Salsa > World Salsa Congress Robbed!!!

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by brujo, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. Pacion

    Pacion New Member

    :shock: As long as the two of you don't get into pinching each other cheeks, can I join you and have a glass of champagne instead of a beer? :D
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I've been thinking about this all day, and the only possible solutions I can think of to this problem involve increased hassle and/or expense for the organizers and participants next year.

    Stuff like no ticket sales at the door, pre-registration with ticket number and a confimation/PIN number, some sort of tamper-proof ticket system...

    I thought of a bunch of possible safeguards, but none of them is simple or cheap. :(
  3. tj

    tj New Member

    What a horrible thing! I hope it doesn't affect the future of Albert promoting more congresses.

    Thanks for keeping the rest of us posted.

    Ok - I've now read enough to feel like I'm current with what's going on... I will say that while I was initially wondering about Reggie, I do think he's doing the right thing as he is friends with the accused.

    I do think it's too early to be passing judgment on the whole thing. I say let the law and courts decide on the verdict. Right now, all I see is one side of it, and while it looks pretty cut-n-dry, we shall see.

    It's a shame something like this happens. But I think it's typical (although never to as large of a scale as this!), as I personally know how cheap most of us in the salsa scene tend to be. And how there are lots of folk trying to make a quick buck. I even know an instructor who sells pirated music to his students.

    The problem is when people cheat the promoters like this, that the scene in the long run suffers. And good grief it's ballsy to be trying to sell stolen passes on the salserosweb forums! It's too bad that it took so long for them to be caught.

    Lots of morality questions could be discussed here... and I find it a bit too heavy of a subject to go into great lengths on.
  4. cocodrilo

    cocodrilo New Member

    When I went to a big salsa event in Osaka a couple of years ago, and I purchased my tickets through an on-line ticket vending machine at a convenience store! Talk about easy and safe! Tickets for Torres' event should be sale at a legitimate agency, and "badges" or "passes" could be issued at the door with those tickets (or vouchers).
  5. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yes. They could use ticketmaster and/or some local designated agents with a computerized system. Ticketmaster prints out the tickets and maintains a tracking database. It adds about $5 - $6 to the price of each ticket, but it might be worthwhile anyway. :roll:
  6. brujo

    brujo New Member

    What really strikes me about salsa is that it is really a scene, not a community. Sure, there are a lot of great individuals out there. But there never seems to be a sense of unity, with all the egos and cliques that are formed around dance schools, dance styles and musical preferences.

    Compared to the lindy hoppers and their exchanges, salsa congresses seem exuberant. You need to get a flight, hotel room, congress passes, etc. There always seems to be someone selling something. Tickets, CDs, t-shirts, dance lessons, etc, etc, etc. The performers are there for fun, initially, but then it feels like 'this is how I am going to sell my class'.

    In this spirit, I would have jumped on the discounted tickets like a fat kid on a bag of brownies. I'm sure most of the people who volunteered did not do it for the love of salsa alone, being able to get free entry for 15 hours of their time. Salsa is an expensive hobby, there are lessons, cover charges, clothing, and accomodation expenses to take into account. Sure, it sucks that something like this had to happen to Albert Torres, but I am sure most people have an impression that Albert Torres or David Melendez are just there for business. To steal from them must feel the same way as downloading music or taking extra packets of ketchup from McDonald's. They have so much, why does it matter if we take just a little from them.

    How often does the average non-performer go to a congress? Once, twice a year maximum. The superstars who get to teach, travel and 'see their friends'. But I often wonder, how bad are the people around you that you need to be on the road every other weekend. What about building up your local scene and supporting your local musicians. Or trying to bring the musicians into your own city instead of flying to somewhere far away to dance with strangers and show off your mambo lessons.

    I am not going to argue morality. Some people think one way, other think another. But this whole salsa congress as a holy pilgrimage thing doesn't make sense. Why can't you just spend all that money and go to one of the mecca's like New York or Cuba? Instead of having all those people in one spot, why not have a travelling tour of musicians, or a featured artist to more cities. But no, such is not the North American mentality. We must have one extra large supersized happy meal weekend with all the fixings, a overdose of salsa in order to feel that we got our money's worth.
  7. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your perspective, brujo. 8) It sounds like you're really telling it like it is, not like it should be. 8)
  8. cocodrilo

    cocodrilo New Member

    Very well said, Brujo! My sentiments exactly when it comes down to why I am hesitant to attend a salsa congress- cliques & egos! We have some HUGE to-dos in the salsa scene here in Japan, held in the big cities, and BOY, talk about people ganging together in their little groups. It seemed that people were only dancing with those they KNEW and what good is that for gaining experience(as a dancer) and meeting new people? I know some ladies who have left parties early, frustrated because they haven't been asked to dance(very attractive women, mind you, but also too shy to ask the guys to dance!) :( ...

