Coronavirus forces Bedford Park Concerts to cancel summer gigs

Bedford Park Concerts Judge Jules - Credit Peter Hayes
Judge Jules came to Bedford Park as part of the Cafe Mambo set in 2019. Credit: Peter Hayes

The popular summer concert series, Bedford Park Concerts, has been postponed for 2020 with organisers blaming the knock on effects of the coronavirus pandemic for their decision.

In a statement on their facebook page today, LPH Concerts, who are behind the annual three-day music event in Bedford Park, said the decision was made with “sadness”.

“In the background we have been studying guidance and taking advise from the industry safety professionals,” they added.

The concerts are organised each year by event producer and Bedfordian Mark Harrison and a small group of local music lovers.

Speaking exclusively to the Bedford Independent, he said: “Bedford Park Concerts, really are a passion of mine and the team’s, having developed the concept and brought them to Bedford for over 25 years.

“This year to be in put in a state of stasis because of COVID-19 fills us all with sadness, however it is the right thing to do.

“We are a small, Bedford based team and I ask that our fellow music lovers stay with us and support us during these somewhat challenging times.

“We can assure you all that whilst Paul Weller isn’t performing for us this year in Bedford Park, something we’ve been working on for five years, we already have some exciting plans for next year.

“This includes the Proms 25th Anniversary (take two) which will feature a host of new concepts, singers – and our renowned special effects display.”

Tom Jones wowed the crowds in Bedford Park in 2016. Image: Bedford Park Concerts.

Music in Bedford Park started with a Sunday night Proms concert over 25 years ago, with Friday and Saturday night gigs added more recently, creating a three-day music event.

Past performers have included: Dizzy Rascal, UB40, Jess Glynne, Tom Jones, Basement Jaxx, Billy Ocean, Cafe Mambo and Tom Walker.

This year, Cafe Mambo were due to bring some of the world’s top DJs to Bedford on the Friday while the modfather, Paul Weller would entertain the crowds on Saturday.

The proms concert would then close the weekend on Sunday.

Paul Weller announced he would be pulling all his UK tour dates, including Bedford, back in April. But it was hoped the Friday and Saturday night events would still go ahead.

But now the full series, set for 31 July – 2 August, has been postponed until 2021, with exact dates still to be released.

“The good news is, that the artistes, Bedford Park and our suppliers are fully behind us,” said a spokesperson for LPH Concerts.

“As such the concerts are postponed until next year when we’ll be back with a heightened spring in our production for you all to enjoy.

“All ticket holders will shortly be receiving an email from the ticket agent you booked your ticket with, containing information regarding your purchase.”

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