Bedford River Festival postponed until 2022: “decision not taken lightly”

Bedford River Festival regatta The Embankment
Bedford River Festival returns in 2022

Mayor Dave Hodgson has described the decision to postpone the Bedford River Festival until 2022 as one that was not taken lightly.

The Council has today confirmed that the River Festival – already postponed from 2020 until this Summer – and also the Kite and Motoring Festival are being postponed until 2022.

As one of the largest free festivals in the UK, Bedford River Festival takes months of planning, made harder by changing Covid-19 (coronavirus) guidelines and the uncertainty around mass participation events later this summer.

The bi-annual River Festival was originally due to take place in the summer of 2020, but the growing pandemic meant it was postponed until 2021.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “Large gatherings are still not permitted under Government guidance and with the amount of work and time needed to plan these Festivals, particularly the River Festival, and ongoing uncertainty about how long these measures will have to be in place, we were unfortunately left with little choice but to postpone these events to next year.

“We know this is disappointing news. After postponing these events last year, we were really looking forward to bringing them back in all their glory this summer.

“But the safety of the public is our number one priority, and we are looking ahead to next year.

“Thank you to our Festival sponsors and supporters for their understanding and support.

““As we move through the year, more people are vaccinated and hopefully restrictions can be eased, we will be exploring options for smaller summer events, so please watch this space.”

The planned new date for the next River Festival is 23 and 24 July 2022.

The Council will continue to keep traders, exhibitors, local residents and businesses informed.