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Whether you’re a serious tango lover or all you know is that it has “something to do with Argentina,” the country’s premier tango festival in Buenos Aires has something for everyone. Here’s everything you need to know if you plan to go to Argentina’s tango festival this year.
During the annual Tango Buenos Aires Festival y Mundial (August 10–23, 2017), tango is everywhere. The event attracts the world’s best dancers for an extravagant celebration of the dance and includes the Tango Mundial (World Cup) dance competition. It also serves as a wonderful introduction to Argentine life and history.
Since festival events take place in every corner of the city, location doesn’t matter much, making accommodation easy and flexible to choose. Take the opportunity to explore the city’s coolest neighborhoods and must-see attractions while traveling from event to event.
Remember, it may be August, but it’s winter in Buenos Aires, so come prepared. Don’t worry, all the great tango music and dancing will soon warm you up.
Although the dance competition is the main event, if the festival is anything like last year’s (keep tabs on this year’s here), there will be numerous ways to experience tango: watch a film about tango, stop in at a historic bar and listen to tango singers, attend a tango-inspired book reading or theater show (including kid-friendly ones), take a tango-oriented city tour, or, of course, take a tango class.
Most of the festival events are free, but spaces are limited and the majority are first-come, first-served, so arrive with plenty of time to spare to reserve tickets. This is especially true for the dance championship event: the Tango World Cup features over 400 world-class dancing couples competing for the world titles of Tango de Pista (Salon Tango) and Tango Escenario (Stage Tango).
“If you don’t mind the crowds, the Tango Festival is a great way for tango fanatics to see their idols compete and perform—that is the really exciting part of the festival—and even a non-dancer would enjoy it,” Liz Seabright-Grear, manager and co-founder of TangoTrips, told Culture Trip. Tango Trips offers private, customized milonga tours for dancers and non-dancers alike.
“It’s also an opportunity to hear live tango music and shop for tango clothes and shoes as many vendors sell their merchandise there,” Grear added. “And, of course, you can dance and network with other tango addicts from all over the world!”