The Carlsberg Comedy Carnival has just finished its fourth run, and I pronounce it a success. Sure, none of the gigs I attended on Sunday were sold out (how does Emo Phillips not sell out? What is wrong with people?) but Saturday was chockers, and everyone seemed to be in very good spirits.
The festival's two main selling points for comedians, as far as I can see, are that it's just before Edinburgh, so they can get in that one last polish of their material before their Edinburgh shows, and that (unlike Kilkenny) there is a dedicated space for the comedians and their mates to sit and get a drink without having people coming up to them all the time. I wouldn't like to give the impression that comedians don't like people approaching them, nor would I like to suggest that people are assholes about it, but if you're getting ready to go onstage, or you've just come off stage, sometimes you just want to be somewhere where you can relax a bit and not be 'on', and the organizers of this festival get that.
You also can't get into the Iveagh Gardens at all unless you have a ticket to at least one of the shows. Once you're in, you can hang out all day and eat burgers or crepes and drink as much €5 Carlsberg as your stomach can hold, but the cordon does prevent the place from being flooded with extra people.
I did also see some actual gigs while I was there, but I will talk about them later.