Celebration of swing booking out fast

Twinwood Festival 2018 proving increasingly popular for vintage fans

The Twinwood Festival has its beginnings in masters of swing, the Glenn Miller Band. The swing festival was first held on 27 August 1944 with a performance by the famous band at the RAF Twinwood Airfield in Clapham, Bedfordshire, England to an audience of RAF personnel. The stage was a flatbed trailer and the seating was a field not far from the Twinwood Control Tower.

The Glenn Miller Band had gained considerable nationwide attention for their unique style and sound. Arranged around a clarinet, tenor saxophone playing melody and three other saxophones playing harmony, they were the greatest and best known bands of the swing era. But in December 1944, Glenn Miller boarded an aircraft from RAF Twinwood and was never seen or heard of again.

The Twinwood Festival has undergone numerous changes since 1944, but it remains one of the biggest and best swing dance festivals in the world today. Twinwood Festival attracts tens of thousands of vintage fans who are entertained with non stop live performances by masters of swing, jazz and old style rock ‘n roll over a period of four days.

Bedfordshire is still paying tribute to the timeless mystery of Glenn Miller with a new incarnation of his band, the UK’s official Glenn Miller Orchestra. Ray McVay and his band will present a fast moving two hour spectacular featuring the sounds of the Andrew Sisters from the Polka Dot Dolls and swing dancers The Swing Time Jivers in the Main Arena on Saturday.

“Also performing is the Bedfordshire Big Band, a talented local group delivering Big Band Swing, movie themes and popular anthems,” says Annie Wooding, Creative Director for Twinwood Events. “We have old favourites including The Swing Commanders as well as some great new talent this year, including The Electric Swing Circus and Natty Congeroo & The Flames of Rhythm.”

The Swing Commanders are best described as vibrant and versatile. “The Swing Commanders take well crafted and exciting songs from the 30s to the 50s and overlay them with lush vocal harmonies and sizzling solos,” says Wooding. “Loved by fans of Jazz, Country, Swing and Blues, they’re a firm favourite of Lindy Hoppers, Modern Jivers, and other social dancers the world over!”

The band members bring have a wealth of musical experience, from bar room to classical concert hall to dance and theatre. “Every member of The Swing Commanders sings and plays at least one instrument, sometimes three, often swapping them mid song,” says Wooding. “What makes them stand out is their huge sense of fun.” They even take their instruments onto the dance floor!

A new addition to the line up this year is The Electric Swing Circus. The Electric Swing Circus is a six piece fusion of saucy swing and stomping electro beats touring the international circuit full time. “Drawing influence from 1920s swing and jazz, their explosive sound reverberates back through time, reinventing electro-swing for an ever expanding multi generational audience,” Wooding says.

They’re fronted by two female vocalists and deliver a dazzling show, hotfooting their way though the history books with their own unique style of swing.

“We are also delighted to welcome Natty Congeroo & The Flames of Rhythm to Twinwood for the very first time, joining us on Saturday 25th August on both the Main Arena and in the Colonial Club,” says Wooding. “The band’s repertoire consists of tight original numbers and explosive interpretations of classic Hot Jazz, Swing and Rhythm ’n’ Blues numbers from the 30s and 40s.”

Stylish and flamboyant Natty Congeroo leads the band who not only has a reputation for their hot authentic sound, but for for their unique sense of style and presentation. Natty Congeroo & The Fames of Rhythm are dressed to the nines in sharp, eccentric tailored vintage attire.

This year’s Twinwood Festival is a sure celebration of everything vintage, from swing to jazz to rock ‘n roll, not to forget retro fashion! Visitors can camp on the grounds and have access to all shows for a four day extravaganza of vintage sights and sounds sure to get them hopping, stepping and jiving. A few private Arena Boxes are available for day hire, but book early.

Visit or camp, come dressed Vintage style or as you please, but be sure to book promptly to secure the hottest, hippest, most fun weekend out this summer.

Twinwood Festival is held at the former RAF Twinwood Farm Airfield in Clapham, Bedfordshire, England. Its roots go back to 27 August 1944 when Glenn Miller and his AAF band performed an outdoor concert at RAF Twinwood for RAF personnel. On 15 December 1944, Glenn Miller boarded a Norseman aircraft from RAF Twinwood and he was never seen or heard of again. RAF Twinwood was decommissioned after WWII and the site lay almost untouched until 1989 when the company Twinwood Events was formed and the Twinwood Control Tower was converted into the Glenn Miller Museum. When restoration was completed in 2002, a celebration Glenn Miller concert was held. Its success led to the birth of the annual Glenn Miller Festival, held over the August bank holiday weekend. In 2007 the event was renamed The Twinwood Festival to incorporate a slightly wider genre of music. It is now one of the largest vintage music festivals in Europe. The Twinwood Festival has four stages and thirteen venues, as well as campsites, pop up shops and plenty of food and drink on offer. Live bands perform continuously throughout the four day weekend. The event continues to grow year on year attracting tens of thousands of vintage music, style and fashion fans from all over the world. For more information, please visit: www.twinwoodevents.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.