What’s on Bedford: 6 – 16 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.

Thursday 6 – Saturday 9 July 2023

Food & drink: Wellington Arms Beer Festival
40 – 42 Wellington Street, Bedford
Free entry

The Welly’s Waterloo Beer Festival runs for four days and features 20 beers, eight ciders and their usual selection of craft and Belgian beers.

Thornbridge, Roosters, Allsopps, Kirkstall and Hop Kettle are a few of the guest brews on offer and there will be food (Friday @ 6pm – Crown and heel burgers in the garden) and live music in the bar (Saturday @ 8pm – The Pride, Sunday @ 5pm – Simon Gutteridge/Proxy Music).


Thursday 6 July 2023

Quiz: Esquires Monthly Music Quiz
Bedford Esquires @ 8.30pm
£2/person with teams of up to six people

Esquires’ monthly music quiz features hits from the 50s to the present day.

Teams of up to 6 people. £2 per person to enter and a cash prize for the winning team.

Thursday 6 July 2023

Bedford School Arts Festival: Summer Chapel Choir and Orchestral Concert
The Chapel and Great Hall, Bedford School @ 6.30pm
Free entry, just turn up on the night. Everyone welcome. 

The Bedford School Creative Arts Festival draws to a spectacular close with this wonderful showcase of the talent and creativity of their musicians in the Upper School. An evening not to be missed!

Part of Bedford School’s Creative Arts Festival 2023.

Thursday 6 July 2023

Live music: Hell is for Heroes
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £25

Hell is for Heroes perform a warm-up show ahead of their performance at Trees Festival.

Friday 7 July 2023

Live music: Up on the Roof – open-air band night with singers Mel Peake & Katherine McLean
Bedford & County Golf Club, Green Lane, Clapham, Beds MK41 6ET @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10 in advance. To purchase call 01234 352617.

Katherine McLean and Mel Peake will be performing music by Tom Jones, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston and more live on the fairway. Dancing encouraged!

Bring your own chairs and blankets to sit on. There will be a full bar with drinks offers, as well as burgers and street food available.

Friday 7 July 2023

Live Music: Mel Quinn
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free Entry

Join Mel Quinn for an evening of upbeat covers and quirky, sarcastic, somewhat unhinged originals.

With vibes of Lily Allen, Kate Nash and Lucy Spraggon, she will be sure to catch your attention!

Friday 7 July 2023

Live music: Junk Season
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £8/£6

Junk Season with support from Autumn Fires | Lost Without Cause | The Lung Rotters.

Saturday 8 July 2023

Morning walk: A figure of eight walk
Fox & Hounds, Risely @10am Morning or All day

North Bedfordshire Ramblers following a footpath alongside a summer meadow towards a rural church
Joining North Bedfordshire Ramblers is a great way to explore the county and beyond (image: North Bedfordshire Ramblers)

A 6.5-mile circular walk to Keysoe but can be combined with the afternoon walk to make a 12-mile walk.

Afternoon walk
Riseley Primary School MK44 1DR @ 1.30pm

A 5.9-mile circular walk to Melchbourne.

Saturday 8 July 2023

Live music: Opus 18 Community Choir Summer Concert
St Andrew’s Church Bedford, 7.30pm
Tickets: £10 (under 12s £5)

Opus 18’s 12th-anniversary summer charity concert is here! The community choir has raised over £30,000 for local charities over the last twelve years and this summer they are supporting FACES Bedford and Elisabeth Curtis Riding for the Disabled.

“We were delighted to be placed first in this year’s community choirs class at the Bedford Festival of Music Speech and Drama and this concert will a selection of our favourite songs,” said a spokesperson.

A warm welcome awaits!

Saturday 8 July 2023

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

FiveFiveSix are back at the Cellar Bar so get ready for a great night of legendary rock tunes!

Saturday 8 July 2023

Live music: The Skids + The Barrys
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £25

The Saints Are Coming! (again) as The Skids return to play Bedford Esquires this July.

The Skids formed in 1977 in their hometown of Dunfermline, Scotland by Richard Jobson, Stuart Adamson, Bill Simpson & Tom Kellichan. After releasing an independent single the band were played by John Peel, supported The Clash in concert and then were signed to Virgin Records in 1978. Their first singles were “Sweet Surburbia”, “The Saints are Coming” and “Into the Valley” – the latter reaching the UK Top Ten in early 1979.

People change but the heart and the energy that drives the band remains stronger than ever before as they enter a new chapter in the band’s ongoing history.

Guest support by request of the band comes from The Barrys.

Sunday 9 July 2023

Markets: Bedford Flea, Affordable Art and Local Produce Market
St Paul’s Square @ 10am

Bedford Flea

Head to St Paul’s Square in the sunshine for Bedford’s most vibrant market. Stalls offering antiques and vintage, second-hand records and clothes are alongside the art section showcasing talented local artists or you can shop for locally produced food & drink in the Produce section.

Many Vegetarian/Vegan/Gluten Free options available plus free live music.