    I also totally agree with what you said about spending big money to get to/attend a congress. Not to mention taking time off work!!! I am working hard to promote latin dance in my community, and by sponsoring parties and events that anyone can easily afford!
  9. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    Well said, Brujo & Cocodrilo....!

    I've resisted Congress to date for more or less the same reasons. Good on them for running it like a business, but like any big corporations, it loses out on the humanity side of things. Nature of the beast, unfortunately.
  10. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Just to update...

    Both ATP and Edie have sent out e-mails about the $200 2005 full passes. Al & Edie are also raffling off tickets (for their full 20 DVD set) at $5/ticket to help generate revenue, and Latin Beat Magazine is now offering FREE SUBSCRIPTIONS to the first 100 people who purchase the $200 2005 full passes....
  11. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    Brujo, you most certainly have a point! Salsa is no longer a social dance... it's a cow people milk for money! They were talking to make it Dance Sport! (they is the world dance federation... don't remember the name very well...) They want to make Tango Argentino and Hip Hop ballroom styles too! These dances come from the streets... and now they will be regulated!
    I'm very sorry for Albert Torres... he's a Salsa promoter... but I think Brujo is also right!
  12. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    I love how people bash congresses as if everyone there is some egomaniac salsa superstar. Guess what...the majority of the people there are regular old dancers or music lovers like most of us. No ego at all, just there for the love of the music/dance. I had the pleasure of meeting and dancing with hundreds of very cool, down to earth people from all over the world that share my passion. How can one not want to experience that? If you want to go around looking for the negative side of the experience fine, it's there. It's there in any event where humans gather. It's human nature. But if you attend with open eyes, a open heart, and no agenda it is one of the most amazing experiences ever.
  13. peachexploration

    peachexploration New Member

    Ballroom Hip Hop? :shock: Uh oh. That's definitely not going to go over well. :? I love this thread. Everyone has good points. :)
  14. dragon3085

    dragon3085 New Member

    So far all the posts have mentioned Albert's money loss. How about the fact that they TRIED TO RUN HIM OVER???? Forget about the money- the minute you try to kill someone- its a whole different ballgame. Now not only are they thieves, they have proven they lack even basic moral character by being willing to take a life. A life is worth a lot more then 80k. And honestly Torres is handling this whole thing (at least it appears so from his email) a lot cooler and methodically then most people I know would in his situation.
  15. dragon3085

    dragon3085 New Member

    Amen, I couldn't have said it better myself. People with similair intrests will always gather together and some people will always try to profit from this. But you know what even for the so called 'street' dances this can be a good thing. It leads to exposure and opportunity.
  16. dragon3085

    dragon3085 New Member

    I don't think this is always the case. Think about it, you love dancing, you got rent and bills to pay. Somebody comes along and says hey I will pay such and such amount to come to this place and do what you love. We should all be so lucky. So this person jumps on this opportunity- doesn't mean the people around him or her are bad and they want to get away. Might just mean that they see an opportunity to pay the rent while doing something they love, and I can't fault them for jumping at that chance. Also they get to travel and hopefully see more the world, which I think to few people do.

    As far as the cliques and the attitude, well you see plenty of other example in the world of how people change when they get famous or powerfull. Thats not the fault of the event, that is that person's personal choice to start copping an attitude, and your choice (in general not You personally) to start in the idol worship. Unless a person can cure Hiv or Cancer or change a fundemental univeral constant like gravity- I ain't gonna start going gagagaga goo goo over them (no if she's really cute that another story. :twisted: )
  17. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    hmmm... define 'cute'! :)
  18. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Beautifully said, youngsta. 8)
  19. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Eh. Promoters, organizers, whatever. Yeah, I guess they are in it for the money. But they still provide a valuable service to people who want to get together and dance. So I, for one, won't condemn them for taking advantage of a good business opportunity, as long as they provide a quality service and aren't gouging people.

    Speaking of which, the feel I get is that people felt justified in buying the stolen tickets because the tickets at the door were "overpriced." Maybe so. I don't know.

    What I do know from experience is that putting on a big event like that isn't cheap, even if you use volunteer labor and negotiate discounts. I was involved in organizing a large professional development conference several times. One in particular, about five years ago, had approx 3500 atttendees and cost a million dollars to put on, even with volunteers doing most of the work. Sure, Mr. Torres probably did price the Congress tickets to make money for himself, but even if he had budgeted just to break even, the tickets would not have been cheap, is my guess. Things cost big money -- hotel ballrooms and banquet rooms, PA systems, dance floors ... It's a long and boring list, but nothing on that list is free.
  20. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah, and one other thing. If there was any chance of my attending this event next year, I'd jump on it and fork over the $200 right now. I don't think you'll ever get a better deal. 8) :lol:

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