The idea for Desi Fest was born when Bay Area comedian Samson Koletkar put on a couple shows featuring Pakistani and Indian comedians in 2013. The events were a total hit. Koletkar and fellow Indian comedian Abhay Nadkarni noticed a surge of South Asian comedians on stage, openly talking about their cultural quirks while also addressing immigration, race, and other personal experiences of their diaspora. So, in 2014, they launched a series with eleven Bay Area comedians doing shows in four cities. This year, the festival includes more than fifty comedians from nine different countries with backgrounds including Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Afghani, Iranian, Caribbean, Korean, and Chinese. The festival is traveling to nine cities in Northern California, and will be at Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley (2020 Addison St.) on Wednesday, August 17.