What’s on Bedford: 22 June – 2 July 2023


Your weekly what’s on guide for Bedford and the surrounding area from The Bedford Clanger.

Never miss a thing in Bedford ever again. From theatre to film, live music to art exhibitions, The Bedford Clanger what’s on guide lands every Thursday and is the only guide you need to know what’s on and what’s happening across the Borough for the next 10 days.

Until Monday 26 June 2023

Culture: Events to mark the 75th anniversary of Windrush
Free to attend

Empire Windrush

Throughout the week, the Legacy of Windrush Descendents (LOWD) organisation will be hosting free events to mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival of Empire Windrush and to celebrate the impact on the culture of Bedford.

Thursday 22 June – Windrush Service

All Saints Church will be hosting an evening service at 7.30pm to honour the Windrush Community, featuring guest speakers and vocalists. A significant occasion to reflect on the immense contributions of the Windrush generation.

Saturday 24 June – The Legacy Weekend

At the Harpur Suite and in Harpur Square, celebrate the rich Caribbean culture with a matinee concert featuring Bridgerton star Alison Buchanan, exhibitions, entertainment, and tantalising Caribbean food stalls. Don’t miss the rhythm of steelpan artist Ian Beccles and folk singer Alexander De Great!

Sunday 25 June – The Legacy Weekend – Big Sunday Dinner

Get ready for a vibrant day featuring the Island hop quiz, performances by reggae star Donna Marie, and a sing-a-long with Nodeen Salmon. Indulge in a sumptuous two-course Sunday dinner, play dominoes, and win raffle prizes! Book your ticket here.

Monday 26 June – CaribAfrique Cookout

Enjoy a feast of flavours at the CaribAfrique Cookout at the Harpur Suite and Harpur Square, with food stalls offering tastes from various Caribbean countries. Support young entrepreneurs showcasing their culinary skills, with profits going to future youth projects.

You can find out more the LOWD website here.

Thursday 22 June 2023

Live music: The Sherlocks
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15

Selling out venues up and down the UK, The Sherlocks head to Bedford.

Friday 23 June 2023

Bedford Park Concerts: The Jacksons / Sister Sledge / The Real Thing / DJ Spoony
Bedford Park
Tickets: £24.75

The Jacksons

Soul pop icons The Jacksons, ultimate disco divas Sister Sledge and British soul pioneers The Real Thing are ready for the ultimate party night in Bedford Park. All three legendary groups will join forces for an incredible show on Friday June 23.

It will be another sensational night in the magnificent grounds of Bedford Park, which is set for its biggest ever summer of live music.

Friday 23 June 2023

Live music: Electric Black album launch
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10

The debut performance of Electric Black’s second album, plus an opportunity to pre-order before it’s release later this year.

Friday 23 June 2023

Live music: The Retroes
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

Proper old school rock (with a few modern covers thrown in) is what you can expect from this epic four-piece rock band.

Friday 23 June 2023

Live music: James (Starsailor) + guests
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15

Frontman of multi-million-selling band Starsailor, James Walsh has proven his worth as a singer-songwriter in his own right. He’s written songs with Eliza Doolittle, Melanie C, Suzanne Vega, and Professor Green – to name a few, as well as writing movie soundtracks.

Starsailor’s initial run of success saw both their ‘Love is Here’ debut album and the 2003 follow-up ‘Silence is Easy’ hit #2 on the UK charts as they raced to a total of three million sales. The band also enjoyed more than their fair share of prestigious gigs, supporting the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Police, The Killers, and U2.

This return was swiftly followed by the release of their biggest hits through ‘Good Souls: The Greatest Hits’ which included two brand new tracks ‘Give Up the Ghost’ and ‘Hold On’ [September 2015, on Parlophone]. James along with his band, Starsailor, released their latest studio album ‘All This Life’ in September 2017, which charted at #23 in the UK album charts. In total Starsailor have charted with 11 top 50 singles, including the top 10 numbers ‘Alcoholic’ and ‘Silence Is Easy’.

