As we wind back up to a life resembling that Before Covid we find that things are not as they were – and are unlikely to be. Returning venues to profit and staffing issues mean that some dance floors in clubs used BC are not available. They have either been turned into something more profitable or are about to be demolished in the name of something said to be more profitable. So there is a shortage of places to dance – that is wooden floors, bar/kitchen and reasonable rent. Church and community halls can be a good alternative, but they too have their issues.
So we are finding that some of the milongas we loved are no longer. Running a milonga is more than the venue. TangoAustralia ran milongas for four years so I speak as one who knows.
- a good DJ (not that easy to find)
- an APRA licence (Australian Performing Rights Association)
- a sound system – many venue sound systems are mediocre
- tables and chairs – chairs against the wall can work, but they make socialising more difficult
- lighting – fluoros and tango are not a good mix
- tablecloths and table decorations such as candles
- helpers – so you don’t end up doing all the set up and take down on your own
- and you probably need to be able to provide refreshments.
- And Last But Not Least you need a loyal following
- a budgetary projection – unless you are in this for the love of tango and don’t mind losing money.
After more than 20 years of dancing tango I have seen milongas come and go – I am hoping that in the next few years we see more come than go!