The Philly Tango Festival launched in 2010 as a tango / humour festival. There were humorous and serious workshops and performances, including the Philly premiere of “The Tango Cheeseballs,” and an amazing milonga with live music by Tanghetto.
We skipped 2011, and then held yearly festivals from 2012 through 2019. We tried out a range of venues, before finding our ideal home at the Lithuanian Music Hall.
2010: Philadelphia Argentine Tango School & 2424 Studios
2012-2014: Ruba Club
2015-2016: Christ Church Neighborhood House
2017: German Society of Philadelphia
2018-2019: Lithuanian Music Hall
In 2019, we held our biggest festival yet, and launched the Tipica Messiez Tango Orchestra at a sold-out event.
2020 would have been our 10th festival and we had plans to go all-out. I’ve left the festival information on the website so you can see what was planned. All of it will eventually happen, but not all in one event. I believe it will be years before we can put on a $75,000+ festival, as we used to. The pandemic has made it impossible.
Thank you to everyone who registered. Please see the note on the homepage about how to use your registration fees for other activities.
We look forward to continuing to bring you festivals and other large events, as that becomes possible again. For now, feel free to peruse the website and think about how great it will be when we CAN do something like this. It gives me goose bumps just to type that.
Abrazo enorme, and please stay safe, everyone!
One of the most amazing occurrences in the history of our festival was when the Típica Messiez made its world premiere at the 2019 festival. Since that debut, the orchestra has been contracted by Lincoln Center, the Gavito Tango Festival (LA) and many other large tango events.
The Típica Messiez will perform at the main festival milonga on both Saturday and Sunday nights this year. A trio from the orchestra, under the direction of pianist Emiliano Messiez, will perform on Friday and Monday nights.
Yes, that means that we’ll have extremely danceable live music every night of this festival!
We have put together a hallucinatorily amazing group of maestros for this festival, many of whom have a special connection to the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School. You can read their bios and view videos here.
Look at this amazing DJ list!
This year’s festival offers FOUR different multi-workshop seminars, giving dancers more opportunities to study a range of tango topics in-depth:
Amazingly, we have scheduled these seminars so that none of the workshops conflict. Yup, you can take all of them!
The Philly Tango Festival tried out five different venues between 2010 and 2017. Finally, in 2018 we found our home, the Lithuanian Music Hall in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Philadelphia.
The 2020 festival will be our third at the Lithuanian Music Hall, and we hope to never move the festival again. In addition to providing the perfect space for our festival, the Lithuanian Music Hall treats our event as if it were their own. They support us in every way and do everything possible to make the event successful and give you a great experience.
The Philly Tango Festival is, hands-down, the best time of the year to start dancing tango. We offer a four-class track to get you up and dancing during the festival, and be part of the festival, by attending the milongas, watching the performances, getting out on the dance floor, and meeting tangueros from Philadelphia and visiting tangueros from throughout the world. The Philly Tango Festival packs enormous tango inspiration into four days, and it’s the best time of the year to fall in love with this amazing and addictive dance form.
No previous experience or partner is required. We rotate partners throughout the workshops.
The 2020 festival offers a total of 38 workshops and 29 hours of social dancing for complete tango immersion and to generate a non-stop tango “high.” Whether you are a new dancer, an experienced dancer, or even a professional, we have you covered for both tango learning and tango fun.
Check out the complete schedule to start planning your festival.
Yup, it’s the 10th anniversary festival, so we’re reinstating late night milongas at the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School (2030 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125).
We’ll hold after-party milongas from 3 to 7 am on both Saturday and Sunday nights (i.e. Sunday and Monday mornings).