In general, I only write reviews about event that I really enjoy. You can see that the objective of the blog is to share the good energy and take time to thank the organizers when they succeed to create a special tango time. I published only one preview in the past. It was for Fata Morgana adventure. I was enchanted by the concept of the event and I wanted to attract people that would not be afraid by the atypical but lovely concept. Now, it is my turn to take the role of organizer with Ines, Nadira and Nicolas. I am preparing the Fritkot Tango marathon for this summer and it is also time to draft a preview for it.
In fact, it is not really a preview. I don’t want to present what we will offer during the marathon. First, it would be boring and in some way hypocritical to draft a preview about my own event. Second, I would just repeat what you can read on facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Fritkot-Tango-Marathon-1990378994589836/ and what you can find on our website – https://sites.google.com/view/fritkot-tango-marathon/ (I hope you already read it). Here, the idea is more to share the concept of the marathon and also to show a little how we arrived to this concept.
Before thinking about a concept, you need to know if you really want to organize a marathon. You also need to find several friends with the same wish. For my part, I discovered the tango marathons with the delightful last edition of the marathon del chocolate in Bruxelles. Since then, I traveled in Europe in various type of events (marathons, encuentros and festival). Visiting all these events already set in my mind what I like and what I really dislike. I organized some little parties at home trying to create a special atmosphere – a meeting with friends coming from different cities who don’t necessarily know each other. Last summer when I entered in a group organizing milongas (taking part of one milonga and creating 2 new ones), I found people who also wanted something bigger.
One of the first big question was: is it really necessary to organize something when there are events every week ? It seems not really necessary. However, the multiplication of the events is not synonym of the multiplication of the quality. I visited various events where I was really disappointed. With the availability of our venue, we had to face a super busy agenda. August is like hell. There are so many interesting events before and after that we already know we will enter in a competition for participants with events we like (Entre amigos, Big pop, Tango8, Sueno…). I also discovered after the opening of the registration that we had an event in another city of Belgium the same weekend (Boca). August or not, we decided to go for it because at some point if you don’t move, you will never move.
So we drafted all together some sort of concept note for the marathon. First, we had a big brainstorm, after everyone threw his ideas on paper and to finish we discussed to find the good middle. On the atmosphere side, it was clear for everybody. We were all on the same line. For the other details and new ideas to make the marathon different, better, smarter or whatever, it was a moment of long discussion and compromises.
The first concept was as follow: friendly/family event of 200 people maximum, funny party, serious on dance but not serious for the atmosphere, price as low as possible to avoid to exclude dancers, free bar except for alcohol, snacks and food but no dinner, no VIP and no free entrance for local people, strict balance leader/follower, good level of dancers, variety of ages, Belgian design and style, eco-friendly, no profit and in case of excess money investment in the promotion of next event and organization of local milongas/events. Maybe the marathon that everybody dreams about… Of course, later you have to face the reality and we had to rework it a little. So the concept has changed mostly on the number of participants and the price.
With some details it gives the following (skip if you are bored to read):
- friendly/family – the most important where we all agree. We want an event that our friends will enjoy and that unknown people with a similar state of mind will join. We want an event where everybody will feel included and not as it happens sometimes an event where several groups are just sharing a common space. We have several ideas to make it happens including the overall environment, the programme, our home/handmade special stuff and of course the selection of the participants on the social aspect.
- 200 participants – the initial number changed to 250 due to the venue but it stays a maximum. If we have a little less, we will be happy. In big events, you see people but you don’t have time to meet them. One tanda here, one tanda there, and the end of the weekend arrives without letting you a possibility to take your time. Also a smaller event can give more opportunity to go outside of your usual circles.
- funny party – look at the name of the marathon, it is this kind of spirit. Relaxed and not so serious. Tango is already too serious.
price – to travel you need money and some events are now really expensive (some with a good quality but some other where you are wondering where your money has gone). We wanted to find a good deal with the quality and to let the opportunity to the maximum of participants to join.
bar and snacks – at the end we have a classic bar and free water/coffee/tea but we set a good variety of snacks and surprises.
strict balance – this is an important point. We all know that it is something that followers enjoy but as a leader I like balanced event too. I will not find a line of followers sitting and I can enjoy the dances when I want. Often first edition have a little unbalance but it is something we will really avoid.
- good level of dance – we didn’t advertise on it as it was simply natural for us. We organize a closed event where we want good embraces and good navigation. So there will be no (eternal) beginners. I think it will appear logical for all dancers. After there is a subtle mix to find in the dancers. Everyone should be able to find dancers he likes.
- variety of ages – our organizers has already a variety of ages and we want the same for the marathons. Age doesn’t matter
- Belgian design and style – it goes with the title of the marathon. We prepare several things on this theme. We love a dance that was born in Argentina but the dance evolved a lot all around the world. We didn’t want to just identify our marathon to the… Argentinian folklore.
- eco-friendly – of course but a little paradoxical as a lot of people will fly to Brussels to take part in the event…
no profit / investment in other events – we all have jobs so we just organize it because we like it. If we have some extra (what doesn’t really happen for a first edition), we want to invest in more local events or a next edition if our participants like it.
I was speaking about balance but like all tango events we had to face the nightmare of the waiting list. We know leaders are not stressed and wait till the last minute to register. With the first check of the registration list, we had already an extra of 40 followers that ended on a waiting list… sigh… To try to resolve it, we published last week a video with a (great) support of Roberto – https://www.facebook.com/SZemotion/. He did an amazing job with Ines even if I heard something about mental torture. Preparing a video requires a lot of work. To get quality, you need to dedicate time and energy not only when you shoot it but also when you work on your video back at home. It can be funny when you watch it but keep in mind people worked behind. A little like a marathon where you will enjoy a weekend but organizers worked weeks to prepare it.
Published: 26 May 2019 @ 10:53