Family & dog-friendly market.

Sunday 9 July 2023

Walking: “I Never Knew That” 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 9 July 2023

Live music: Esquires’ annual BeatleJam
Bedford Esquires @ 5pm
Free entry

Hosted by Mat Roberts, BeatleJam is Esquires’ annual celebration of the music of the legendary Fab Four. From 5pm, local musicians will be sharing their love of the Beatles back catalogue. If you would like to take part email matrobertsmusic@aol.com.

Monday 10 July 2023

Community choir: Come and Sing Songs n Scones
Bunyan Meeting, Mill Street Bedford, 2.30pm
Tickets: Donations

An informal afternoon of song followed by afternoon tea. Donations to Bedford Daycare Hospice.

Tuesday 11 July 2023

Live music: Tuesday lunchtime concert
St Paul’s church, St Paul’s Square @ 1pm
Free entry with retiring collection (suggested donation £5)

The final Tuesday lunchtime concert of the season features a performance by Ellie Astridge (Soprano) and Tim Weed (Trumpet). The concert series will resume in September after the summer break.

Wednesday 12 July 2023

Children: Jackastory
The Place Theatre @ 10.30am
Tickets: from £3 Pay what you can

Listen to members of The Place team read their chosen children’s stories and discover some new favourites of your own. You are welcome to bring your own book suggestions with you too. Each session runs for forty-five minutes to an hour, with a break for refreshments.
This will be a very relaxed event with young, and old, being invited to join the readers on the stage in an intimate and friendly atmosphere, on a mound of comfortable cushions!

(Aimed at 2-5-year olds, but all ages welcome)

Wednesday 12 July 2023

Live Music: The All New Soul & Blues Revue – Tribute Act
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Tickets: £5

Jake and Elwood are coming to Bedford and they want YOU to come and see them perform!

The All New Blues and Soul Revue has been wowing audiences with a spectacular and authentic tribute to the classic cult movie ‘The Blues Brothers’™ since 2002.

In that time they have performed over 1,500 shows across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.

This show pays true homage to a movie which has never declined in its popularity since its original release over 40 years ago.

Audiences are encouraged to don their suits, hats and shades and to become an interactive part of the show, as our Jake and Elwood tear down the fourth wall – creating the ultimate interactive experience!

This show may contain adult humour and swearing and is strictly an over 18’s event. Only customers with a valid ticket, with a valid QR code will be allowed admission. 

Thursday 13 July 2023

Community: POP Bedford
5 Midland Road @ Wednesday – Sunday (refer to website for more details)
Free entry

Pride of Place (POP) Bedford has now officially opened its doors, so head on down to Midland Road to see what’s going on. More details of events, workshops and activities as they’re announced.

Thursday 13 July 2023

On the river: Curry Dinner Cruise
Priory Marina @ 6.30pm for a two-hour return cruise
£27 plus booking fee. (Bookings close on Monday 10 July at 6.30pm)

Local legends Thali & Tandoor will be serving up a delicious thali meal for you to enjoy while you cruise the Great Ouse with choices catering for everyone including halal, vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Thursday 13 and Friday 14 July 2023

Community theatre: Into the Depths: Orpheus Remixed
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: Pay What You Can from £3

‘Into The Depths: Orpheus Remixed’ is a brand new adaptation of the classic Greek tale ‘Orpheus and The Underworld’, written, devised and directed by BRAVE Youth theatre students (ages 11-16) and their youth theatre leaders. This new version takes us on an epic 1980s love adventure like no other.

Orpheus and Eurydice meet at the school prom and fall madly in love only to be ripped apart by a tragic accident administered by the king of the underworld, Hades.

Will Orpheus and his best friends manage to save Eurydice before she is taken by the demons? Will Persephone convince her husband to give them a second chance? Can we face our fears and learn to look forward rather than look back?

This version is about the vitality of stories, friendships, first loves, jealousy, greed and regrets. Expect some classic 80s tunes alongside arguing muses, evil demons and a very strange three-headed dog.

Friday 14 July 2023

Live music: The American Four Tops Motown Show
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £24.50

Direct from the USA, Soul Satisfaction’s American Four Tops Motown Show has been travelling internationally bringing all the sweet soul music and the Motown magic to their audiences.

With powerful vocals, splendid harmonies and the high stepping dance routines, you will be taken on a journey through all the hits of the Four Tops including Reach Out, Baby I Need Your Loving, Walk Away Renee, Same Old Song, Loco in Acalpulco, Standing In the Shadow, Bernadette along with other classic hits from the golden era including songs from the Temptations, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Ben E King and many more Motown and soul legends.

Backed by the Soul Unlimited band this is an exciting live concert experience guaranteed to have you will be dancing all night long. Soul Satisfaction is guaranteed, so…Get Ready Cos Here They Come!

Friday 14 July 2023

Live Music: Zal Ahmed
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm.  
Free Entry

The super-talented Zal Ahmed plays at The Cellar Bar this week, with a mix of classic and contemporary soft rock/pop.  What better way to get the weekend started?

