The fifth annual Four Corners Comedy Festival has taken over Durango.
Through Sunday, comedians will be causing hilarity in venues around downtown Durango and up on the main stage at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.
And while the festival, which kicked off Thursday, is four days of laughter, there’s nothing funny about how large the event has grown.
“We started with 13 comics in Cortez in 2017, took one year off for COVID and came back last year. We got so much attention from last year that this year we had 156 comics from all over the country submit to be considered for this festival. We had to narrow it down to 60,” said FCCF founder Jill Carlson. “We currently have one of the largest comedy festivals in the country.”
This year, the festival will feature two headliners – Irma Ruiz from San Antonio and Adam Dominguez from Las Vegas.
What: Fifth annual Four Corners Comedy Festival.
When: Thursday through Sunday (Sept. 29-Oct. 2).
Where: Various venues throughout Durango, including the main stage at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.
“We also have a bunch of theater shows, including some that are Fort Lewis alumni, and then we also have a bunch of non-main stage shows that are all over town; they’re late-night events, sober events, there’s the first-ever LGBTQ-specific comedy show we’ve ever done,” Carlson said.
There will also be comedy karaoke and “Talking S***,” a comedy show for first-time comics.
According to the festival website, organizers take 10 first-time comics with 4 minutes of original material, partner them with five comics who will teach them the ropes and narrow their sets down to 3 minutes. In 30 minutes, the newbies will then perform live for a full audience. Event judges will perform sets in the meantime to keep the crowd entertained.
There will also be a series of workshops for comedians that will cover topics such as being a bankable comic, ask an agent and a marketing meet and greet.
And don’t forget Saturday night’s second annual Comedy Orgy at the Elks Lodge, where formal wear is suggested attire.
“On Sunday, we’re going to have a free show at the Center for Innovation inside of the Main Mall,” Carlson said. “That will be a sober show, but it’s going to be the top 10 comics of the weekend.”
For Carlson, the festival, and comedy in general, is her passion.
“I had this vibe and this vision of how this thing could be, and this year is the year it all comes to fruition for me,” she said.