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News / City Life

Everything you need to know about the biggest dance party of the summer in NYC

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Photograph: Courtesy Kevin Yatarola

Here’s more proof hat New York is a nonstop party during the sunniest time of the year! If you haven’t noticed, the city turns into an epic dance floor every summer thanks to kick-ass, outdoor boogie fests at local attractions and lush green spaces. However, no other open-air fete compares to the ever-magical soiree Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center.

RECOMMENDED: Midsummer Night Swing in NYC guide

The three-week festival encourages toe-tapping revelers to twist, turn and twirl under the stars to jams provided by musicians at Damrosch Park. For folks who don’t know how to bust it, each night begins at 6:30pm with a free lesson provided by some of Gotham’s best instructors, followed by live band performances from 7:30pm until 10pm. Although the term swing is included in the title of the event, each one of the 15 bashes highlights a specific genre of dance, from disco and ballroom to salsa (and swing!).

The festival kicks off tonight at 6pm with swingin’ performances by The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra. Disco group Loser’s Lounge inspires you to do the hustle on Thursday 29. Singer-songwriter-producer Binky Griptite and his funktastic Rhythm and Blues Orchestra play on Saturday 1, and Issac Delgado (a.k.a. El Chévere de la Salsa) and his darn tootin’ horn section take over on July 5. Keep on jiving after hours (until 11:30pm) during the hour-and-a-half Silent Disco parties, at which DJs play your choice of tunes into wireless headphones on select evenings. 

Word to the wise, leave your baggage at home. (Carryalls, including small purses are not permitted on the dance floor.) And if you need to fuel up to shake your tail feathers, hit one of the nearby food trucks for a snack. (There will also be a full-service bar with frosé and sangria Jell-O shots.) Get ready to bust a move (and get a little sweaty) in an annual tradition that lets us all feel like dancing queens and kings.

Midsummer Night Swing is at Damrosch Park Tue 27–Sat 1, Tue 4–July 8 and July 11–15 at 6pm (lincolncenter.org). $17, at the door $20.

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