Outdoor comedy night may be the best medicine

Update: Due to the threat of in climate weather, organizers moved this event to Friday, March 26.

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Sean Gannon is an EMT by day and an event producer by night.

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So when he proposed that the owner of Heartwood Soundstage in Gainesville let him plan A Night of Comedy event for March 18, he included in his pitch that it’s outside, easy to socially distance and, just like coughing, laughter helps break down scar tissue.

According to Gannon, since COVID-19 affects the respiratory system, laughter could serve as physical therapy for your lungs.

“The best thing we can do for recovering COVID patients is throw a comedy fest in winter,” Gannon said. “The air is dry, not humid, and still cool in the evenings.”

Back in January, Heartwood announced that comedy events would be coming in March. The venue hosted a farewell comedy event as a send off for A.J. Wilkerson, a homegrown comedian who hit the road with Jason Mewes and said goodbye to Gainesville. Fire pits were scattered through the yard and long benches were spaced for people to sit around the pits while enjoying the show.

Gannon, who has been working on events with Heartwood for three months, said comedy is another great use of the venue, which specializes in music events and can livestream.

“If we can give local and comedians throughout Florida the spotlight, we’ll be able to broadcast more on media,” he said.

The comedy event will directly follow a farmers market event. Some of those vendors and food trucks will be invited to stay longer to sell vegan and meat menu items, plus other craft and produce items.

Daniel Biddle, a local teacher and rising comedian, will be the headliner. According to Gannon, Biddle has earned the top billing.

“He has been putting in the time and effort,” Gannon said. “And he can draw a crowd.”

Gannon is excited that local favorite comedian Morgan Gallo will host the event, which also includes acts by Anna Lepeley, J.J. Curry, Gregory Allison, Derrick Ross and Paige Nelson.

“I approached Morgan because she owns the stage, is confident in the stage space, and commands attention,” Gannon said. 

The event is free and open to everyone, including pets on a leash. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the show starting at 8 p.m. Gannon said he is also planning another comedy event in June.

If you go:

  • Face masks required unless seated and socially distanced

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