This is the second part of the exclusive interview I had with Mimo Argam in 2010 in which he reminisced on the prior 15 years of his Summer Breeze Salsa parties. We continue with Mimo being forced to stop his activities quite abruptly in the Vondelpark in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. After the interview I also comment on my personal experience in ‘The Queue’. At the end there’s a special announcement from Mimo himself!
We continue with the interview at the point when Mimo commented on the reasons and the conditions of his departure from the Vondelpark, “Five years ago (in 2005), Roel Veldhorst past away and the ‘Uitmarkt’ – a professional theatrical events company – took over the organisation of the events held in the open theatre of the Vondelpark. They told me that there was no room for Salsa in their program because – in their own words – “Salsa is not Theatre”. The disillusioned Salsa party organiser continues, “The Uitmarkt also cancelled the highly successful children’s program held on Wednesdays, and they managed to stop a much loved snack bar after 25 years of service to the public. Uitmarkt struck a deal with a large beer company who took over all of the catering activities around the open theatre. But, I do not hold a grudge.”
I asked Argam about his time at the Westergas terrace. He said, “I have been working together with the organisation of the Westergas terrace from the moment I stopped at the Vondelpark.. The location was still being rebuilt when I started with my Salsa dance activities. They have been very kind to me, and they also gave me a free hand in doing things. Westergas made it possible for me to organise the big Fania Salsa parties and create extra options like an extra dance floor outside the building with extra DJ equipment.”
Contrary to common believe,the free Salsa party organiser of Moroccan descent does take some time to rest once in a while. His quotes are “Be humble, be honest, enjoy freedom and dance for your freedom”. Also, “Everything works if we work together,” and “Something has to be done right or not done at all!”
End of the interview.
Now we fast forward 8 years into the future…
The Happiest Queue Ever!
On May 31st, 2018, I had given a wedding dance class and rushed to the Westergas terrace for the kick off of the 13th edition of Summer Breeze Latin Party. On arrival at around 10.30 PM I discovered a very long queue! I had never seen this before at a salsa party. But instead of getting angry I decided to enjoy the experience. It was a great feeling to ponder and realise how far Mimo has progressed from the little group of salsa students that went to the Vondelpark to practice salsa now 23 years ago. The feeling of pride and wonder didn’t take my urge away to enter ASAP though. So, a friend and I went together to the entrance and see if there was a way for us to get in fast. There was NONE! Not even Rinio Artist could get us inside. There was a sweet lady who gave me a coin for ice cream and told me to show it to the security as proof that I had already been inside. I didn’t do it. The security got strict orders to not let anyone else go inside because the venue was too full with people!
Around 23.30 hrs – after about an hour waiting, dancing, singing, interviewing people and talking to others who were already inside – we finally got in.
The only difference with the past years of Summer Breeze is the fact that all of us are now required to pay an entrance fee of only 5 euros after 8.30 PM. This is needed to pay for the extra expenses for security and other highly necessary measures and necessities.
But I can tell you this: It was worth the wait! And every euro penny was very well spent 🙂
A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!!!
Mimo (FINALLY) decided to start with salsa dancing much earlier than normal at this Thursday’s edition of Summer Breeze (June 14th). The salsa will now start at 7 PM (19:00 hrs) as an experiment. Mimo is answering to the plead of many salsa dancers who requested for them to be able to start dancing salsa early in the evening.
This first ‘Early Salsa Summer Breeze’ will be powered by DJ Rick and DJ Willy!
And remember: The entrance is FREE from 7 ‘till 8.30 PM!!!