James released his debut solo album ‘Turning Point’ back in 2014. Turning Point was very much a coming-of-age album, full of wonderful examples of James’s ability to weave inspiring melodies around simple chords, creating timeless and classic songs. His latest album was released early in 2023, and is entitled ‘Coming Good’.

Saturday 24 June 2023

Comedy: Jokes and Laffs – June Comedy Night
The Place Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: £14.99

An evening filled with laughter and more. Showcasing the very best of established and new comedy talents – both homegrown and international, while also making sure to cater for all comedy lovers of all ages and backgrounds.

Performing on the night are President Obonjo (compere) Shabbz, A.D.E. & MR BLAIR. There is a bar, music and catering from Dudu Bar Lounge on the night.

Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 June 2023

Festival: Bedford Kite and Motoring Festival
Russell Park, the Embankment, Mill Meadows and on the River Great Ouse @ 10am – 4pm

Bedford Kite Festival 2019 5
Bedford Kite and Motoring Festival 2019

The Bedford Kite and Motoring Festival will be returning for its biggest event this June, with activities taking place in Russell Park, the Embankment, Mill Meadows and on the River Great Ouse.

The free event has grown to become a highlight of the summer festival calendar, and this year the town’s first Dragon Boat Festival will be an added attraction on Sunday.

The weather forecast is looking good, so pack a picnic, gather your friends and family and head to Russell Park!

Saturday 24 June 2023

Live music: Zeroes
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

Zeroes hail from Hitchin and play a heady mix of the best 00s Indie tunes (think Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon, The Strokes, The Kooks, Kaiser Chiefs, The Wombats) as well as a smattering of 90s classics (Pulp, Blur, James) and a few timeless gems (Smiths, Joy Division). Not to be missed!

Saturday 24 June 2023

Bedford Park Concerts: Sting / Dagny / Joe Sumner
Bedford Park
Tickets: from £61.85

Sting is coming to Bedford Park on 24 June. Image: Martin Kierszenbaum
Sting is coming to Bedford Park on 24 June. Image: Martin Kierszenbaum

Sting’s ‘My Songs’ concerts are an exuberant and dynamic show featuring his most beloved songs, written throughout the 17-time Grammy Award winner’s illustrious career both with The Police and as a solo artist.

Following a sold-out six-night residency at the London Palladium, My Songs was hailed “a masterclass” by The Times which said, “Sting remains an undeniably skilled performer with a gold-plated back catalogue.”

A musical journey taking in hits like Fields of Gold, Shape of my Heart, Roxanne and Demolition Man, the concert was described as “a rare treat” by The Telegraph and saw Sting praised as “near peerless” by The Guardian with “sublime pop alchemy”. Fans can also expect to hear Englishman In New York, Every Breath You Take, Roxanne, Message In A Bottle and many more.

Saturday 24 June 2023

Live music: Sex Pistols Exposé
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12

The Sex Pistols Exposé quartet are by all accounts the world’s No.1 tribute to the infamous punk rock legends that included Rotten, Vicious, Cook and Jones, and apparently, they have even been approved by all surviving members of the Sex Pistols.

This certainly brings a high expectancy with such an accolade, but wherever they perform, it conjures up those heady days of punk rock which saw Vicious officially join ‘The Pistols’ back on 28th February 1977.

The Sex Pistols Exposé faithfully recreate the sound of the timeless tracks found ‘Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols’ (and beyond) which was originally recorded from October 1976 until August 1977 and was unleashed to the world on 28th October 1977.

The Sex Pistols Exposé will be belting out classics like ‘Pretty Vacant’, ‘God Save The Queen’, ‘Holidays In The Sun’ and ‘Anarchy In The UK’ and others, as well as a plethora of witty stage banter.

Sunday 25 June 2023

Walking: “The Silent Faces of Bedford” guided walk
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am at the gold postbox in St Paul’s Square
Tickets: £3/£1.50

Join the Association of Bedford Tour Guides for one of their fascinating weekly walks. Each walk is of 90 minutes to two hours duration and covers a distance of one or two miles. Most walks are suitable for people who are less mobile.

