“Bedford is getting international traction” says Sting’s son and Bedford Park support act Joe Sumner

Joe Sumner Image: Cuffe & Taylor
Joe Sumner Image: Cuffe & Taylor

With Bedford Park Concerts returning this weekend, we’ve been catching up with one of the acts, Joe Sumner, who is supporting his dad, Sting, for his ‘My Songs’ world tour on Saturday (24 June).

An accomplished singer, songwriter and musician in his own right, Joe says he’s looking forward to coming to Bedford, somewhere he’s been keen to visit for a while now.

“I’m hearing about it [Bedford] all the time actually. It’s getting international traction, let me tell you, especially Real Bedford.”

Joe’s no stranger to gigging around the world, and not just because of his dad, one of the world’s most famous acts and most recognisable voices.

His own music has turned heads, most notably as the former frontman of rock outfit Fiction Plane, a group he formed more than 20 years ago with the release of their debut album Everything Will Never Be OK in 2003.

After three further albums and supporting The Police on their 2007 reunion tour, the band parted ways in 2015.

Since then Joe has caught the attention of audiences in the US after his song ‘Hope’ became an anthem for the Biden-Harris presidential campaign in 2020.

Joe then pulled together other musicians, including Sting, Ben Folds, Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, and Richard Marx, to sing the song together as a way of encouraging more people to get out and vote.

While Sumner, a British citizen, couldn’t vote in the election, he gives credit to his wife, who is American, for inspiring the project.

“I can’t vote, but I can sing,” he told Rolling Stone at the time. “There’s a lot at stake in this election and I want a more united country for my American kids to grow up in.”

Since then, Sumner’s solo career has contunued to go from strength to strength with his first solo album, Sunshine In The Night due for release this autumn, earlier this year he released live EP, ‘Feelin’ The Love, Tastin’ The Fear’.

But what can live music lovers expect in Bedford this weekend? “I really just bring myself. My voice and my guitar. You’re gonna hear every word and, hopefully, you’re gonna sing along with me ’cause I’ve got some catchy numbers that I hope you’re gonna join in with.”

It may be a little different to what you’ll see later on stage, Joe says his dad, Sting, is bringing “all killer and no filler” but Joe hopes people will enjoy his own thought-provoking lyrics that he believes will “bring people together”.

While Joe might well only be performing for one night in Bedford this year, it won’t be the end of his interest in our Borough.

“I’m very excited about Real Bedford and I’m very excited about their Premier League campaign. They’re my ‘grassroots’ team. Until they get to the Premier League and face Newcastle I’ll support Bedford.”

Read: Real Bedford articles

Joe Sumner is appearing at Bedford Park Concerts on 24 June, supporting Sting and Dagny. You can still get tickets here.

Sunshine in the Night is out in September. You can follow Joe on Instagram.