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Preview: Jumpin' at the Woodside Festival, Staverton

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: May 14, 2014

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A RIP-roaring festival of swing music and dance kicks off in Gloucestershire later this month.

Jumpin’ at the Woodside features a host of live swing bands, dance classes, vintage stalls, glamping, circus skills sessions, food, DJs and a festival atmosphere.

The action takes place at the Dowty Sports and Social Club in Staverton from Friday May 23 to Sunday, May 25.

“The bands will be rockin’ and you can dance your socks off if you want to,” said organiser James Hamilton who runs the JazzjiveSwing dance company and teaches jive, lindyhop and balboa all over Gloucestershire with his wife Bridget.

The band line-up includes Si Cranstoun, The Indigo Kings, Hep Chaps, Electric Swing Circus and The Paper Moon Band. All this, plus a bunch of top swing DJs.

Top dance teachers will offer lessons in Jive, Lindyhop, Charleston and Swing, including taster session for complete beginners.

But JATW is not just for dancers. “If you’re one of the ‘can’t dance, won’t dance’ brigade, that’s fine,” said James.

“There’s a fully-licensed bar, food and fine looking people as well as all the swing and jazz music for you to feast your ears upon.

“If you like the sounds but dancing is a load of old pants in your book, then just settle yourself in and have a listen to see some of the most authentic swinging bands around.”

Onsite camping is free for weekend ticket holders. There’s also glamping.

“It’s a friendly festival atmosphere with great music and the chance to dance,” James said.

“People can sit back and enjoy some of the best music on the planet.

“They can drink tea, sup beer, eat cake, loll in the sun or jump up and leap about – or all of those things,” said James.

James launched JazzjiveSwing from Stroud more than 20 years ago and, with his wife Bridget, has since been instrumental in turning Gloucestershire into the biggest swing dance area in the UK outside London.

Tickets for Jumpin’ at the Woodside are £69 for the whole weekend, or £35 for single days (student concessions available).

Children under 16 go free. For tickets and more information, visit www.jazzjiveswing.com

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