About SwingFest

We have the most amazing 3 days of live swing music, swing dance workshops and dancing til the early hours lined up for you as we take over The Bedford for the Easter holiday!

Established in 2015, SwingFest is an annual festival of live swing music, swing dance workshops and dancing at The Bedford, Balham in the heart of South London.

The next SwingFest is 14-16 April 2017.

South London SwingFest has been a roaring success in both its first two years and this year promises to be just as good if not better.

On-line booking is essential.

Book as much or as little as you like, from one evening to a day of workshops to the whole event!


Live swing, swing DJs and more

Shirt Tail StompersWe kick off on the Friday evening with the wonderful Shirt Tail Stompers, one of the most popular bands on the current swing scene. There's a taster swing dance class included for those who want to learn a few steps first, plus we have some fine swing DJs spinning tunes from the 1930s, 40s and 50s - from London, Andrew "Tequila Mockingbird” Willis, Ronnie Slide & Martin "Swingland" Ellis - and from Brighton Sim Sham. Also included a swing dance Cabaret - Lindy hop, jazz and Charleston!

Tickets for Friday night 8pm-2am in the Ballroom are £20. Smart dress please, Vintage style always appreciated but not essential.

Rich BennettOn Saturday we have the amazing Rich B & The Vipers, six of the finest swing musicians the UK has to offer - plus top London swing DJs Holly France, Jamie Cameron and Martin "Swingland" Ellis. Look out for a Lindy hop demo plus don't miss the late-night surprise - you won't be disappointed :-)! Again the evening kicks off with a taster swing dance class.

Tickets for Saturday night 8pm-2am in the Ballroom are £20. Smart dress please, Vintage style always appreciated but not essential.

Pete LongOn Sunday we move into The Bedford's very grand "Globe" room - like Shakespeare's Globe this is an open circular space with a gallery so plenty of room for both dancers and those who just want to watch and listen. The band? The incomparable Pete Long's 13-piece Benny Goodman Orchestra, playing the original arrangements with the very best of today's swing and jazz musicians. Plus top London swing DJs Tim "Hellzapoppin'", Jamie Cameron and Martin "Swingland" Ellis. Again the evening kicks off with a taster swing dance class.

Tickets for Sunday night 7pm-12am in the Globe room are £25. Smart dress please, Vintage style always appreciated but not essential.

All three nights from just £50!! No partner and no dance experience needed. Group bookings welcome, just ask.


Workshops for all levels in Lindy hop and related swing dance styles

We kick off on the Friday with a beginners/improvers Lindy hop workshop - then on Saturday and Sunday we have workshops for improvers through to advanced dancers with a top selection of both local and international teachers!

Tickets for the Friday workshop 11am-4pm are £30 or £50 for a lead and follow booking together.

Tickets for the Saturday and Sunday workshops 10am-6pm are £55 per day or £85 for both days with an extra £10 saving for a lead and follow booking together.

Dancing to top swing bands and DJs

Three fabulous nights of live swing music and top swing DJs!

Absolute beginners and non-dancers are welcome at any of the evenings. We kick off with a beginners swing dance (Lindy hop) class for those who want to learn a few steps - no partner needed.

On-line booking is essential.

You may book anything from one evening to all three.

SwingFest sold out in both 2015 and 2016 so early booking is highly recommended.

NEW! Evening schedule

Venue - The Bedford, 77 Bedford Hill, Balham SW12 9HD


Friday night

In the Ballroom & Map Room, 8pm-2am

Saturday night

In the Ballroom & Map Room, 8pm-2am

  • Absolute beginners swing dance class (no partner needed)
  • Live music from Rich B & The Vipers
  • Lindy hop demo with the SwingFest teachers
  • PLUS! Late night surprise!
  • DJs Holly France, Jamie Cameron and Martin "Swingland" Ellis

Sunday night

Big Band night in the The Bedford's "Globe" Theatre, 7pm-midnight


 

Workshops for all levels

Our amazing teacher line-up includes Lisa Clarke & Fabien Vrillon, Ciana Skeete & Oli Deans, Sally Young & Patrick McNicol, Sam Holt and Gabija Zakarauskaitė and Martin Ellis & Romayne Etwaroo.

On-line booking is essential.

You may book anything from one day of workshops to all three days.

Workshop numbers will be strictly limited (up to 10-15 leads and follows per group) to ensure maximum attention and feedback from the teachers. Early booking is highly recommended.

NEW! DRAFT workshop schedule (updated 3/4/17)

Read about the workshop levels

There will be short breaks in the morning and afternoon, and a longer break for lunch each day.

Rooms for each level will be allocated appropriately according to numbers - all rooms have effective air-conditioning.

Each level will be taught by as many of the teachers as is feasible and appropriate.

Venue - The Bedford, 77 Bedford Hill, Balham SW12 9HD (4+ rooms - the Ballroom, the Globe and the Map Room plus the Side bar/Tavistock/First floor space)


Beginner/improver

Friday 11am-4pm
  • Lindy hop fundamentals
  • You should have attended at least one or two drop-in classes beforehand (eg at C Jam)
  • No partner needed, we will rotate partners and balance leads/follows as best possible

Improver

Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm (registration 10.15am followed by warm-up).
  • Lindy hop and your choice of authentic jazz dance/solo Charleston
  • You should have attended some drop-in classes and/or a workshop or two beforehand (eg at C Jam)
  • No partner needed, we will rotate partners and balance leads/follows as best possible

Intermediate (2 groups)

Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm (registration 10.15am followed by level check & warm-up)
  • Lindy hop and your choice of authentic jazz dance/solo Charleston
  • Good working knowledge of Swing Out, Texas Tommy etc and Lindy Charleston variations expected
  • No partner needed, we will rotate partners and balance leads/follows as best possible

Advanced

Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm (registration 10.15am followed by audition & warm-up)
  • Lindy hop and your choice of authentic jazz dance/solo Charleston
  • Expect an audition first thing! :-)
  • No partner needed, we will rotate partners and balance leads/follows as best possible

 

SwingFest Gallery

SwingFest 2017 Booking Form

Useful information