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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The times they are a changin'

Buenos Aires milonga venues continue to undergo involuntary change and attendance patterns fluctuate. So we’ve been talking more about the factors which can make a milonga succeed or fail. Maipu 444, formerly home of Cachirulo, El Maipu, Lujos (on Sunday) and Sentimental y Coqueta, was sold off and closed over a year ago. It is now the stuff of legends. People who experienced those heady days sigh with regret at the loss. Just over a week ago, the intimate El Beso was closed down due to the absence of an emergency exit. Certainly understandable, but that competitive, hot-house atmosphere will not easily be replicated elsewhere.

These organisers all succeeded in finding alternative locations, relocating mainly to larger venues in Alsina, as well as the bizarre choice last year of Villa Malcolm for Cachirulo (Saturday). However, the timing of these changes has been unfortunate. Milonga entradas have not been quarantined from local inflation (Subte fares rose from 1.1 to 2.5 pesos overnight, taxi flagfalls that not long ago were 3.4 are now 8.7 pesos, quality ladies’ tango shoes from 400 to 650 pesos in the last year). Paying 25 – 35 pesos just to enter a milonga is making locals, in particular, think twice about how many milongas they can afford to attend.  It seems that the combination of price increases and venue changes may be taking their toll, at least for some milongas. On the other hand, others are thriving. The question is why.
By the way, this one continues to be one of our favourite milongas:

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I agree with everything you say.

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