What’s on Bedford: 2 – 10 June 2022

Happy Jubilee bank holiday weekend! If you need some inspiration for things to do in Bedford with family and friends, look no further – we’ve got you covered.


Thursday 19 May – 9 June 2022

Family fun: Town centre Jubilee Trail
Bedford town centre
Free to enter

To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, 12 crowns will be hidden in various windows around the town centre.

Why not explore the town while following the map to find the crowns?

The trail will run from Thursday 19 May through the long Jubilee weekend and ends on Thursday 9 June.

Maps will be available to download online, or will be available to collect from The Higgins or Central Library.

Thursday 2 – Friday 3 June 2022

Jubilee: Decorate your own hat or crown
Higgins Bedford, Castle Lane @ 2 – 4pm
Free entry, no need to book

Decorate a hat or a crown for your own Jubilee celebrations. Suitable for Under 12s

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Please note space is limited and there may be a wait to join the activity.

Thursday 2 – 5 June 2022

Family fun: Jubilee Weekend Free Comics Giveaway
Close Encounters, 20 Allhalllows @ 10am
Free entry

Over the extended bank holiday weekend, Close Encounters be giving away hundreds of free comics.

Also available will be 1000s of comics for £1 each and graphic novels at £5 each or five for £20.

Thursday 2 June 2022

Family Fun: Bank Holiday Cruise
John Bunyan Boat, Sovereigns Quay @ 12pm, 1.45pm, 3pm
Tickets: from £5

Enjoy a relaxing 45 min Bank Holiday river cruise, cruising along the Embankment from Sovereigns Quay. It’s the perfect way to try the John Bunyan Boat for the first time, and great for families with young children.

Thursday 2 June 2022

Adult content: Drag Bingo Brunch (18+)
Brewpoint @ midday – 4pm
Tickets: £30 includes free first drink

Brewpoint have got some bumper bank holiday weekend activities planned, kicking off with Drag Bingo Brunch.

Hosted by Ms Ginger Phlappage and her squad of sassy and hilarious brunch queens and kings, get ready for a boozy afternoon of drag performances, games, challenges, quizzes and plenty of audience participation, honey!

Thursday 2 June 2022

Jubilee celebrations: Beacon lighting
Castle Mound @ 9.45pm
Free entry

Bedford will be joining in the nationwide and international beacon lighting at part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The Beacon on Castle Mound will be lit on Thursday 2 June at 9.45pm, and this is free to attend.

Thursday 2 June 2022

Live music: The Royston Club
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10

The Royston Club are the Wrexham band tipped by Gigwise as “the new band from Wales most likely to do a Catfish”.

The band signed to Run On Records (The Coral) and Modern Sky UK in early 2021, and their next two singles saw them fly past two million streams on Spotify alone and gain support from Radio X (Xposure Playlist), BBC 6 Music (Steve Lamacq & Tom Robinson), BBC Wales, BBC Introducing as well as Amazing Radio UK (C List) and US.

The Royston Club are singer and guitarist Tom Faithfull, guitarist Ben Matthias, bassist Dave Tute and drummer Sam Jones.

Friday 3 June 2022

Live music: Best of British – band night ft The Kaiser Monkey Killers
Brewpoint @ 7pm
Free entry

Specially selected by Brewpoint to celebrate the Best of British rock, indie, punk and pop on the Jubilee Bank Holiday Friday.

Friday 3 June 2022

Live music: The Specials
Bedford Park @ 5pm
Tickets: £45

Founded in 1977 The Specials were at the forefront of the 2 Tone movement. Changing the face of UK music in the 1080’s with 7 successive top 10 singles between 1979 & 1981 including number one hits like ’Too Much Too Young’ and ‘Ghost Town’. The band reformed in 1993 and have wowed fans across the world on the live circuit since.

In 2019 the band released ‘Encore’ their first album in 18 years, which gave the band their first ever number one album, 40 years after the release of their self-titled debut. In September 2021 the band released the critically acclaimed ‘Protest Songs 1924 – 2012’ the album which charted at number two features twelve singular takes on specially chosen protest songs across an almost 100-year span and show The Specials still care and are still protesting!

In support of the new album the band toured in autumn 2021 to sell-out crowds. They will now take to the stage In Bedford Park with a full support line, which will be announced soon.