Children of all ages are most welcome on all of our walks but those aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Each walk costs £3.00 per adult or £1.50 for children over 8. All walks must be pre-booked.

Sunday 25 June 2023

Live Music: Soul On Sunday
The Cellar Bar @ 3.00pm.
Free Entry

Head to the Cellar Bar for an afternoon of Soul and Motown classics with DJ Shazza at the helm.  Playing only vinyl records this is as authentic as it gets.  What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!  The wheels of steel will be spinning from 3pm until 7pm, free entry.

Sunday 25 June 2023

Live music: Quake + Moniker play the Sunday Afternoon Session
Bedford Esquires @ 5pm
Free entry

The Sunday Afternoon Session features a double-header from Quake and Moniker.

Sunday 25 June 2023

Bedford Park Concerts: West End Proms
Bedford Park
Tickets: from £28.60

This year's West End Proms performers Image: Bedford Park Concerts
This year’s West End Proms performers Image: Bedford Park Concerts

The complete all-star line-up, who will now join Danny Mac (Pretty Woman & Wicked) on stage are confirmed as John Owen-Jones (Phantom of the Opera & Les Misérables), Faye Tozer (Steps & Everybody’s Talking About Jamie), Zoe Birkett (The Bodyguard & Moulin Rouge), Trevor Dion Nicholas (Aladdin & Hamilton), Louise Dearman (Wicked & Evita) and Georgi Mottram (International & West End Classical Singer).

West End Proms will present a breathtaking evening of live music from the past seven decades of popular musical theatre. This immaculately performed and vividly compelling show will include songs from Les Misérables, Phantom Of The Opera, Moulin Rouge, The Greatest Showman, Chicago, Wicked, Sunset Boulevard, and many more.

Bedford Park Concerts ‘Proms’ has been Bedfordshire’s most prestigious al fresco Proms event for over 20 years. This year the production of the West End Proms will be by Olivier Award-nominated producers Lambert Jackson, arguably one of the most exciting theatrical production companies in the UK at the present time combined with Olivier Award-winning promoters Cuffe and Taylor, get set for one of the best theatrical experiences Bedford has ever seen.

The soloists will be accompanied by the Novello Orchestra, which has quickly become renowned for its passionate, enigmatic performances and charisma that have injected an energy and innovative take on the whole orchestral concept. Expect passionate playing and breathtaking orchestrations.

The Bedford Park Concert West End Proms will have one of the best laser shows in the country and a firework spectacular to finish the evening. The West End Proms will not only bring you some of the top West End Musical hits but will also be delivering all the much-loved pomp and patriotism, flag-waving favourites Rule Britannia, I Vow to Thee my Country, Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory (just to name a few!)

Don’t forget the Proms is a picnic concert so you can bring along your chairs, picnic blankets and your own food & drink to enjoy throughout the show.

Tuesday 27 June – Saturday 1 July

Outdoor theatre: Swan Theatre Company presents William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors
The Place Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: £12/£10

“And now let’s go hand in hand, not one before another.”’

Two identical twin brothers and their identical servants are separated by a shipwreck.

Years later, unknown to each other, it just so happens that they all end up on the same island. Before a family reunion can take place, a series of wild mishaps and delightful mayhem begins – including everyday miracles, mistaken identity, false accusations, wrongful arrests, and a near-seduction.

Bursting with energy and a whole bunch of silliness, this fast-paced comedy will be the perfect feel-good event to get you in the mood for summer.

This is an outdoor performance so come prepared for the weather!

Tuesday 27 June 2023

Art: The Circus of Illustration’s Drink and Draw – festival posters
The Park pub, Kimbolton Road @ 7.30pm
Free (donation appreciated)

The Circus of Illustration’s monthly Drink and Draw is back and everyone (over 18) is welcome. This month’s theme is ‘festival posters’, so let your freak flag fly!

Any skill level,  free, no need to book, just turn up. Equipment and resources are provided in a no-pressure, relaxed atmosphere to chat, drink and doodle.

