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British Airways Brings Fringe Comedy Onboard with Spafax

Spafax, in collaboration with NextUp and Just For Laughs, takes British Airways’ in-flight entertainment to new heights by introducing Edinburgh Fringe Comedy onboard. 

These captivating one-hour comedy performances, recorded at an array of eminent venues across Scotland’s capital, provide passengers with an immersive experience of the festival’s celebrated fusion of comedy and culture.

Prepare for an exhilarating in-flight comedic journey with Katie Pritchard, featuring a blend of unique hand-made costumes and vibrant tunes that offer a fresh take on observational comedy. 

Spafax, an industry leader in in-flight entertainment, is once again championing British culture by elevating humor to new altitudes. Building on a series of successful collaborations with British Airways, such as bringing Glastonbury content on board and streaming the Coronation of King Charles III mid-flight, Spafax has facilitated the airline’s showcasing of the best of the best from this year’s Edinburgh Fringe comedy festival on its in-flight entertainment system. 

Aligned with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2023, British Airways is set to feature seven unique stand-up comedy acts from the festival. This includes Eleanor Morton’s “Has Peaked,” Jamie D’Souza’s amusing “Stop Drawing Willies on My Poster”, Katie Pritchard’s vibrant “Disco Ball”, Rajiv Karia’s humorous “Gallivant”, Rob Rouse’s side-splitting “No Refunds”, the premiere show “Hair” by musical comedy duo Shelf, and Will Duggan’s self-effacing “Iceberg.”

Captured by UK-based production company and streaming platform NextUp, these one-hour performances are filmed in various venues across the vibrant city of Edinburgh. The licensing is handled by Just For Laughs Distribution, providing passengers with a taste of the festival’s unique fusion of humor and culture while simultaneously promoting the ‘Best of British Comedy’. These chosen performances are featured under the exclusive ‘Edinburgh Fringe’ in-flight entertainment category for the entire month. Once the festival concludes, this comedy extravaganza will transition into the comedy section of British Airways’ in-flight entertainment system, where it will remain available until January 31, 2024.

Yvonne Crossley, Senior TV Acquisitions Manager at Spafax, said, “The partnership with comedy streaming service NextUp and global comedy leader Just For Laughs brings to the skies the biggest arts festival in the world. It truly celebrates an original British event, offering a taste of the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The Fringe Festival is to comedy as Glastonbury is to music, so this unique offering is an engaging way to celebrate British culture at 30,000 feet.”  

Sarah Henley, co-CEO and co-founder of NextUp adds, “This partnership with Just For Laughs and Spafax is one way to get our fantastic comedy content off the ground! Thanks to British Airways, this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Festival will be more accessible than ever, with audiences able to experience this usually one-of-a-kind festival from literally anywhere in the world.”  

Spafax’s groundbreaking strategy allows passengers to immerse themselves in the unique ambiance of a premier cultural event, distinguishing the firm in the in-flight entertainment sector. This pioneering collaboration introduces Edinburgh Fringe highlights into in-flight entertainment, marking a first in the industry. This initiative underscores the dedication of both Spafax and British Airways to offering their passengers culturally relevant and timely entertainment. Their aptitude for capturing and converting the prevailing cultural zeitgeist into unforgettable in-flight experiences is unquestionable.

Marina Di Pancrazio, Chief Content Revenue Officer for Just For Laughs, remarks, “We are pleased to be entering into a new joint collaboration with Spafax and NextUp to bring comedy from the renowned Edinburgh Fringe to British Airways passengers. At Just For Laughs, we are passionate about spreading laughter worldwide. We are thrilled to be adding British Airways to our expansive network of airline partners who already benefit from our extensive volume of comedy content as part of their in-flight entertainment.”  

About Spafax Group   

Spafax is a travel media network with one purpose: to entertain, inform and inspire travelers everywhere. Spafax delivers content technology and media assets at scale for the world’s leading airlines and curates a vast catalog of global Movies, TV, Audio, and Games across every major entertainment market. Current clients include Air Canada, British Airways, Emirates, Explora Hotels, JetBlue, LATAM, the Lufthansa Group, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, and many others. Spafax provides brands unique access to a global network of nearly a billion passengers across hundreds of touchpoints. The group is headquartered in London with over a dozen offices worldwide. Spafax is a WPP company. 

About NextUp 

NextUp is a subscription video-on-demand platform that live-streams comedy direct from venues alongside their catalog of 100s of stand-up comedy specials shows. 50% of revenue is shared with the comedians who have the chance for their shows to be filmed, streamed, and showcased rather than disappearing after their theatrical run. Since 2020, NextUp has pioneered live comedy streaming, connecting comedians and fans from their own homes – putting on over 100 shows with comedians featuring Jason Byrne, Maisie Adam, and Clinton Baptiste. NextUp was founded by 3 comedy-loving friends in 2016 who wanted to watch more than just the mainstream names that TV and Netflix broadcast. Since then, they’ve received backing from the former head of MGM Networks and the former Head of Comedy at BBC Worldwide. Members pay £35 per year for access and play an active role in the company – suggesting new comedians and tech features – NextUp is less a ‘streaming service’ and more a digital comedy club. 

About Just For Laughs Television 

A global leader in comedy, Just For Laughs Group’s TV divisions, Just For Laughs Television / Juste pour rire TV specialize in TV development and production of unscripted and scripted content. With divisions in the USA and Canada, Just For Laughs Television productions feature some of the world’s top comedic talent – from Kevin Hart and Nikki Glaser to Ali Wong, Hasan Minhaj, and Jo Koy – and have been seen in the US and internationally on Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, FOX, ABC, NBC, MTV, TBS, IFC, The CW, TF1, Comedy Central, Showtime, Hulu, BBC, BBC America, Kevin Hart’s LOL Network, and TEN Australia. And in Canada on various Bell networks and platforms (CTV Comedy, CTV, The Movie Network, HBO Canada, Crave), and CBC. Juste pour rire TV focuses on the development of comedic content delivered by some of Quebec’s foremost Francophone artists – from Rachid Badouri and Marie-Lyne Joncas to Dominic Paquet, Christine Morency, and Mariana Mazza. Their TV productions have been featured on Netflix, Prime Video, Noovo, Radio-Canada, TVA, Tou.tv, Unis, TV5, Z, Crave, Vrak, and Ici Artv. Home to the #1 Comedy Festival in the World and with concentrated growth on television development & production, festivals, live tours, and content distribution, Just for Laughs Group has been launching and championing top comedic talent for close to 40 years. For more information, visit www.hahaha.com  


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