Friday 3 June 2022

Club night: Enjoy Yourself – after the Park aftershow party
Bedford Esquires @ 10.30pm
Tickets: £4

When a band of a generation comes to town we need to celebrate in style…

On Friday 3 June, The Specials play Bedford Park and to celebrate this momentous occasion we are opening up the Esquires NITE KLUB for a post-concert after-show party.

Kicking off from 10.30pm Esquires will be hosting x2 rooms of music with 4 DJ’S spinning the finest sounds of Britpop, 60s, 70s, Two-Tone, reggae, ska, Trojan, indie bangers, funk, soul and more…

Saturday 4 June 2022

Food & drink: Street Food Festival
Brewpoint @ midday – 9pm

Brewpoint’s beer garden is home to a wide variety of the best street food vendors, including burgers, hot dogs, curries, gyros, crepes and pizzas – hosted by Street Feasting.

Saturday 4 June 2022

Culture: Body & Soul: British Sign Language exhibition tour and workshop
Higgins Bedford, Castle Lane @ 11am – 1pm
Free Entry, Booking Essential

Join Peter from Access Bedford for this Deaf BSL tour of the Body & Soul exhibition at The Higgins Bedford, followed by an art workshop.

This is a British Sign Language only event – no oral instruction will be given.
Book online at thehigginsbedford.org.uk or call the Box Office on 01234 718044

Saturday 4 June 2022

Markets: Jubilee Makers’ Market
Riverside Square

On Saturday 4 June, Bedford Borough Council and Made in Bedford will be hosting a Jubilee Makers’ Market in Riverside Square. There will be stalls to browse, with lovingly handcrafted and eco-friendly products including natural skin products, personalised designs and more.

The surrounding independent cafes and restaurants will all be open too, with outside seating to soak up the atmosphere (and hopefully the sunshine).

Saturday 4 June 2022

Afternoon Tea: Royal Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea Cruise
John Bunyan Boat, Priory Marina @ 2pm
Tickets: £30

Cruise Bedford’s picturesque countryside along the river with a special Jubilee Afternoon Tea – thanks to local caterer Crème Brew Lait – at your table with unlimited tea and coffee.

Your Purser will serve each guest with a glass of prosecco for toasting The Queen while you discover abundant wildlife and view the picturesque countryside from a whole new angle, looking out through large picture windows or standing out on the John Bunyan Bow.

Wave a flag, give passersby a royal wave and take your own commemorative photograph of this very special royal occasion.

Saturday 4 June 2022

Children’s Theatre: Comedy Club  4 Kids
The Quarry Theatre @ 2pm
Tickets: from £5

Since 2005, the Comedy Club 4 Kids has been getting the best stand-ups and sketch acts from the international circuit to do their thing for an audience of children and their families… but without the rude bits!

It’s just like a normal comedy club, but it’s on during the day, kids are allowed in, and thus there is a higher than usual chance of heckles like “why is that your face!?”

Saturday 4 June 2022

Live music: Tom Grennan
Bedford Park @ 5pm
Tickets: £35

Tom Grennan’s success has been closely followed by his hometown Bedford fans, and on Saturday 4 June, he will headline his first major outdoor concert in Bedford Park!

“Bedford I’m coming for you,” said Tom.

“I am so excited to be headlining back in my home town!!!! Home is where the heart is and I’m going to give you all the love and energy I can. I can’t wait to perform live for you, it’s going to be one hell of a party. Big Love!!”

Saturday 4 June 2022

Club night: Loaded – the Pad Club Classics Night
Bedford Esquires @ 10.30pm
Tickets: £4

Tom Grennan cut his musical teeth in Esquires, so it’s no surprise that they’re super proud to be involved with Tom’s return to Bedford – and on the biggest stage possible.

To carry on the party after the park, Esquires and the Pad are getting the band back together, with Pad DJs spinning indie bangers, Old Skool hip hop, soul, funk and pop classics.

“The Pad and Esquires are old haunts of Tom’s and we thought what better way to finish the evening than having a proper dance and get together.”

Saturday 4 June 2022

Live music: Livewire – the AC/DC show
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 8pm
Tickets: £15

The hugely successful and unique six-man tribute to rock music’s greatest band AC/DC, comes to Bedford, complete with cannons, a wall of Marshalls amps and over two hours of High Voltage Rock ‘n’ Roll.

