BUSINESS leaders say they want a comedy festival to return to Southampton next year - despite complaints over the event's ticketing structure.

Leaders at Southampton's Business Improvement District say more than 10,000 people attended Comedy Central Live at Hoglands Park last weekend.

Now they say they will work with the entertainment company to bring the event back next year.

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It comes after angry comedy fans took to social media to complain about the organisation of the show, which was held in Hoglands Park on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Headliners included Jimmy Carr, Russell Howard, Britain's Got Talent winner Lost Voice Guy, and Lee Nelson, but those attending were upset at ticketing problems.

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Some criticised the "complex" system which saw some tickets sold for £90 and others for £20.

Many fans were forced to wait in the rain for free tickets to headline acts.

Steve Mills took to social media and wrote: "At comedy shambles live in Southampton. Strangest/worst thing I've ever been to."

Matt Watts wrote: "It's the most poorly organised event I have ever been to.

But speaking to the Echo a spokesperson for the BID said the "overwhelming feedback" from the weekend had been "incredible" and added: "We will work together with Comedy Central to review this year’s event with a view to bringing it back bigger and better next year.

"Over the course of the weekend, more than 10,000 people from Southampton and further afield enjoyed live comedy from 70 of the biggest names in the industry.

"We understand a small portion of standard access ticket holders were not able to get seats within the main stage on Saturday.

"These tickets were clearly advertised as first come first served when it came to seats, however we do appreciate the disappointment of those who weren’t able to get in."

They said capacity in the main stage was increased on Sunday and added: "We know organisers will be taking feedback from this first-of-its-kind festival to shape future events.

"We’re very proud Comedy Central chose to host this brand new event in our city."

Comedy Central have been contacted for a comment.

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