Lincoln Center’s Annual Dance Party Midsummer Night Swing is Now in Full SWING!

Crowds of dancing people enjoy the music and culture of Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center

Now in its 26th year (it was supposed to be a one-time celebration, but everybody loved it so much they've just kept it going), Lincoln Center's hugely popular Midsummer Night Swing started up again this week, as thousands of dancers filled Damrosch Park for a glorious night of swinging and singing and generally having a blast. Even if you missed the classic swing opener on Tuesday with Cecile McLorin Dalvant, there's still plenty of time, as the party runs through Saturday July 12.

A couple dances together at the annual lincoln center dance party

An Upper West Side Tradition

Midsummer Night Swing 2014 in Lincoln Center works pretty much the same as in year's past. Almost every night between now and July 12, a different band comes to Damrosch Park, and, along with a DJ during breaks, inspires a packed dance floor of happy, sweaty folks to do the hustle, or samba, or merengue, or jump blues, or tango, or classic swing. A $17 ticket gets you onto the actual floor, which is ideal, especially if you want to be able to see the band, but hundreds of other people always just show up to dance and listen from the sidelines. Seriously: the whole park is one big party. And I talked to several folks who arrived solo, and said that they never have any trouble finding partners.

Thousands of people come together at the Lincoln Center for their annual dance party, Midsummer Night Swing.

Dance the Night Away! 

You can't really go wrong here: all the bands are first-rate, so it's really more a matter of personal dance preference. Plenty of attendees buy four- or six-night passes, or even season passes (which gets you access to the VIP tent as well as the dance floor). Basically, this is a really fun time, a festival that's become a genuine Upper West Side tradition. One thing, though, is they're making a big deal of the fact that Hill Country's renowned BBQ is selling in the park, which is indeed excellent, but this is a severely truncated, overpriced version here in Damrosch. Not terrible in a pinch, but nothing to get excited about.

Dimly lit photo of couples dancing by the stage at Lincoln Center

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