CKF 2019 – the festival that knows how to entertain
December’s dance festival highlight, as we are used to by now, was the Christmas Kizomba Festival, in Lisbon. For those who don’t know, CKF owes its success to the combined talent and efforts of the Fantastic Four (Paulo & Lanna and Miguel & Susana).
If you don’t read until the end, here is what you need to know:
- High-quality artists and teachers
- Good variety of quality workshops
- Scheduling of workshops was well timed
- Focus on all dance abilities/levels
- Good daytime socials
- Event organisation and execution excellence
- Lisbon is a great location
- Local parties
- Kyaku Kyadaff concert!
- Music was inconsistent
- Some DJs inattentive to the other DJs’ sets
- Questionable food quality at the official CKF dinner
- Focus on entertainment outweighed dancing somewhat
Without further ado, here is what CKF delivered this year:
Last year we wrote:
“The Fantastic 4 have enough experience in organising large scale dance events by now and that showed in that they can run an event, teach workshops and be welcoming to all, while also organising surprises, thoughtful prizes and gifts and honouring great contributors to the Kizomba community.”
This year was no different – the Fantastic 4 focus on hospitality and entertainment, better than a lot of organisers and that is evident from the way they treat both attendees, staff and artists.
Location + Logistics
CKF takes place in Lisbon’s Santos area, meaning that dancers can choose one of the many Airbnbs and hotels available in the area and good local restaurants and cafés.
Getting to the workshop venue (Jazzy Studio) from the airport is reasonable by Uber or taxi. Conveniently, the official party venue (Barrio Latino) is two doors down from the workshop venue and close by to other venues people can go dancing for a pre-party such as Krystal or a matinee in B.Leza. The official dinner is also a few doors down the road from the workshop venue. So for convenience, location and logistics are optimal.
Daytime + Workshops + Social
The workshops throughout the three days were very well attended and catered for all dance levels. The teacher line-up this year was a balanced mix of well established names and up-and-coming ones, with quality as the underlying focus for the choice of line-up.
The workshop schedule, as always at CKF, was perfectly balanced and ultimately designed with the dancers in mind; with an hour’s social to break the afternoon up.
The daytime social was packed with attendees and artists making the most of the good vibe built up during the workshops.
The vendor area (the CKF Afroshop) was, once again, graced by Himba Shoes, AfroImbambas, Linhas d’Africa, selling a range of accessories and apparel with options for personalisation, which was appreciated by attendees just at the beginning of Christmas season.
Between, the classes, the chill out area, the conveniently placed food “van”, the social and the Christmas shopping, Jazzy Studio during CKF is a very good place to be.
Nights: Dinner + Party + Music
CKF19 continued the tradition of organising a dinner for its guests, this year, at the Portugalia restaurant, a few doors down the road from Jazzy and Bario.
CKF – Dinner
One of the most endearing features of CKF in the past was the official dinner where dancers artists and teachers alike, young and old, established and new, would sit down together and share a meal, a laugh and lots of singing. This year, was no different – the evening was full of fun, singing, conga lines and being silly.
*must be noted that the food quality was not ideal and the dinner lasted a bit too long, but otherwise a good time.
CKF did a good job this year to get a workable ratio of men to women – difficult to achieve for any large festival, as women normally outnumber men at such events – so well done!
The overall numbers of attendees was also controlled well during the parties to not over-fill the venue. There is still work to be done on this side but, the effort was appreciated and definitely noticed by anyone that has been to CKF before.
With a DJ line-up composed of DJ Carlos King, DJ Hugo Boss, DJ Sabura, DJ Superman, DJ Paparazzi and DJ Lucas, the music was good most of the time. However, some DJs need to pay more attention to what the crowd wants, what the weekend was like overall and also what the previous DJ has already played. This will affect the overall vibe, flow and ultimately atmosphere.
We always appreciate a festival investing in live music and CKF this year delivered! Kyaku Kiadaff with live band made everyone very happy on Sunday night. Even though the venue’s sound is not ideal, the concert was definitely one of the highlights of the festivals.
Apart from some less than smooth music sets at times, CKF19 is a festival with amazing workshops, top teachers, great dancers, a good women-men ratio and tonnes of potential for the future. We are more that excited to see what the Fantastic 4 have in store for us in CKF2020. Better still, Semba No Pe 2020 is going to keep us going until next December.