Today we meet Zrinko & Tajana, the organizer of Mediterranean Summer Tango Festival, one of the great tango event in Europe. A festival that combines the charm of tango, its irresistible seduction that weaves music and dance, with the pure energy of rock spirit. A Tango Woodstock, or if you wanna remain to our days Love Parade. Now let's discover the secrets of a festival that is ready to explode with joy and fun tango summer 2013. And how Zrinko & Tajana say : " Live your dream and wear your passion! ". But I 'd like say just one thing "Zrinko & Tajana you are rock!!!".
1) Tangueros from all over the world know you especially as the organizers of the Mediterranean Summer Tango Festival. What 's the secret of the success of this event?
First “Hi!” to all reading this.
MSTF tries not to take itself too seriously. Of course, the tanguero experience is the most important thing and we keep it on the highest level – but let’s change wine with a cocktail, black suit with a colorful dress or shirt, daily walks through a city with sunbathing on the beach or dancing next to a beautiful pool. Combine this with a lovely Croatian coast and a holiday and you get a nice combo. It’s all about fun and relaxing.
2) This year we get to the fourth edition. Your passion remains the same?
Live your dream and wear your passion! Absolutely. We are just starting. We kinda always think about a year in advance. As the festival grows we have opportunity to do new stuff. It’s really fun and it’s our baby and we like caring about it and see how it grows. We hope it lives maaaaany years.
3) The organizer is often one of the less glorious job in the tango world. How do you build a powerful shield to fend off public criticism, the tough demands of the artists, the logistical and practical problems?
You don’t build a shield. That would be a bad choice. You embrace the criticism and the comments. This is the only way to make your festival better. It’s not about you and your ego, it’s about the people who come there. So, you accept your flaws and mistakes and you learn from them and try to improve all the time.
Artist demands are usually not very tough. It is important to communicate. All the time. With communication and mutual respect all the problems can we solved. But we must say that the artists we worked with up till now are all really cool and nice people and all the problems we had, we worked out really well.
Logistical and practical problems? The answer is - good planning! Plan everything in advance. Think of what can go wrong and have back-up plans :) And also, surrounding yourself with a good team of responsible people who you can trust and who can help you out is essential! A HUGE HUG to our team members if you are reading this now! :)
4) What are the elements that make an event, really big? Internationally big and renowned artists, stunning location, international audience, high level of Tangueros ...?
5) The calendar of tango events is growing busier every day. How do you manage to organize a great event despite the huge offer of milongas, festivals, marathons?
Well, we try to differentiate ourselves somehow. We work hard on adding stuff to the festival that makes it special and different then all the others. And of course, promotion - we try to build a good “relationship” between the festival and it’s fans. In the end it just comes down to – “more work”.
6) How would you rate your relationship with the artists you work with ( Maestros, Tangodj, Orchestra...)? Would you rather work exclusively with you to festivals or events in your area?
Well, very good. We always work with people who we would maybe enjoy to have as friends. Somebody we feel good with, enjoy their company and who share the same vision of tango. We think this is important for the “energy” of the festival.
Total exclusivity no. But to have for example same artists in two events that are in the same area and with really short time frame between them wouldn’t be smart... for both festivals. It’s just common sense.
7) What is the event or issue that you love more? Who are the artists ( Maestros, Orchestra, DJ) with whom you have a closer relationship?
Well, that would be the last festival of 2012. It was sort of a make it or break it. Not many people know that the second edition in 2011 ended in such way that it was a big question if we would continue to do it. We kinda agreed to do it one more time and give it all we have. It was a big success. So we’re in the “sky is the limit” mode now :)
With some artists we worked for many years, they slept in our houses, we shared way too many drinks and many conversations – you can check the dancers and DJs line-up of Porec and you can see some of those artists.
8) What gives you more satisfaction in organizing an event? What makes you most angry?
Well the most satisfying part is the moment on the festival when you realize everything is working. Like some machine. All the parts are functioning as they are supposed to. Then you just relax, sip on a cocktail and start the cabeceo game :)
When you find out from a friend that for a half a day your website is down cause you forgot to pay your web domain.
9) Which artists would you have wanted to work there but you never got?
David Guetta :)
In tango, we worked with everyone we wanted to work with. We are happily awaiting new blood from Argentina :)
10) What advice would you give to those who would like to organize for the first time a big tango event?
May the force be with you.
11) Is it possible to create events in synergy with other organizers? Do ya like attend events not yours?
Well, it really depends on the organizers. But there is a lot of open space for partnership between different events. Combo passes that MSTF has with the Belgrade Tango Encuentro is one of the examples. It was extremely successful.
12) Which event organized by others, you wanted to organize?
That would be URBE TANGO RAVE. Last year was bloody amazing. The place where they made it is incredible and the dancers that ended up being there were so good as though they were hand-picked ;)
13) Do you prefer Festival, Marathons, or both? Why?
ZRINKO: Personally, I enjoy festivals more. I prefer when it’s all about the “night”. Far more interesting things happen in the night. :)
TAJANA: Hm...hard question....almost like do you love more your son or your daughter? There are absolutely amazing festivals and absolutely amazing marathons..it is hard to choose...but yes, like Zrinko, I prefer night dancing...
14) How would you rate the level of the great tango events in Croatia? Best or lower than Europe? In your opinion, apart from Argentina, which is the place where you can dance better in the world?
Croatia’s tango events are still below the level of Europe’s more popular events but some are on a good track.
Personally I think Italy is the best place to dance in Europe. Italians simply “get it”. It’s all about the socializing and enjoying the company of the other – tango is just the tool to do that. There is no bullshit around it. And since the number of people dancing in Italy is really huge, there’s sooo many good dancers.
15) Do you think there are some "groups or gang"in the tangoworld? Do ya think their presence can be decisive for the success or failure of an event?
I would say that good dancers are sort of a “group” in the tangoworld. They try to follow each other because they enjoy dancing with each other so a lot of them tend to end up at the same festival/marathon. But can they decide the future of an event? No. If the event is good, people will come. If it sucks, it sucks and nothing but work will help it get better.
16) What are the big news of this year's festival summertango?
We still haven’t announced it. So, our mouths are sealed. :)
17) Four reasons to come to Porec
Sea&Sun, high dancing level, The Boat Trip experience, the feeling of happiness that stays for a long time afterwards :)