What’s in store for Swindon Shuffle 2019? “A thriving, local music scene”

After Party at Baila - photograph by Justin Smythe @justinsmythe

If we’re honest – even today when the anxiety of saving money is at the forefront of our minds on a night out – when people hear “free gig” they’re often apprehensive. “Why is it free? What’s the catch? What kind of mediocre rabble has been scraped together?”

But time and time again this notion has been proven wrong with smaller, cheaper and even free events now often considered as being at the cultural helm of both gigs and festivals alike.

Since its inaugural event back in 2007, the Swindon Shuffle has brought together Swindon’s music scene and general community for a free, four-day weekend of original music – all in aid of charity. This year the Shuffle will be raising money for mental health charity Swindon Mind.

One of the founding organisers, Ed Dyer, said: “The idea was simple and was inspired by already established city centre music festivals like the Camden Crawl, The Great Escape and the Oxford Punt; the crowd was to ‘Shuffle’ between a couple of music venues on one particular night to watch a variety of acts performing. 

“This, of course, quickly expanded before the first event had been run, to be a four-day event across even more venues, with the audience ‘Shuffle’ giving the event its now familiar name.”

Although the event predominantly showcases Swindon’s ability to generate original music, it’s not exclusive to the SN postcode – a highlight last year was definitely watching Bradford-on-Avon’s Wasuremono ahead of their tour supporting the Flaming Lips! Yes, the Shuffle has done well to progress and bring musicians from the surrounding areas into town. But needless to say, Swindon’s own have also been reaching further afield.

“In the last 12 years many artists have gone on from playing the Shuffle to make their mark on the wider national scene,” says Ed, “including out of towner acts like Stornoway, The Volt and Bleech as well as Swindon’s own success stories, acts like Gaz Brookfield, Beatbullyz, Colour The Atlas, The Alfonz and The Dead Lay Waiting. More recent years have seen this tradition continue with bands like Yves and GETRZ gaining national recognition having partly cut their teeth at the Shuffle.”

Each time I have attended the Shuffle that supportive, community feel has always been ever present – with the venues always pulling in good crowds – and still progresses each year. Ed adds, “In the following years venues and organisers have come and gone, supported charities have changed and of course the music and musicians involved has been an ever-fluid story.

“Two things have remained constant however: the overall ethos and aim of the event; to bring together the community to showcase a thriving, local music scene remains as solid as ever, and of course, The Beehive as a venue, our only ever-present physical component.

“The festival is strongly rooted in the Old Town community and seeks to continually promote and highlight the area. So, come on down and enjoy the music!”

The Venues:

The Victoria – 88 Victoria Rd, Swindon

The Tuppenny – 58-59 Devizes Rd, Swindon

The Beehive – 55 Prospect Hill, Swindon

©Calyx Picture Agency

The Hop – 8 Devizes Rd, Swindon

Baila Coffee & Vinyl – 85 Victoria Rd, Swindon


Thursday 12 July:

Gaz Brookfield

Gaz Brookfield

Where: The Victoria
When: 10.15pm

No Side Effects

Where: The Tuppenny
When: 9.45pm

Friday 12 July:


Where: The Victoria
When: 10.45pm



Where: The Hop
When: 10.15pm


Where: The Tuppenny
When: 6.30pm

Saturday 13 July

Fake Walnut Dash

Where: The Beehive
When: 10pm

Flour Babies

Where: The Hop
When: 10.15pm

Sunday 14 July

The Bone Chapel

Where: The Tuppenny
When: 3.30pm

The Astral Ponies

Where: The Beehive
When: 8.15pm

For further information and the full line-up visit www.swindonshuffle.org.uk