We have had to cancel our March 8th 2020 milonga at very short notice – just 6 days to go – and to our community we just wanted to explain why:
- Firstly – we are hesitant to cancel or explain our views because we are not medical experts at all and we are certainly not trying to create any precedents or advice of any kind for anyone else, especially other organisers who have put so much great and consistent effort in for so many years with so little direct reward.
We are just making a judgement call on our own upcoming Milonga based on what we know at this time, which is so very early in the Coronavirus outbreak here in the UK.
- We are trying to give enough notice to our dancers in the very week when the government finally comes out with guidelines (tomorrow as I write this ) which of course are themselves designed to not cause panic and have little relevance to a tango Milonga – which is not a ‘mass gathering’ (assuming they even mention those) but has some characteristics that unfortunately favour virus transmission.
They will probably recommend not being close to strangers and washing your hands – which is fine but not very helpful to us as Milonga organisers.
- We are trying to learn from experience as it unfolds – especially from a recent Milonga in Italy – which was only discussed in the news today. This was a tipping point for me as I had been lacking any real tango examples until I heard about this.
- Guidelines in countries trying to contain more established outbreaks is to allow bars etc to be open but only if you can stay 1m away from all other people – that is a pretty open embrace.
The Italian Milonga – you can read the article here https://www.ilrestodelcarlino.it/ferrara/cronaca/coronavirus-quarantena-1.5052963
That event was 100 dancers starting 21st February – at that date Italy had only 16 confirmed cases – jumping to 76 the next day – in the UK ( Monday evening ) we have 40 today and 6 days to go to our Milonga.
Since that Milonga in Italy they are now trying to track all participants to isolate and test them – there have been – according to Facebook communities involved – 3 confirmed cases plus 2 with symptoms – including one who had returned to Spain.
Example FB post here https://www.facebook.com/warren.edwardes/posts/2914500265237430
[ permission to share received from Warren Edwards this evening – who is now also cancelling his Mayfair Milonga ]
I assume that his will of course increase significantly as it is only about now that dancers would normally show any symptoms.
We are just organisers – there is nothing special about us – of course we do spend so much of our energy and time trying to create something great month after month, and now year after year – but at the end of the day we are personally responsible for our events and for your well being and enjoyment.
Basically we are trying to do our best and this is a difficult time to make such a decision.
Of course we are not health experts at all, and by making this call we will lose all of the Milonga costs – but at this uncertain stage our financial costs are completely irrelevant – as indeed they always are to us – when compared to the well being of our Tango community and ultimately their families and friends.
This virus, like so many things, will reach some conclusion and hopefully end up as just one of those temporary newsworthy things that our pathetic media loves and exaggerates so much because that’s a story – and good news never is.
But right now we simply don’t have enough information, or a crystal ball, to be sure on what we should do just a few days in front of our event and so we just want to be responsible and to do whatever we can to protect our community.
We are looking forwards to starting the Milonga again when the time is appropriate and trying all always to create an amazing event for you guys! Thank you for so much support in the last year – we really, really appreciate those of you that so consistently support us month after month and give us such great, great feedback, advice and help!!
Creating a consistent and high standard Milonga – in such a small community as ours – is a hard task and we have been so thrilled by your support!
Lastly I am disabling comments on this personal blog because if you have any comments or feedback I would really appreciate if those could be left on the Lewes Milonga FB group so your voice and thoughts can be heard in our community, which is so important to us.
The post to leave any feedback and comments for all of us is here
See you back on the dance floor very soon!
Nigel and Jo!