Porteños Dance the Night Away at the South American Music Conference

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SAMC BANNER LOGOThe 2008 edition of the South American Music Conference (SAMC) wrapped up with a day-long dance party. Tens of thousands of people attended the event, which took place at Centro Costa Salguero along the Rio de la Plata. The dance fest featured four separate stages – Tangent, Freak Circus, Electro Place, and Tent – where dozens of international and local DJs spun grooves from three in the afternoon on Saturday until the wee hours of Sunday morning.

The main stage, the Freak Circus, spanned the length of two pavilions and was the first thing attendees saw once they made it past the blocks of barricades and security guards outside of the venue. DJs in the Freak Circus room stood in front of five giant screens that gave partygoers a closer glimpse at the men behind the turntables. Flat screen TVs were mounted on the opposite wall of the cavernous room and they flashed appropriately trippy video imagery as well as useful lists of DJs and set times.

The Freak Circus stage was nearly full by the time Australian DJ Anthony Pappa took the stage at nine pm. Argentina’s Javier Bussola kept the party going with his 11pm set, and then the masses spilled into the room for sets by world renowned DJs Ferry Corsten, Christopher Lawrence, and producer/DJ John O’Callaghan.

Distinct scenes went on in the three other dance spaces. The Electro Place gave attendees breathing room and pounding beats by people like Brazilian House DJ Mario Fischetti and local Techno House DJ Tommy Jacobs. British DJ Justin Robertson was the last to take the Electro Place stage and won over the crowd with his inventive mix of genres and grooves.

The mood was equally festive over in the tent, the event’s sole outdoor dance space. Local acts like Miss Akane and Hernan Serrao set the stage early on in the daytime for evening turntablists like Martin Huergo, Juan Pablo Shaw, Udolph, and the Spanish duo Kasper & Papol.

The Tangent room was especially people friendly with its ample dance floor and non-stop good tunes. The sound system was particularly solid in this room – the music was fully balanced whether directly in front of the stage, on the fringes, or near the rear exit. Spanish Techno DJ Paco Osuna and Texan Matthew Dear excelled at getting the crowd going, and the DJs that followed had no problem keeping the dance floor full even as the headliners drew major crowds in the adjoining room.

On a more practical level, kudos go to organizers for providing clean, plentiful bathrooms, plenty of bars, and a well-oiled security machine that herded thousands of people through the entrance efficiently. Some security guards shouted as festival goers to keep things moving but nothing was too offensive.

The only suggestion for improvement is to set up some kind of path where people can move from room to room more easily. The Freak Circus was the entrance to the whole festival and this caused a major human traffic jam. Add to the fact that one had to go through the Freak Circus to get to the other dance floors and you’ve got a major cluster you-know-what.

The good news is that crowds at events like the South American Music Conference are mainly looking to have a good time so some inconvenience is outweighed by hours of world-class entertainment. SAMC is one of Buenos Aires’s premiere dance events and is an absolute for anyone who wants to party as the porteños do.

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