Wednesday 28 June 2023

Walking: “Tales of the Tower and the Steeple” guided walk
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am at the gold postbox in St Paul’s Square
Tickets: £3/£1.50

Join the Association of Bedford Tour Guides for one of their fascinating weekly walks. Each walk is of 90 minutes to two hours duration and covers a distance of one or two miles. Most walks are suitable for people who are less mobile.

On this brand new walk, explore St Paul’s and St Peter’s churches and discover their fascinating history and many stories to tell.  There will be a brief tour of each church to discover why they have played such an important and integral part in the development and history of the town itself.

Children of all ages are most welcome on all of our walks but those aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Each walk costs £3.00 per adult or £1.50 for children over 8. All walks must be pre-booked.

Wednesday 28 June 2023

Film: Cinema @ 3 St Peter’s presents – Les Diaboliques
3 St Peter’s Street @ 7pm
Tickets: £12/£10.50/£9/£6

“Les Diaboliques” is a 1955 French psychological thriller film directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot. The film stars Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, and Paul Meurisse in the lead roles.

“Les Diaboliques” has won numerous awards, including the Best Foreign Language Film at the 1956 British Academy Film Awards and the 1957 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Motion Picture.

Wednesday 28 June 2023

Flower arranging: Sustainable church flowers demonstration
St Paul’s church @ 6.30pm
Tickets: £5 (to book email Lucy.Copeman@pagesestate.com or call 07870 517803)

Learn to create a beautiful seasonal pedestal and window display using sustainable techniques and Bedford-grown flowers from Howbury Farm Flowers.

Proceeds to The Friends of St Paul’s church, Bedford.

Wednesday 28 June 2023

Live music: The Hop Hop Lounge: Jeru the Damaja
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £20

US Hip Hop legend, Jeru The Damaja will be stopping off at Esquires as part of his UK tour this month.

Jeru the Damaja (born Jeru Davis) aka D. Original Dirty Rotten Scoundrel was born and raised in the East New York section of Brooklyn where the everyday occurrences around him from an early age later became the source from which his rhymes flow.

Jeru created and took on the persona of “the Damaja” (because he damages the mic) – part conscious truth teller and part true to the streets of Brooklyn. Jeru hooked up with DJ Premiere and Guru, collectively known as Gangstarr, shortly after they moved to New York in the late 1980s.

Jeru introduced his unique “hardcore conscious” style to hip-hop audiences on “I’m the Man” a track on Gangstarr’s 1992 Daily Operations album. In 1993 he cemented his place in the hip-hop world by releasing the now classic single “Come Clean” from his legendary album, The Sun Rises in the East.

The Wrath of the Math was released two years later which included the hit singles “Ya Playin’ Yaself” and “Me or the Papes” and Jeru was proclaimed one of the saviours of hip-hop due to his honest and straightforward critique of the state of hip-hop music.

Wednesday 28 June 2023

Drag Showcase: Miss Palma Violet and Miss Lushes Lips
The Cellar Bar @ 8.00pm 
Free entry

Come and join the laughter, fun and entertainment with two fabulous local drag queens – Miss Palma Violet and Miss Lushes Lips.

Featuring live cabaret, lip syncing, adult fun and games, insult comedy, raffle, disco and more!

This show contains adult humour and swearing and is strictly an over 18’s event.

Thursday 29 June 2023

Bedford School Creative Arts Festival: Jazz Evening with Bedford School Jazz Orchestra
The Quarry Theatre @ 6.30pm
Tickets: £5/upper tier seats / £60/a table of six including two bottles of wine and nibbles

Come along to hear the Jazz Orchestra, directed by Harry Baker, perform some of the great chart hits from the 1960s, such as Crisis (Hubbard) and Grease Wheezer (Norman) and many more.

You will also hear singers, pianists, the Prep Jazz Ensemble and the New Jazz Collective, with the Quarry Theatre transformed into a Jazz Café for one night only.

Part of the Bedford School Creative Arts Festival 2023.

