We "bought" tickets over the phone, but then had to make a cash deposit +10% at Banco de la Nacion! Even then you have to go to the ticket office at the Corsodromo (Gualeguaychu) to actually get your hard copy ticket. We called there at about 3pm last Saturday and there were people buying tickets, without much of a queue at all. There were plenty of seats unused on the night.
Despite them saying that the event kicks off at about 9pm, the first real action wasn't until about 1040pm. It finishes at about 4am.
I was a little sceptical beforehand but came away well impressed.
I was there two weeks ago, we had a great time. If you dont mind camping there is a great campground on the Rio De Uruguay. I forget the name because a friend did the booking. We bought tickets from the campground, 15 minuet drive, they also offer a bus service so you dont have to drive. One thing to keep in mind, the campsite required a 200 pesos deposit. What are you going to break in a campground? A tree....not sure why the deposit, but make sure you keep all your recites because they will keep your deposit for that. The cost of camping was no more than 50 a night. Also the tickets range from 185 to 85 pesos. 185 is right on the street, so you are able to get photos with the dancers, stand, and dance. The best way to make Carnavale great in my opinion. Next 115 for a specified seat, the option we chose, not being there before, and we had people behind us tell us to sit down...next 80 pesos for the top of the bleachers. Same view as 115, and maybe if you are on the top you can stand or dance. My only comment is make sure to bring a lot of money it turns out being an expensive weekend. 18 pesos for a beer!
thanks all! I think we are actually going to do a 'dance and dash' - i.e. get a bus home at 4 am and skip staying in a hotel. I just wanted to be sure i could get tix at the door. It's annoying they don't put them on ticketek anymore!
Another option is one of the small Carnavales in some provincial towns. Or the Carnaval in the Quebrada de Humahuaca, if you have the time and you are not afraid of being covered in flour. I think that the town of 25 de Mayo in the Buenos Aires province has an interesting one. Also, Carnaval in Montevideo for those that like music,comedy and more music.