North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival offers cheap laughs

11 Feb

In these sucky economic times, we all need to find ways to laugh. Lucky for us Triangle residents, the 2009 North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival starts tomorrow. You may be more familiar with the festival under its former name, the Dirty South Improv Festival, but organizers have changed its name this year.

The festival is hosted by DSI Comedy Theater and is one of the largest comedy events in the country (and it’s cheap to attend, with tickets ranging from $7 to $10). The shows are spread out among various venues in Carrboro. It’s a two week festival, with Feb. 12-15 focusing on stand-up comedy and Feb. 18-21 focusing on improv, according to a press release I read today.

You can find the full schedule and ticket prices here.

I went last year and found the improv show to be worth the $10 ticket (and was excited to see they served beer).

Here’s some advice stemming from my experience last year:

* Try to buy your ticket in advance to save a couple bucks.

* If the show you’re seeing is at the DSI Theater (as opposed to one of the easier to find venues in the festival), leave early. It can be tricky to find.

* If you want to imbibe a little during the show, buy two beers at the beginning and keep the extra at your seat.

The festival gives Carrboro a boost too, according to organizer Zach Ward:

“NCCAF has grown exponentially since 2001. As a producer, it’s exciting to move forward, partnering with RooftopComedy to offer an opportunity like Aspen for the stand-up comics coming to North Carolina. Local leaders have started to take notice of DSI and the NCCAF as contributors to area economic development. In 2008, the NCCAF raised the population of Carrboro by 4% for a week and generated $150,000 in spillover spending for the downtown business community.”

The event website has a comprehensive list of all the performers, so you can learn a little about who you’ll be seeing in advance.

If you go, let me know what you think.

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