Thursday 29 June 2023

Comedy: Jesterlarf Comedy presents – Reginald D Hunter
Bedford Esquires @ 7.15pm
Tickets: £15

Comedy legend, Reginald D Hunter
Comedy legend, Reginald D Hunter. Image: Jesterlarf Comedy

Esquires will be hosting another exciting ‘underplay’ from one of the finest comedians on the circuit when Reginald D Hunter comes to town.

Having reached the final of So You Think You Are Funny in 1998, Reginald went on to be nominated an unprecedented three times for the Edinburgh Perrier Award and he has performed all over the world.

In addition, he’s made BBC documentaries including ‘Songs of the South’, returning to his hometown of Georgia for a road trip across the deep South and the cradle of American music.

Now a household name, his unique, brutally honest and controversial brand of comedy is unrivalled.

Catch the brilliant story-telling comedy maestro as he performs a work-in-progress show ahead of his recently announced UK tour called “The Man Who Could See Through Sh*t” which hits theatres this Autumn.

Thursday 29 June 2023

Dance music: Bedford Park Concerts presents – Scooter
Bedford Park @ gates open at
Tickets: £24.75

German techno act, SCOOTER
SCOOTER will headline for Bedford’s biggest rave (image: Louise Harris PR)

One of the world’s biggest techno acts of all time, SCOOTER is bringing the biggest rave the town’s ever seen to Bedford Park Concerts.

The techno legends are beloved by ravers and dance music fans ever since the release of their early-2000s hit The Logical Song – and now they’re bringing their infamous live show to Bedford.

The Happy Hardcore German group will be armed with a high-energy set including tracks such as The Logical Song, Nessaja as well as their latest releases God Save the Rave and Waste Your Youth.

Friday 30 June 2023

Live music: Amy Leeder
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm.  
Free entry

The Cellar Bar welcomes Amy Leeder, covering all your favourite sing alongs & the ones you’d forgotten about too!

Amy has been performing for over 15 years from theatre stages to intimate shows and you’re guaranteed an evening of fun and entertainment.

Saturday 1 July 2023

Dance music: Bedford Park Concerts presents – Ministry of Sound Classical
Bedford Park @ gates open at 4pm
Tickets: £24.75

Ministry of Sound Classical comes to Bedford Park in 2023

Bedford Park will provide the perfect backdrop for an incredible live music spectacle as Ministry of Sound Classical hits the park this July.

Clubs do not come more iconic than Ministry of Sound. The legendary London venue was at the heart of the huge house scene of the 1990s and is one of the biggest global brands in dance music.

Ministry of Sound Classical sees your favourite dance tracks re-orchestrated, re-imagined and re-lived by a breathtaking 30-piece orchestra, top DJs, stunning vocalists and a sound and light experience like no other.

Roger Sanchez, Judge Jules, K-Klass, Ellie Sax, Covie & Mark Russell are among the stars to take to the decks on the night. Kym Mazelle – First Lady of House Music – will also be providing powerhouse vocals for the Ministry of Sound show.

Saturday 1 July 2023

Live music: Joe Cullen
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm 
Free entry

He rocked the place last time he played so The Cellar Bar is thrilled to welcome Joe back to The Cellar Bar.  Playing covers by Ed Sheeran, The 1975, Oasis, Harry Styles, The Killers, Coldplay plus more…

Sunday 2 July 2023

Walking: “Bedford in World War II” guided walk
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am at the gold postbox in St Paul’s Square
Tickets: £3/£1.50

The bust of Glenn Miller can be seen on the front of Bedford Corn Exchange

Join the Association of Bedford Tour Guides for one of their fascinating weekly walks. Each walk is of 90 minutes to two hours duration and covers a distance of one or two miles. Most walks are suitable for people who are less mobile.

Children of all ages are most welcome on all of our walks but those aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Each walk costs £3.00 per adult or £1.50 for children over 8. All walks must be pre-booked.

