The first May weekend was in the focus of the Kizomba world. 

The Luxembourg Kizomba Festival was organized the fourth time and attracted more than 2000 Kizomberos to the LuxExpo close to Luxembourg airport. We hit the road to Luxembourg and checked out event, organization, choice of artists, the location as well as the parties. We experienced a top event as you will see below:

Top Line-Up and great location

Line-up: unbeatable! The who is who of the Kizomba scene was represented, from Albir to Felicien & Isabelle (with beautiful baby tummy), Laurent & Adeline, Jojo & Mickaela and further top artists of the scene who gave very diverse workshops over 3 days. You really can’t complain about the quality of the workshops with such an array of artists.

The location was well chosen. The fair grounds of LuxExpo provided sufficient space for the numerous festival guests as well as sufficient parking (partially fee required). Especially positive was the climate in the rooms. It was never too warm even during the parties. This is rare when there are so many guests. Critical were here the high ceilings and the good air conditioning.

Experienced organization and passion for details

The organization had this very big and complex festival fully under control. Everything worked out smoothly or at least that was the impression outwardly – and that counts! There was enough staff for everything and also the design of the location was well done according to the several themes. The organization strove to really live the different themes and not to create a theme for the sake of it. Thus, we were suddenly facing a Roman in complete gear on the Olympus evening. The theme feeling was topped off by sceneries like Greek columns or the football table on the World Cup evening that attracted sometimes more men than a good Kizomba song and quite some play instincts were played out extensively at this football table.

Solely the workshop timing was in our view not well-chosen. There were no breaks in between workshops and they started directly after another. The participants had to literally run to the next rooms in order to arrive as quickly as possible to the next workshop. The situation became even more stressful since some artists overran the workshops – even up to 15 minutes. Short breaks between workshops make sense.

Great musical performance

The music receives an extra bonus point. Top DJs like Morelasoul, Stefano de Lima, Leda or Madiss drew on unlimited resources and the result was the best mix of Kizomba music we have heard for a long time. Consequently, you could hardly stand still and wanted to dance to virtually every single song. Here we come to the one biggest negative point of the festival.

A big surplus of women

On March 15th, the organization wrote on the website: “Because our goal is to have the most possible the balance between women and men. Sale of WOMEN PASS will stop today at midnight. “

This sounds promising and created hope for a balanced ratio of male and female dancers. This is the reason why tickets are even sold gender separately. The ticket sale was reopened for women on March 28th though.

Just arrived, we found contrary to our expectations during the social dance, as well as on the parties, cues of women, even double rowed, and waiting for dancers on the side of the dancefloor. The result: women who haven’t danced more than 10 songs over the whole festival days. At the same time, male dancers / taxi dancers were totally exhausted because they danced virtually without a break in order to put as many women as possible in a happy mood. I talked to female dancers who told me they didn’t dare anymore to ask taxi dancers for a dance because they looked so exhausted.

A gender specific ticket sale is pointless in our opinion if ultimately an absolutely uneven ratio is permitted. Many guests were very angry exactly because of that since they bought a ticket due to the expectation that there will be a well balance gender ratio.  Aside from exhausted dancers who hardly allowed themselves breaks to avoid a bad conscience. The organization should improve this point, since there are many female dancers who won’t join this festival anymore under these circumstances.

A plea to the taxi dancers

I observed and from many sides I was told that numerous taxi dancers have missed the point of their role. Young, pretty and talented dancers were entertained on the dancefloor while less experienced, elder or not beauty ideal female dancers had to wait an hour or more on the side and were “overlooked”. This is not surprising since the event is too big and complex to keep track of this and to intervene quickly.

These two negative points lead to a bad mood for many guests. One can only hope that the organization will provide a remedy for the next event. Then it would be one of the best Kizomba Festivals to visit.

Festival too big?

Luxembourg Kizomba Festival Workshop Laurent & AdelineIf you like such big festivals or if you prefer smaller ones is a matter of taste. In Luxembourg, I had to search for my companion for a solid 2 hours because I couldn’t find her in the crowd of people.

On the other hand, there were respectively many great dancers on a really high level and a fantastic line-up with great stars. Only festivals of that size can even afford such a line-up. At the same time, the bigger and more complex such a festival, the more impersonal it becomes. The group size at workshops of e.g. Albir or Laurent & Adeline exceeded by far 200 participants. One can question how much sense it can make to try to see the steps from a 30-meter distance.

Some like it, some don’t. Here I can only say: To each his own!

 

Conclusion:

Luxembourg festival is great for whoever wants to attend a preferably big festival with a good organization and a top line-up as well as the best DJs of the scene. The dancing standard is very high and the location is great as well. However, the surplus of women needs to be reduced drastically. Ladies who have generally rather a hard time to get invited for a dance will go home frustrated under these conditions.

Who want to safe a cheap ticket for next year, will find the event by following link:

A report from Silke Wiedenhöft

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