Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Survival of the fittest

Buenos Aires milonga organisers are facing significant challenges due to closure of major venues, paired with high inflation. Last night while walking from the Subte to La Nacional, one of the local dancers was remarking that a popular Friday night milonga at La Leonesa (Entre tango y tango) was discontinued, effective this week. This was due to further increases in the venue hire. She had heard that this would have raised the milonga entrada to a ridiculous 40 pesos, quite beyond the pale for locals.  However, later through a reliable contact at La Nacional she discovered that the crisis at La Leonesa had been averted, presumably through a compromise. In fact, the organisers of Entre tango y tango were distributing discount vouchers at La Nacional to boost their flagging attendances - not the only good milonga which has experienced an attendance downturn due to forced increases in entry costs.

So what are the characteristics of some of the current survivors of these tough times? Lucy and Dany, organisers of the successful El Maipu (Monday nights at La Nacional) have certainly captured and maintained the formula. It’s all about consistently delivering a quality milonga experience with a personalised high care factor. This seems to have a magnetic effect, attracting discerning dancers who value the quality experience.  They know where to get more “bang for their bucks”, especially in these difficult economic times.   However, the consequences for other milongas are unfortunate.
When the budget is tight, experienced dancers don’t want to risk wasting time and money. They value quality above quantity.  If a milonga is too expensive, has inconsistent music which changes mood mid-tanda, or bizarre musical choices,  inconsiderate/unskilled dancers with poor floor-craft, indifferent or unwelcoming organisers, then it may not survive the current climate. One of these factors alone may be enough to turn people off, and the word spreads.  

Perhaps milonga organisers elsewhere in less challenging circumstances should take heed of the hard lessons being learned here in the Mecca of tango.
PP

1 comment:

Adelaide said...

Good to know about your blog this was due to further increases in the venue hire. She had heard that this would have raised the milonga entrada to a ridiculous 40 pesos, quite beyond the pale for locals.

Thank you for post.

Adelaide

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