May 13, 2007 / 9:25 PM / 11 years ago

HBO's comedy fest to leave Aspen

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - HBO has decided that its annual U.S. Comedy Arts Festival will leave its longtime base in Aspen, Colo., at least for next year’s edition.

“The U.S. Comedy Arts Festival has had 13 great years as part of the Aspen landscape,” festival CEO Bob Crestani said in a statement Friday. “We’ve made the bittersweet decision not to host the Festival there in 2008. We hope that circumstances will allow us to return to Aspen in the future.”

A spokeswoman for HBO said no decision has been made yet on the festival’s new location, any potential name changes or possible new dates.

However, Santa Barbara,Calif., is in contention, she confirmed a report in the Denver Post, along with other West Coast locations. “We are looking at various locations, none of them snow locations,” the spokeswoman said.

The annual Aspen outing usually took place in late February and/or early March, according to sources. However, the festival is likely to be pushed back to set it apart from HBO’s newer The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas in November, according to sources. Spring/summer dates for the event are likely.

Its focus could also be changed slightly. “Emerging artists will still be the festival’s focus,” the HBO spokeswoman said. However, she did acknowledge that it could also add some more consumer-focused events in addition to the industry-focused emerging talent. The Vegas extravaganza is mainly about big established talent with a strong draw.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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