up and we only put clips up if they make the performers look good, so chances are you don’t need to worry.

  • What if I sign and you post and I don’t like it?
  • Obviously it’s not as bad as you think. There is a tonne of man hours in each edit, so if you are really concerned about certain parts of the performance please talk to us about what you don’t want posted whilst we’re packing up on the night.

  • I really like what you guys are doing, how can I help?!
  • Fortunately this is the most frequent question we get. The answer is – please “like” the website, comment on videos and spread the word. I will speak to everyone that contacts me as soon as there are spare seconds in the day.