Wednesday 17 October 2018

Encuentros & Festivalitos Milongueros 2019

Here I am again.

A lot of friends have asked me to post another list of event-recommendations for milongueros. 

I have hesitated for quite some time, as I still find it difficult to offer that nowadays. Why?
- The numbers of so-called milonguero-events have risen even more and I can only visit a fraction of them, as I am working most of the weekends. 
- A few events have developed in a way, that I really cannot recommend them anymore to Milongueros. 
- Some events have been stopped. One of my favourite events (Abrazos in the UK) will e.g. not take place in 2019 because of Brexit issues. 
- In general, the "milonguero" events are changing along with it's population. There is a tendency to not visit all milongas of an event - which changes the atmosphere a lot.
- The borders between marathons and encuentros are getting more and more blurry. I myself will visit a marathon in Vienna this November. Let's see how that goes.
All in all, there are many reasons to not post any recommendations.

But of course I still love going to encuentros or festivalitos milongueros, because this is where tango is danced in a way that I can relate to. I always try to keep a few weekends per year free to dance with my friends. And sometimes I am lucky to be invited to dj or teach at such an event. Then I am even happier, because I can combine the pleasure of working and dancing in the ronda! 

I have therefore 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 & with cortinas,
5. encourage cabeceo & mirada, in particular by placing seats consequently around the dance floor and installing enough light to actually be able to see across the room,
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 (see note below). 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. So they could be called Encuentros+. Please note that separate seating is no necessary condition of a milonguero-event. In fact, I do better in a mixed-seating environment.

So, here goes:

EVENTS, that I organise or where I dj or/and give classes in 2019:
La Colmena, Copenhagen, Denmark - April 19-21
Pequeña (Tangokombinat), Saarbrücken, Germany, June  21-23 (Festivalito)
Embrace Norway, Lillehammer, Norway - July 5-7 (Festivalito)
Festivalito Rural, Verzej, Slovenia, August 23-25 (Festivalito) 
FCA (Tangokombinat), Saarbrücken, Germany, Oktober 12-14 (private event) 

EVENTS that I have visited in the past:
Pasionaria Milonguera, Nice, France (Date uncertain)
Yo soy Milonguero, Crema, Italy, April 19-22 
Rendez-Vous Milonguero, near Lyon (formerly SJMM), France, May 3-5 (private event)
*Les Cigales, France, May 30 - June 2
Ensueños, Porto, Lisbon, October (Date to be announced)
*TangoAGoGo, Lago di maggiore, Italy, October (Date to be announced)
Tres Besos, Basel, Switzerland, November 1-3
*Te quiero Lisboa, Lisbon. Portugal, November, November 22-24
Abrazame, Barcelona, Spain, December 6-8 (marathon-encuentro mixer)
(I will try to go to 1-2 of them in 2019. But some do not meet to my personal preferences, so I would not visit all of them again. The events with * use separate seating of leaders/followers.)

EVENTS that I have not yet been to, but that get good feedback by many milongueros, depending on their preferences:  

Noches de Invierno, Reichenau an der Rax, Austria, January 4-5
Juntos, France, February 1-3
A Promotora, Portugal, March 1-4
Ronda de primavera, Kehl, Germany, April 8-14 (privat event)
Bomboncito, Basel, Switzerland, springtime (private event)
Encuentro Porteño, Amsterdam, Netherlands, May 2-5
Encuentro de Brujas, Bruges, Belgium, May 16-19
Noches de PrimaveraReichenau an der Rax, Austria, May 10-12
Avventura Milonguera Peace & Love, Nocy, Italy (around June)
Noches de Verano, Reichenau an der Rax, Austria, August 9-11
La Franteña, France, August 15-18
La Parada Milonguera, Treviso, Italy, October
Yupie, France, October 18-20
Paquita, Sarrebourg, France, around New Year (private event)
(Many of the events on this part of the list use separate seating. Please check in advance, if this is of any importance for you.)

And last, not least - the UK EVENTS:
These are events of which the future is uncertain, mostly because of Brexit. If they do take place again, I will certainly go there. 
Abrazos (Tangokombinat), Dartington, Devon (May): Took place from 2011-17 and then went on hold for one year. But then came Brexit, so our colleagues suspended it again. Might come back, if there is no hard Brexit or if the situation in the UK will not deteriorate completely. I am not holding my breath though. Very sadly.
Sueño de Escocia, Linlithgow, Scotland: one of my absolute favourites 2018, but who knows what happens next year. Even without Brexit - it was a first-timer and it is uncertain, whether the lovely organisers will do it again. But the pressure on them is definitely high. Everyone loved it! (Edit: Will take place again in 2020.)

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

Please note again: 
This is a very personal list of recommendations. It is subjective, but all the events on my list are suited for dancers with a milonguero philosophy. There are many more Encuentros, that I either don't know or know to be fakes. And there are many small, more local events as well. I am here sticking to events that are well-established and that aim to attract an international crowd. For a complete listing, please visit this site

General note on Encuentros and Marathons:
Nowadays, some Marathons seem to have the same or most of the features as described in my 7-point list above. But as I have not been to any of them, I cannot vouch for that. Things are constantly on the move in the tango community and these two terms might not exist in 10 years anymore. But in this article, I am speaking from my perspective for the year 2019. 

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