Tuesday 18 October 2016

Encuentros & Festivalitos Milongueros 2017

It is this time of the year again: tango-dancers are asking me to post my Encuentro-recommendations for next year. 

But you may know that I find it harder and harder to compile this list. As I have not been visiting so many Encuentros in the past two years, I cannot guarantee for their quality. Some events, that have been part of last year's list, cannot be found here anymore, either because they will not take place again or because I have heard too much negative feedback about them. Also some organisers have not yet informed me about the dates of their events.

I have nevertheless decided to post another choice of events that:
1. ask participants to pre-register for the whole event,
2. use role or gender-balance to ensure that everyone gets to dance,
3. will take at least 3 days and have separate Milongas,
4. use traditional music in tandas & cortinas,
5. encourage cabeceo & mirada,
6. encourage dancers to leave the dance-floor after one tanda to find a new partner,
7. are meant to attract people who want to dance in a close embrace in a civilised ronda.
Events, that have these features are in general called Encuentros or Festivalitos Milongueros. Festivalitos might include a short demo as well as some classes that focus on social tango. There will nevertheless be no live-music or extended shows at these events. The Milongas are reserved for dancing.

I am going to stick to events that are well-established and and that aim to attract an international crowd. For a complete listing, please visit Gato Milongueiro's site
Like last year, I am going to present the events in three sub-groups.


Abrazos (Tangokombinat UK), Devon, United Kingdom, May 5-7 (info soon)
Le Rendez-vous Milonguero de l'Essaim de Julie, France, June 2-4
Pequeña (Tangokombinat), Saarbrücken, Germany, June 16-18 (info soon)
Festivalito Rural, Verzej, Slovenia, August 25-27
FCA (Tangokombinat), October 13-15 (private event)
2017 will be a very sad year with only very few Encuentros for me. Unfortunately, two of my favourite events  (Viento Norte and Embrace Norway) will not take place in 2017. Also I will be travelling to the USA twice. That does not leave a lot of time for Encuentros. By the way: none of the events mentioned above use separate seating, all are open to changing roles and come with a very relaxed ambiance. 


(In some cases, you might nevertheless be assigned to a seat/table)
Noches de invierno, Reichenau an der Rax, Austria, January 6-8
Silueta Porteña, Hamburg, Germany, January 27-29 (fully booked)
Encuentro de Primavera, Kehl, Germany, April 6-9 (on invitation only)
Yo soy Milonguero, Crema, Italy, April 14-17 (very big, seating by country of origin)
Pasionaria Milonguera, Nice, France, March 3-5
Saarburg Festivalito, Saarburg, Germany, March 31 - April 2 
La Colmena, Copenhagen, Denmark, April 21-23
Atlantico, Porto, Portugal, May 11-15
Ronda del Querer, Kassel, Germany, June 3-5
Noches de Verano, Reichenau an der Rax, Austria, August 11-13
Encuentro Milonguero, Kehl, Germany, September 7-10
Abrazame, Barcelona, Spain, December (Encuentro-Marathon), December 8-10
Encuentro de Navidad, Kehl, Germany, December 7-10 (on invitation only)
Hopefully I will manage to integrate one or two of these column's events into my schedule. I am interested in Atlantico (because of the setting) and Noches de Verano (which seems to be very friendly). I would also like to go to La Colmena, but will be working that weekend. Gaby's events in Kehl seem to be nice as well, but somehow, I never make it to them.

(In some cases with an additional area for couples or mixed groups)
Juntos, France, February 17-19
Encontro Milongueiro A Promotora, Lisbon, Portugal, February 24-28
Encuentro Porteño, Amsterdam, Netherlands, May 18-21
Les Cigales, France, May 25-28
Aventura Milonguera - Peace & Tango, Noci, Italia, June 15-18
Festiv'à La Milonguita, Sisteron, France, June 29 - July 2
La Franteña, France, August 11-15
Stockholm in a close embrace, Stockholm, Sweden, August 25-27
Ensueños, Porto, Portugal, October (Date?)
Yupie, France, October 13-15
TanGoaGOGO, Lago Maggiore, Italia, October 28-30
Te Quiero Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal, November 17-19
Roma Milonguera, Rom. Italy, November (Date?)
You will most likely not meet me at any of these events, as the separat seating does not work for me. This is really sad, because some of my friends prefer this setting and I have not seen them for a long time and just miss being at these places. But I cannot help it. Another reason for my not going there is the rather poor sound and floor quality at some of the French and Italian events. If you are sensitive to these factors, please check with the organisers in advance.

That's it for the moment. I will update the list as soon as I get more information. Please also write to me, if you discover a mistake. 

Note for organisers: 
This is no complete list of all Encuentros and Festivalitos Milongueros. I can only recommend events, that I have been to or that are recommended to me by people, who I know personally and who share my standards of quality and definitions. I will also not integrate first-time events unless they are organised by people whom I trust as organisers because I I have visited some other event that they created in the past. This is - after all - my personal list of recommendations. Nowadays, there are dozens of Encuentros. I cannot know or recommend them all. So please do forgive, if your event is not part of this post.

Tango Gourmet or Gourmand?

I ask myself: 
How can one enjoy Encuentros/Festivalitos or Marathons, if one visits them all the time? 
I see so many of my friends constantly in Facebook-albums, some of them obviously visiting international events almost every other weekend... And they seem to have fun all the time, enjoying each of them indiscriminately. In any case, the thank-you-notes are always enthusiastic, no matter how the floor, catering, DJs, sound and dance experience were.
I don't know. My maximum were 11 Encuentros in 2013. In 2016 it will have been 8, some of them combined with teaching, DJing or organising... That does not leave a lot, but I can enjoy every occasion - because for me they are special. I choose carefully where I travel to, because I want every voyage to be exquisite.
Of course, my freedom is very limited. I cannot visit more than a few Encuentros per year, as I teach on so many weekends. So my situation is not comparable to those of my friends with normal jobs. I also don't want to propagate being overly picky - one should see the good in things, not only the defaults
But still: there is a difference between a gourmet and a gourmand, no?