Australia agenda: Melbourne International Comedy Festival

There will be lots of laughs around Melbourne this week as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival gets underway. There are many special events planned to help celebrate the festival's 25th anniversary; take a walking tour of Melbourne with comedian Rod Quantock or revisit some favorite memories at the
25 Years of Laughs exhibition at the St Kilda Road Foyer Gallery.

25th Melbourne International Comedy Festival
March 30 - April 24
Various venues in Melbourne
Victoria, Australia
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Alongside the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (August 5-29) and Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival (July), the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is one of the three largest comedy festivals in the world. The event regularly attracts crowds of more than 500,000 spectators who come to see free and paid events from the festival's vivid program of stand-up comedy, cabaret, theater, street performance, film, television, radio and visual arts. The Sydney Comedy Festival will take place a few weeks later (April 11 - May 8).
http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/
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20th Targa Tasmania rally
April 5-10
Various courses from Launceston to Hobart
Tasmania, Australia
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Unlike the majority of rallies, the public is invited to the Targa Tasmania to come and watch the almost 400 sports cars, Grand Touring Cars and sporting automobiles from the 1900s to the present race around Tasmania's roads. More than 200,000 spectators turn out to watch the Targa Tasmania each year, bringing an estimated $10 million dollars into the Tasmanian economy. German World Rally Champion Walter Rohrl and his Porsche 911 SC will be one of the star attractions at the event, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2011.
http://targatasmania.com.au/
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Archibald, Wynne & Sulman Prizes
April 16 - June 26
Art Gallery NSW, Sydney
NSW, Australia
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The Archibald Prize is one of Australia's oldest and most prestigious art awards. Since its inception in 1921 the prize has been awarded to some of Australia's most important artists, including George Lambert, William Dobell and Brett Whiteley. Each year the Art Gallery of NSW holds an exhibition to showcase Archibald Prize entries. The Art Gallery of NSW also displays landscape paintings in oil or watercolor and figure sculptures submitted for The Wynne Prize plus genre paintings, subject paintings and mural projects in the running to win the Sir John Sulman Prize.
http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/exhibitions/archibald-wynne-sulman-prizes-2011/
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50th Rip Curl Pro

April 19-30
Bells Beach, Torquay
Victoria, Australia
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In 2011 the Rip Curl Pro is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The Australian event is the world's longest running and most prestigious professional surfing contest, rivaling surf-company-sponsored events like the Quiksilver Pro, Billabong Pro and the Roxy Pro. The major surfing event features the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) World Tour's best 34 male and best 17 female surfers.
http://live.ripcurl.com/bellsbighits/
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22nd Bluesfest
April 21-26
Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay
NSW, Australia
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The Bluesfest Blues and Roots Music festival is one of Australia's biggest annual music events next to the Big Day out and Womadelaide. In 2010 Bluesfest won the Australian event of the year. In 2011 the five-day festival will feature famous musicians such as Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Grace Jones, Paul Kelly, Ben Harper, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and Xavier Rudd. Bluesfest has been shortlisted as one of the top five festivals in the world alongside Glastonbury and the Montreux Jazz Festival.  
http://www.bluesfest.com.au/
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