Festival History

The Philly Tango Festival is run by the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School.

The festival launched over Memorial Day weekend 2010 as a tango / humour festival. There were funny 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. Almost every festival was held over Memorial Day weekend. Once or twice we had to use a different weekend due to a venue or artist conflict.

We tried out a range of venues, before finding our ideal home at the Lithuanian Music Hall. Click any of the photos below to go to the full photo album for that year’s festival.

Venue History & Photos
Click on any photo below to view the full album from that festival on flickr!

May 28-31, 2010: Philadelphia Argentine Tango School & 2424 Studios
1st Philadelphia Tango Festival - May 2010

May 25-28, 2012: Ruba Club
2nd Philadelphia Tango Festival - May 2012

May 24-27, 2013: Ruba Club
2013 Festival

May 23-26, 2014: Ruba Club
Festival 2014

May 29-June 1, 2015: Christ Church Neighborhood House
2015 Philadelphia International Tango Festival

May 20-23, 2016: Christ Church Neighborhood House
2016 Philadelphia International Tango Festival

June 2-5, 2017: German Society of Philadelphia
Philly Tango Fest 2017 - Matt's Photos

May 25-28, 2018: Lithuanian Music Hall
8th Philly Tango Fest - 2nd Night May 26, 2018

May 24-27, 2019: Lithuanian Music Hall
9th Philly Tango Fest May 24 - 27, 2019 - Matt's Photos

The image directly above is from the 2019, at which we launched the Tipica Messiez Tango Orchestra as part of a sold-out event.

We had planned a blow-out celebration for our 10th anniversary festival, which would have taken place May 22-25, 2020, but was of course canceled due to Covid. We did, however, hold one of the largest online events to take place during the pandemic over that same weekend, the Virtual Tango Festival.

June 2-5, 2022

After two years without a festival due to the pandemic, we were thrilled to present our 10th festival (finally!) from June 2-5, 2022. This was our first thematic festival, celebrating the often-overlooked contributions to tango by women. It was an inspiring, beautiful and hopeful four days. Check out the video playlist above, and photos here:

Philly Tango Fest 2022

May 26-29, 2023
In 2023, we held our second thematic festival, exploring the theme of IMPROVISATION in tango dance & music. It was just incredible.

2023 Festival

Going forward, the festival will:

  • Always take place on Memorial Day Weekend
  • Always be organized around a central theme
  • Always produce and present a new tango album