Your Bedford weekend starts here: 7 – 9 December 2018


At a loose end this weekend? Here’s our cultural round-up of the next three days…

Friday, Saturday & Sunday

You’re guaranteed to get into the Christmas spirit at the St Paul’s Christmas Tree Festival this weekend. It continues until Sunday at St Paul’s Church and entry is just £2.50 (under 16s are free).  All proceeds go to the Bedford Hospitals Charity.

There are over 65 trees, decorated by local community groups, organisations and businesses on the theme of Christmas around the world. Choirs will be providing entertainment throughout the festival. Highly recommended. Thursday, Friday Saturday: 10am – 5pm. Sunday:noon – 4-pm

Christmas Tree Festival – from Bedford with love


Calling all noughties Emos! Black Parade- an evening of 00s Emo anthems is coming to Bedford Esquires tonight, bringing a huge emo Christmas party and Emo Christmas presents. [That’s enough ‘Emo’ – Ed].  Expect to hear all the biggest hits from Panic! At The Disco, Jimmy Eat World, My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Taking Back Sunday, Paramore, All American Rejects, You Me At Six and loads more.Tickets £4


Black ParadeTonight at the Corn Exchange, Legend, the music of Bob Marley is a two hour rasta-spectacular, showcasing this musical icon in one fantastic stage show. Combining his distinctive vocals with flawless musicianship, and a supremely talented cast. Together they recreate the timeless hits Could You Be Loved, Is This Love, One Love, No Woman No Cry, Three Little Birds, Jammin’, Buffalo Soldier, Stir It Up, Get Up Stand Up, Exodus, Waiting in Vain, Satisfy My Soul, Iron Lion Zion, I Shot the Sheriff  and many more reggae classics. 8pm tickets £15



There’s a Christmas party at the Old Arcade this Saturday from 11am – 4pm and everyone’s invited. Have your photo taken in a giant snowglobe and join the elf yourself workshop – there’s fun for all the family. Plus you can crack on with your Christmas shopping at Hattie & Co, Boutique Planet, the Magic Garden, Kean & Co, Slide Records, Charisma and more.

As it now gets dark at about 2.37pm, it’s the perfect time of year to take part in Creative Days’ annual glimmering lantern making workshops. They’re back at The Pavilion in the heart of Bedford Park for their favourite events of the year! its suitable for all ages and you are welcome to drop in anytime (no need to book) between 2 and 5pm.£3.

Creative Days
Light up Bedford Park with Creative Days

At 11am, in partnership with Access Bedford, enjoy a BSL interpreted tour of the Young Turner exhibition at the Higgins Bedford. The tour will be followed by a workshop on perspective drawing, inspired JMW Turner’s work in the exhibition. Free.

The Blender pop up record shop is at the Ent Shed, Gordon Arms this Saturday for their final event of the year.  The traders will have every musical genre covered and crate diggers will be entertained with acoustic sets from some of the cream of local musical talent.  Liquid refreshement is (literally) on tap at the Gordon Arms next door thanks to event partner, Charles Wells. The shop will be jumping to the sounds of King Purple and Sara, both making their debuts at the long running event, now in its fifth year. Joining them will be local favourites The Shtooks, who will be warming down after last month’s single launch at Esquires. Carlos Linnet will be bringing the blues and Eleanor Richardson completes the line up. The Beat Thrown Down, a local DJ collective, will be on the decks, keeping it strictly vinyl all day long. 9am until 5pm.


Blender 8 December

Celebrate ‘Christmas at Bromham Mill’ with a screening of the classic festive film, Elf at 5pm (tickets £5). Make a day of it from 11am with events at the mill, museum and gallery. Festive food at the café and craft and food market, plus an indoor woodland trail (£1).  Santa will be visiting from 1 – 4pm (£2.50 including trail).

You Caan’t help getting into the festive spirt when you watch Elf

Olivier Award winner, Guy Masterson, brings Dickens’ classic festive fable to the the Place Theatre tonight. Famed for bringing multiple characters to vivid life, Masterson recreates A Christmas Carol’s Scrooge, Marley, the Fezziwigs, Tiny Tim et al in an enchanting, performance that will dazzle and linger long in the memory. Guaranteed to get you into the Christmas Spirit – in many more ways than one!Suitable for all ages. Tickets £12 (concessions £10/£9)

Guy Masterson

The Boombastic 90s party is back at Esquires tonight, so get your festive freak on! Expect everything from Five to Fatboy Slim as we travel right back to the last century and party just like it’s 1990 – 1999. There will even be a live PA from 90s chart topper (and Heart FM fave), BABY D, performing her classic ‘Let me be your Fantasy’ and more. Tickets £10

Party like it’s 1990 – 1999

Roll Your Own Records are celebrating their third birthday at Herd tonight with their final party of the year. As always, they’re welcoming DJ’s, collectors and selectors of all kinds of music from DnB to balaeric, garage to jungle. All abilities and ages are welcome. We have some inside info that there will even be a very special cake! From 7pm. Free entry.


Access Bedford’s  Shelley Caswell will be leading the BSL Café with some fun Christmas themed activities at the Albero Lounge. From 11am – 1pm

Join Hammie and Geoff for their well-established Sunday Soul Sessions in Holy Moly’s at Esquires. You’re guaranteed an afternoon of top draw Northern Soul and soul music with a chilled out laidback crowd. This month’s special guests are Brett Smith & Nige Misciali. 3 – 8pm

Sunday SoulAt the Sunday Afternoon Session at Esquires check out The Feelgood Band, described as high energy Rhythm & Blues played the Canvey Island way, recreating the unmistakable sounds of 1970’s Dr Feelgood. They’ve even got the Wilko Johnson seal of approval!

The Feelgood Band
Wilko loves them!

If you’ve loved Tom Allen on Bake Off: An Extra Slice, or his many other appearances on Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo, Channel 4’s Comedy Gala and R4’s Just a Minute, you’ll definitely want to catch him at the Bedford Corn Exchange this Sunday. His unique style of sharp, acerbic wit and camp, riotous storytelling has seen him sell out shows all over the country. 8pm tickets £15

tom allen
Absolutely guaranteed hilarity

Now more than ever, we need your help to fund the Bedford Independent’s quality journalism that serves our community...

We choose to champion editorial independence, meaning we report the facts without bias and can stand up to those in power when we believe it’s needed.

We can give a voice to people in our community whose voices may otherwise not be heard. And we don’t have a paywall, so everyone can read the stories we publish for free.

But in this time of crisis, many news organisations all over the world are facing existential threat, with advertising revenues plummeting. We’re no different.

We work hard every day to bring you news, commentary, entertainment and announcements from across Bedford. We hope that, with your help, we’ll be able to continue this for many years to come.

Will you help sustain our work today by clicking below ? Even a small donation makes a difference for our future.

Thank you for your support.