The band aim to put you slap bang in the middle of the show with hit after hit, although there will also be one or two gems thrown in for the aficionados. From Back in Black, Rosie, and Highway to Hell, the songs keep on coming until the cannons fire ceremoniously to bring the evening to a superb crescendo.

Sunday 5 June 2022

Wellbeing: Spectacularts Wellbeing Expo 2022
Harpur Suite, Harpur Square @ 12.30pm – 5pm
Free entry

An afternoon of talks and interactive activities to help break the stigma around mental health.

Sunday 5 June 2022

Poetry: Read Poets Society – Looking to the Future
The Eagle Bookshop @ 7pm
Tickets: Free

Looking to the Future; the platinum weekend over,  consider life 2022-2092 and also what writers have expected of their own future, from Thomas More through both Shelleys to Orwell and beyond.
Note: this event takes place at the Eagle Bookshop in St Peter’s Street

Sunday 5 June 2022

Live music: Stiff Little Fingers
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £25

As part of their UK tour, Stiff Little Fingers are playing Bedford Esquires this summer, stopping off on Sunday 5 June.

Thursday 9 June 2022

Comedy: Castle Comedy with headliner Zoe Lyons
The Quarry Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: from £12

The headline act is Zoe Lyons. With a mixture of silliness, satire and caustic one-liners she is one of the UK’s favourite comedians. She is a regular on Mock The Week and has appeared on Live At The Apollo, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow (BBC1) and hosts her own teatime TV quiz show, Lightning! (BBC2).

Opening the show is Nabil Abdulrashid. He finished third in the 2020 series of Britain’s Got Talent and was awarded the ‘Golden Buzzer’ in the first round of the competition. David Walliams described both his performance and writing as “perfect”. He has gone on to appear on Live At The Apollo, Mel Giedroyc: Unforgiveable, Richard Osman’s House Of Games and Celebrity Masterchef.

Bedford’s own Castle Comedy favourite, Paul Revill will host the show.

Tuesday 7 June 2022

Live music: The Courettes
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £11

Back in Oct 2021, The Courettes breezed into town and won our hearts with their Spector-esque rock and rumble. We’ve never seen a queue at the merch table quite like it – everyone was desperate to speak to Flavia and Martin and beg them to come back. Spoiler alert – it worked.
The Courettes are an explosive garage rock duo from Denmark and Brazil who blend an exciting concoction of garage, surf, 60s girlie pop and riot grrrl attitude. Completed by the husband-and-wife partnership of vocalist/guitarist Flavia Couri (from Brazil) and drummer/backing vocalist Martin Couri (from Denmark, where they are based), and following the critically acclaimed release of 2021’s ‘Back In Mono’ album and a hugely successful UK tour in October of that year, the very fabulous Courettes return with a brand new single and news of a UK in June later this year.

Wednesday 8 June 2022

Live music: Wayward Sons + Electric Black
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12.50

Reset the counters! Toby Jepson is back with WAYWARD SONS and returns to Bedford Esquires on following a packed out show in 2018.

After the success of Little Angels, a number one album, millions of records sold, massive sell out shows and numerous hit singles, Toby has been busy these past years in movie work, performing with Fastway, Gun and Dio’s Disciples and producing albums for numerous bands (Saxon, Fastway, Virginmarys).

Wayward Sons, handpicked by Toby are Nic Wastell (bass, Chrome Molly) Phil Martini (drums, Spear Of Destiny, ex Quireboys, Joe Elliot’s Down and Outs) Sam Wood (guitar, a real new gunslinger from Treason Kings) and Dave Kemp (keys, ex Little Angels touring band and long time sideman to Toby).

Passionate, honest music made by passionate honest musicians who have come together to create rock music that reflects their heroes from the ‘70s and ‘80’s – modernity through homage…..Wayward Sons

Thursday 9 June 2022

Live Music: Irish Music Cruise
John Bunyan Boat, Newnham Steps @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £20

Enjoy a lively musical evening cruise featuring Inis Eire; a Ceilidh band providing amazing music from Ireland as we cruise along Bedford’s Embankment.

A versatile trio of Irish musicians providing high quality classical, folk, pop and ceilidh performances.

Friday 10 June 2022

Live music: Verb T + Strange U + Deema
Bedford Esquires @ 7pm
Tickets: £14

UK hip hop artist, Verb T, touches down in Bedford.

