Burning Bridges Festival was first held in April of 2016 but initially it was drunkenly proposed years before that. While on tour, Jesse Irvin and John Dick Winters were talking about starting their own comedy festival because having no idea how to do something should never stop you from doing it. Basically the only thing they had decided during those conversations was the name; credit to Jesse Irvin.
Later that same year some other folks in Pittsburgh announced the very appropriately named Pittsburgh Comedy Festival. Jesse and JDW were both relieved cause now they didn’t have to do any work themselves. The first year of the PGH Comedy Fest came and went and afterwards Jesse and JDW both agreed there was still room in Pittsburgh a D.I.Y. style comedy bonanza, so the planning began. Matt Ward(Cape Fear Comedy Festival) held Jesse and John's hands through that first year and they are forever in his debt.
The first headliner John Dick Winters ever opened for was Geoff Tate, so JDW asked Tate to be the first headliner of the inaugural Burning Bridges Festival cause John is a sap and Geoff is hilarious. Some 30 additional comics came in from around the country to perform 14 shows in two short days. It was a blast.
Year two bragged James Adomian, Aparna Nancherla, Shane Torres and the hilarious Reformed Whores as headliners as well as another two dozen comics from all over. 13 shows in three days and we quintupled attendance(mostly cause the first year was poorly attended). Other stuff happened but we're pretty much up to date now.