Sunday 2 July 2023

Festivals: Bedford Italian Festival
Harpur Square & St Paul’s Square @ 12 noon – 6pm
Free entry

The team from Mamma Concetta at Bedford Italian Festival
The team from Mamma Concetta at Bedford Italian Festival

Bedford’s Italian Festival is back with a free, family-friendly fun-packed day – celebrating all things Bella Italia in Harpur Square and St Paul’s Square.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a celebration of Bedforfd’s Italian culture without food, so enjoy delicacies from local businesses inclduing Mamma Concetta and Cibo, enjoy summertime mocktails by Franki’s Apertivo plus refreshing gelatos.

Music will be provided by local singers, performing traditional songs to sing along to as well as a dance and chefs will be showcasing their culinary skills by making fresh pasta and risottos, so be sure to taste the finished dishes.

If you want to try some hands-on crafts, ceramicist, Amanda Silk be running pottery workshops and Bedford Flea favourite, Giacomo Verdura will be selling his artwork.

Parking in council-owned car parks is free all day, so ‘ciao a presto!’

Sunday 2 July 2023

Family fun: Italian Spectacular
Harpur Centre, Bedford @ 12 noon – 4pm
Free entry

Bedford town centre’s Harpur Centre will joining the Italian Festival fun with roaming Venetian performers and a pizza-making masterclass.

Led by a talented chef, families will be able to experiment with a platter of indulgent ingredients to create their own pizza. The tasty creations will then be placed in a hand-decorated pizza box for shoppers to take home!

Harpur – the Centre’s mascot will also be participating in the festivities, giving away balloons to commemorate the day as well as posing with shoppers. You can sign up to the Harpur Centre Kids Club on the day or head to the Centre’s website beforehand and sign up.

Every Thursday

Cocktails, Quiz Night & Karaoke
The Cellar Bar from 5.00pm

Pit your wits against The Cellar Bar’s resident quizmaster to see if you can win the jackpot every Thursday from 8pm. £2 per person entry and a maximum of six per team. The winning team will win the jackpot PLUS a round of shots. Followed by Karaoke til close

Every Saturday

Food & drink: Cocktail mixology masterclass
The Cellar Bar @ 3pm / doors open at 12 noon
£30 per person

The Cellar Bar’s resident mixologist, Marley, will explain how to create some outstanding cocktails for your tasting enjoyment. Then, it’s your turn to put what you’ve learned into practice by making (and drinking) three cocktails!

Every Sunday

Live Music: Open Mic Night
The Cellar Bar @ 7.30pm
Free Entry

Every Sunday, join Mat Roberts for the Cellar Bar’s weekly Open Mic night. An opportunity for new and experienced performers to get up on stage and perform.

So whether you think you are the next Tom Grennan or just want a good night of entertainment, head the to Cellar Bar from 7.30pm.

Until 2024

Exhibition: We Are Ten
The Higgins Bedford, Castle Lane
Free entry

The Higgins begins its 10th birthday celebrations with an exhibition featuring old favourites and rarely seen works from the collection, all chosen by organisations, groups and individuals who have worked with the museum and gallery over the last decade.

The exhibition runs for the next year, with special events planned next month to mark the exact date the museum reopened in 2013. Watch this space for more information.

Until 2024

Exhibition: Edward Bawden – Planes, Trains and Automobiles
The Higgins Bedford @ Tues – Sat: 11am – 5pm/Sun: 2pm – 5pm/Closed Mondays
Free entry

The Titfield Thunderbolt 1952 by Edward Bawden. Image: The Edward Bawden Estate
The Titfield Thunderbolt 1952 by Edward Bawden. Image: The Edward Bawden Estate

Let Edward Bawden transport you in this exhibition celebrating all things travel.

Drawn exclusively from the Higgins Bedford’s Edward Bawden archive, see large linocuts of London’s iconic stations and an array of wonderful vehicles from hot air balloons to jumbo jets and tall ships to cruise liners.

Read: New Edward Bawden ‘trains, planes and automobiles’ exhibition to open this weekend

Theatre highlights by Paula Walker

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