Friday 10 June 2022

Karaoke: BARRIOKE ft. Shaun Williamson AKA Barry From Eastenders – He’s Back!
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £15


Probably the single greatest event Esquires has ever booked is returning for round two, following the sold-out show last year.

From the fields of the festivals to the stage at Esquires, Barry from Eastenders (Shaun Williamson) is bringing Barrioke to Bedford!

Shaun will be performing a set of the hottest hits on the planet for you all – Karaoke sing-along style!! There might even be a chance for some of you lucky lot to join him on the mic too…

Saturday 11 June 2022

Classical music: Bedford Choral Society: Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: vary from £6 – £16

The concert will include Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass and Parry’s Blest Pair of Sirens followed by Sibelius’ King Christian II Suite. The conductor will be Paul Searle-Barnes with Bedford Sinfonia.

Sunday 12 June 2022

Shopping: Bedford Flea, Affordable Art & Local Produce Market
St. Paul’s Square @ 10am


Flea finds

A smorgasbord of stuff, Bedford Flea, Affordable Art and Local Produce market is back!

Sunday 12 June 2022

Art: Urban Sketchcrawl @ Bedford Flea
La Piazza Cafe @ 10.30am
Free to attend

The Bedford chapter of a global group of Urban Sketchers meet up once a month to sketch on location in and around Bedford.  Each meet up, they explore a different place, with the mission to raise the artistic, storytelling and educational value of on-location drawing.

This week their location is Bedord Flea, Affordable Art and Local Produce market at St Paul’s Square.

Sunday 12 June 2022

Family fun: Pop Princesses
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 3pm
Tickets: £17

A magical show where princesses become pop stars!

This is the children’s pop concert with a big difference.

A musical spectacular starring four fabulous fairy tale princesses who just love to sing  and featuring a soundtrack of top pop hits from artists such as Little Mix, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainor, and internet sensation, JoJo Siwa, plus songs from all your favourite films and musicals.


Until June 2022

Exhibition: Archipelago: Take Part Queen’s Park Community Exhibition
The Higgins Bedford until 12 June 2022
Free entry

Still from the Archipelago film of the Allotted sequence © Caroline Wendling

Still from the Archipelago film of the Allotted sequence © Caroline Wendling
A new exhibition celebrating the vibrancy of Queen’s Park opens at the Higgins Bedford this month.

Using film, embroidery and clay, curated by artist Caroline Wendling the exhibition is a collaboration with residents as part of the Take Part Queen’s Park project.

“Queen’s Park is like an archipelago [a group of islands] – a place where people who each have their own cultures and traditions come together to form one unique, vibrant and unified community,” said Caroline Wendling.

Delivered by Bedford Creative Arts in partnership with The Higgins Bedford and funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Harpur Trust and housing association bpha.

Until January 2023

Exhibition: Edward Bawden: Artist Plantsman
Higgins Bedford
Free entry but timed tickets required

Every day, influential British artist and designer, Edward Bawden, would spend an hour in his garden at his home in Great Bardfield before starting work in his art studio. Plants and gardens were one of the most prominent and constant subjects of not only his work but also his life.

Drawn exclusively from the Edward Bawden archive, explore Bawden’s lifelong love of plants and gardens through a wide range of his work, including early wallpaper designs, well-known prints, advertising campaigns and private commissions.

From the grand gardens of Carthage and the botanical gardens at Kew, to Bawden’s own gardens at his parent’s home in Braintree and his beloved one-acre plot in Great Bardfield, discover Bawden’s passion for plants and gardens across decades of his work, featuring pieces that have never before been on public display.

Until October 2022

Exhibition: Body & Soul
The Higgins Bedford
Free entry

Edvard Munch (1863–1944), Woman with a Brooch (Madonna), 1903 © The Trustees of the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery

A new exhibition exploring how women have been represented in art over the past two centuries, opens at The Higgins Bedford on 2 April.

Read: Body & Soul: Higgins’ new exhibition explores the representation of women in art

Highlights in the Body & Soul exhibition – all drawn from the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery Collection – include artworks by Edgar Degas, Edvard Munch, Dora Carrington, Stanley Spencer, Henri Matisse, Gwen John, Roy Lichtenstein, Lucian Freud and Chila Burman.

Theatre highlights by Paula Walker


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