Montreal Swing Riot: The Last Year of Rioting!

The organizers of the dance festival Montreal Swing Riot recently announced on Facebook that this year is the last Swing Riot for the indefinite future. Started in 2012, the fifth edition of Swing Riot runs from June 29 to July 2 in Montreal, Canada. 

I'm a huge fan of Montreal Swing Riot, as one of the few dance festivals to successfully bring together lindy hop and other more contemporary street dances like popping, waacking, krump and breaking. Swing Riot is best known for creating viral videos of the friendly battles between the "vintage" and the "modern" street dancers, such as this one that I'm sure that you've seen and that your non-swing friends shared with you.

Or this one....


Beyond the battles, it's just a fun, well-run dance weekend, featuring social dances, awesome performances, competitions, workshops, and lots of social hang time. It also takes place around the same time as the Montreal Jazz Festival, so there's lots of live music to be had while you are there.

Montreal Swing Riot in it's short run helped deepen the connections between our dance and other vernacular art forms, showing their shared roots and celebrating their diversity and different flavors. It also helped new audiences around the world to appreciate lindy hop in a fresh way. That's quite an achievement in a few short years.

So I'm sad that this is the last Swing Riot. But happy that they are ending on a high note, with a ridiculous roster of "vintage" and "modern" street dancers battling it out this year. I highly recommend going, if you can. Registration is still open, at the time of this post. Let's riot!

Here's the full message from Alain Wong and Gen St-Lo:

In two weeks, we celebrate the 5th anniversary of Montreal Swing Riot. We’ll also take a moment to celebrate the end of the current Swing Riot era as we plan on taking an indefinite break after this summer.

Since 2012, Swing Riot has offered a unique space for dancers from Montreal and around the world to express themselves and get inspired. Our goal has always been to showcase Lindy Hop and open the community to new horizons by taking inspiration from the wonderful art and culture that surrounds us. Within our event, we aimed to create a venue for you to be heard, to be seen, and to be loved. And for 5 years now, each little detail was thought of with care, and we hope you’ve felt it.

It’s time for us to take a deep breath and see how we want to continue to contribute to the Vintage Street Dance community moving forward, but for now, Montreal Swing Riot will continue to live on through our voice and our videos online.

To you Jazz Lovers, Lindy Hoppers, friends, and to our amazing team… thank you for welcoming our ideas with an open heart. Thank you for participating, investing your time and getting involved in the Swing Riot movement. Let’s take advantage of this last edition to celebrate the dance and the music that we love so much. Let’s be crazy!

The next few days will be filled with more news about the festivities, so get ready to RIOT !!!

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