This August, a new festival will launch in Bedford with – they promise – sunshine, music and summer vibes.
Original Culture Festival is taking place on August bank holiday Sunday and while the sunshine may not be guaranteed (we’re keeping our fingers crossed), the music and summer vibes definitely are, thanks to a line-up featuring headline DJ sets from Mike Skinner and Spoony.
Taking place at Bedford Town Football Club on the outskirts of Bedford, the festival site is spread over two acres and features a blend of top drawer artists, local talent, up-and-coming stars plus street food stalls and bars.
Organisers Ross Antony, Josie Mulé and Rowan Forrester say they’re counting down the days to what is set to be the area’s biggest and best post-pandemic festival.
“We feel we’ve launched at the ideal time for people who want to get back out into the open to dance and enjoy great food and drink plus the best musical talents on offer,” said Ross.
“Coming off the back of a very difficult 18 months, we hope that this is perfect opportunity to inject some summertime positivity and good vibes into all that attend.”
The Bedford Independent caught up with one of the headline acts – and one of Bedford’s newest residents – DJ Spoony to talk about his career at the forefront of the UK Garage scene, Bedford Italians’ Euro celebrations and what he loves about his new hometown.
“This is my first event as a Bedfordian,” said Spoony, who moved to the town from London in March.
“It’s an opportunity to bring a bit more UK Garage to Bedford and I’m really looking forward to it. I regularly used to come to the Catch the Feeling events at Mission and there’s a real buzz about this new event.”
Alongside music, football is Spoony’s other great love and he hosts two shows a week for the Premier League.
He’s also been hosting the Box Park fanzone at Wembley during the Euro 2020 tournament.
Following Italy’s win over Austria, Spoony got his first taste of the Bedford Italians’ post-match celebrations…
“It’s good to see the Italians in Bedford celebrating,” he said. “Happy people, sharing their culture. The UK is a lot more integrated than most other places and Bedford’s diversity is amazing.
“My career has allowed me to use music as a uniting force and we have a lot more in common than what divides us.”
From starting out on Kiss and Galaxy before progressing to BBC Radio 1 and now slots on Radio 2, Spoony says the Dreem Teem [featuring Mikee B and Timmi Magic] made the most of the opportunities open to them. “If you know your lane and you stay true, you’ll always remain relevant.”
He’s definitely missing his annual residency at O Beach in Ibiza, but says that Spoony’s Home Stream, broadcast live from his home studio, has helped get through the last 18 months admitting that, “…the Sunday stream was as much for me as for the audience.”
Talking about his musical legacy, Spoony says that people regularly come up to him to say he was the soundtrack to their childhood or student days. “People have grown up with me,” he says. “I’m so grateful that I can still do this.”
“Achieving what we achieved as The Dreem Teem made our success even better. Timmi and Mikey are brothers for life and I’m carrying on the baton.”
And while he may not have Ibiza to look forward to this summer, Spoony says he’s keen to establish a residency here in Bedford, so watch this space and make sure you catch him at the Original Culture Festival this August.
The full line and ticket details can be found on the Original Culture website.
Original Culture Festival, Sunday 29 August 2pm – 11pm at Bedford Town Football Ground