Friday 14 July 2023

Live music: Love featuring Johnny Echols + Large Plants
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £22.50

LOVE with Johnny Echols sees Arthur Lee’s longest-serving band appearing in Bedford for the very first time to perform classic songs from Love’s first three albums Love, Da Capo, Four Sail and of course the seminal Forever Changes, as well as some special deep cuts.

Following their farewell tour in 2019 the band hadn’t anticipated a return, but as founding member and guitarist Johnny Echols explains, “the unprecedented times in which we currently find ourselves made us realise more than ever that what the world needs now is LOVE.

“We have missed playing for our fans in the UK whom we dearly love. How could we turn down the opportunity to come back and do it again?”

Joining Johnny Echols on stage is Baby Lemonade who from 1993 until Arthur’s death in 2006 performed as his band and became an essential part of the renaissance of LOVE’s music.

This iteration of LOVE saw many sold-out tours, as well as back-to-back Glastonbury performances and an appearance on Later with Jools Holland. Support comes from Large Plants.

Saturday 15 – Sunday 16 July 2023

Family fun: Bedford Eid Festival 2023
Addison Howard Park, Kempston @ 1pm (11am – 1pm on Sunday – exclusively for SEND families. Register here)
Free entry

Eid Festival is back at Addison Howard Park this summer and everyone’s invited to join the celebrations.

Entry is free and there will once again be funfair rides, food and gifts souk, Scouts activities, a tug of war competition, giveaways, raffle prizes and more.

Sunday from 11am – 1pm is dedicated to the SEND community, so please register in advance to secure your place.

Saturday 15 July 2023

Live music: The Black Charade + Fell Out Boy
Bedford Esquires @ 7pm
Tickets: £14 (14+ only. 14s – 16s must be accompanied by an adult. No refunds will be given for incorrectly booked tickets.)

The world’s one and only My Chemical Romance tribute The Black Charade plus the most established tribute to Fall Out Boy, Fell Out Boy – are coming to Bedford Esquires for a double header of ultimate EMO not to be missed.

14+ only.

Saturday 15 July 2023

Live music: The Meteors + The Tendons
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £20

Third time lucky? Esquires hasn’t had a lot of luck with The Meteors’ previous shows due to that big thing that happened and a previous date cancelled through illness, but third time is a charm!

THE METEORS were formed in 1980 in a reaction to the bands that were singing about ‘Big Green Cars’, ‘Rocking This Town’ and being ‘Rockabilly Rebels’. Preferring their songs to contain topics about vampires, stomping in graveyards and radioactive kids P. Paul Fenech, Mark Robertson and Nigel Lewis soon found themselves all over the media.

A media who were eagerly lapping up their new sound christened ‘Psychobilly’.

By 1982 the original line-up had split with Lewis and Robertson going on to form their own bands while P. Paul forged ahead with a free hand with THE METEORS and his idea of how psychobilly should sound. That was a sound that had grown from one of a band’s own personal identity to a world-wide genre that is Psychobilly now over 30 years established and still growing and thriving around the globe. THE METEORS have continued to inspire and influence countless bands while continuing to lead the charge from the very vanguard.

Saturday 15 July 2023

Live Music: The Intonators
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

Playing covers by ka, ska punk, punk genres, playing covers by bands such as Rancid, The Interrupters, The Clash, The Specials and The Sex Pistols, plus lots of other 3rd wave ska and a few surprises thrown in along the way! A very energetic show from start to finish!

Sunday 16 July 2023

Community theatre: The Roaring Jungle
The Place Theatre @ 1.30pm & 4pm
Tickets: Pay What You Can

The Roaring Jungle is an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s famous novel ‘The Jungle Book’ performed and co-created by our younger BRAVE cohort (young people aged six to 11)

Enter the era of the 1920s with jazz music, Charleston dancing and…..tigers!

There will be storytelling, music, dancing, masks (designed and created by the students themselves) and a load of wild animals. Come and find out whether Mowgli can ever truly learn the law of the jungle and whether the other animals will be lured into the evil ways of Shere Khan or led astray by those pesky monkeys!

Suitable for young people aged 5+.

Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 July 2023

Food & drink: Beer and Beyond Beer Festival
Brewpoint @ midday
Tickets: £10 / express brewery tour £5

Bedford’s very own brewery taproom is kicking off the summer in style with a weekend of beer, food and music – and you’re invited!

With a range of guest beers, street food vendors and music acts, they’ll be serving up the perfect festival atmosphere.

Read: Say hello to Beer & Beyond – Brewpoint’s first-ever beer festival

Sunday 16 July 2023

Walking: “Bedford’s Movers and Shakers: A Bromham Road walk”
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am at the gold postbox in St Paul’s Square
Tickets: £3/£1.50

Bedford Sixth Form is on the site of the former Bedford High School for Girls on Bromham Road. Image: Google Streetview October 2021

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.

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