The World First Bachata Festival
Everyone wants to do the Bachata
Flying into Sydney airport there is a public bus (#400) that takes you directly to the round house for < $5 this is by far the cheapest option. You can catch a taxi and when split between 4 people is very affordable as well. Location wise this venue is spot on, close to Sydney beaches in Coogee and Bondi, also a short trip into the CBD.
I’ve been to the festival for the last 2 years and this year I stayed at Perouse Lodge, room was decently large and a nice comfy bed, though I saw some of my friends rooms at the same venue and they were much smaller, so I guess it’s luck of the draw. Walk to the venue was a nice easy 30minute stroll, compared to the previous year which was at Parade lodge which was a 10minute walk, though I found the rooms were better at Perouse.
Either way make sure you get in early for booking, the nearby accommodation usually books out in a month or 2 prior to the festival.
Lots of food in walking distance of the venue and even at the venue, there appeared to be an issue getting cold drinks at the venue on the Sunday but the vendors that were selling food there worked around the issue, being able to dance bachata then step outside for an awesome Paella is appealing on so many levels.
McDonalds, Subway, Indonesian, Thai, Indian all in really close walking distance and if your really after something special the city is just around the corner and easily accessibly by public transport or quick taxi.
There were once again 3 rooms setup for the workshops, each morning started off with a Zumba routine, and I was actually surprised at the number of people who attended the early starts.
A nice range of teachers were on show case with a strong Bachata theme through as would be expected, ranging from from Dominican Style to Bachatango with a little zouk and kizomba to spice things up.
With 5 hours a day of workshops from Friday to Sunday, the hard part is deciding which workshops to do! But be sure there will be something for everyone.
I’m not a big fan of how they once again done this, splitting the shows into 2 different sets, for me anyway drags out the shows and the second set can wreck the flow of the social dancing evening for you if you decide to dance between the sets. That said the shows were brilliant with alot of world class performances and added to by great performances from Students around Australia.
Troy and Jorjet from the USA were the hit favourite with most people, though usuals like Tony Lara Poultry in Motion and Juan Direction brought some amazingly funny moments to the performances (youtube video links on their names).
Lunch time shows pulled a much larger crowd that would normally be expected, as people rush to grab food between workshop schedules, but it really done well in showcasing alot of the of rising stars of Australian Bachata.
Preparty at the Mediterranean Sydney was a great way to start the festival, the venue has a lot of flavour and being located right in the heart of the CBD gives you plenty of options pre and post party.
Friday and Saturday night parties continued the awesomeness that is bachata, the main floor was running an awesome mix of bachata music with a few odd mixers thrown in which made it alot of fun, there was a room dedicated to zouk/zizomba upstairs, though I didn’t attend this room I’ve been told it was great fun up there, maybe Kizomba is on the list of dances to learn this year….
On Sunday night we had an the awesome live performance by Monchy and Nathalia, prior to this event I was like who are they, but once they started singing their line up, you quickly realised who they were (here’s hoping I’m not the only slow witted one), their live performance was amazing and they really worked it up to the crowd to join in. There wasn’t alot of dancing at the start of the show as everyone was just singing along in broken Spanish (well I was at least), but the crowd interaction was awesome.
If I could have 1 wish it would be to have them perform every night!
The post party on Sunday/Monday morning was ok, but after 3 nights of heavy dancing, I didn’t last long at all.
This is a well oiled and loved event, Nestor, Juan and Sky all put in an amazing effort here and really there is no stone left unturned. This year I got to see the festival being run from the behind the stages and I can tell you they are all working non stop.
2014 will be once again massive year for the event, so make sure to check it out!