Incorporating the Variety Artistes' Federation
  1. You are here:
  2. Home
  3. Welcome to Equity's area for comedians

Welcome to Equity's area for comedians

stand up comedian

Equity is the trade union providing a voice for comedians in the industry. We also offer free legal help, insurance cover and advice on contracts.

Get your ticket for February 16th at the Leicester Comedy Festival for I Say - the annual comedy conversation 

For the fourth year we are holding the I Say discussion at the Leicester Comedy Festival on February 16th.  Previous years have seen Alexi Sayle, Nicholas Parsons and  Janice Connolly talking openly about their careers and views of the industry with lively Q & As with the audience. This year we are delighted that Sara Pascoe will be our special guest.  A multi award-winning comedian,  Sara has also  appeared on BBC TV shows W1A and 2012.  Sara will be in conversation with  Festival Director Geoff Rowe about her career, views on comedy, the industry and future plans, this will be followed by a Q & A and refreshments.   Full booking details here 

The Network

We are delighted that the Equity Comedians’ Network is growing. This has been formed by a group of working stand ups to communicate, organise and work more effectively with Equity staff to campaign for better conditions in the industry.

The network aims:
Fair pay for all
Safe working conditions
Protection from harassment and discrimination
Fair treatment in the workplace
A standard contract for comedians  (this is now being used by some clubs and stand-ups)

Sara Pascoe

Sara Pascoe founder member of the Network

”This is not about coming down like a ton of bricks on the industry or closing down gigs.  We want to improve the new manifesto through people discussing it on the circuit. It's by getting working comedians on board the we will influence the promoters"

If you would like to find out more and join the Network please email us at and keep up to date with developments.

Equity is always where you are working 
Equity negotiates working terms and conditions throughout the world of entertainment.
You may think we are only in theatres, but we have agreements embracing all technologies: satellite, digital, mobisodes, internet-only productions, podcasting etc.

The minute you’re on radio, TV or other recorded media, Equity membership means you and your work are protected and (of course) on the live circuit you are also covered, no matter how small or big the venue. Equity aims to improve the working lives of performers across the UK, and beyond, when it comes to intellectual property rights, royalties and residual payments. We lobby, campaign and are listened to as the voice of all professional performers

We are actively present at festivals across the UK each year, in particular at the Edinburgh Fringe in August and The Leicester Comedy Festival every February.  Watch out for us at these key events in the comedy year and talk to us about membership - or anything else.

Insurance and contracts
Equity members get many levels of support, such as free Public Liability Insurance (with a £10 million limit); free legal help with contractual issues (such as late payment or non-payment) or personal injury; free advice on tax, national insurance and benefits; free accident insurance; free job information – all of this comes automatically with your membership.

Equity members campaign nationally and internationally on issues that are important to performers - particularly on issues such as digital piracy or freedom of speech.  We recently led a successful multi-national campaign to free the Burmese comedian Zarganar from imprisonment for political charges - you can read more about our campaign here.

How to join
The only two things you have to do are show us you have some paid gigs under your belt and pay the subscription.  Subscriptions are on a sliding scale and are tax-deductible. It really is that straightforward.
Join here

Hannah Chambers

Hannah Chambers supports Equity

“I always encourage my clients to be members of Equity. Not only is the public liability insurance invaluable to comedians who work in a wide range of venues, but Equity membership gives a bit of extra peace of mind for us and our clients – it is key for us to know that if there is a problem with a contract or a booking, Equity will be there to help resolve it if things get out of hand.”
Hannah Chambers
Chambers Management Ltd

Further information
Contact Michael Day: or 020 7670 0235