Bedford has a thriving arts and culture scene – punching well above its weight with the calibre of acts its theatres and live music venues attract.

Culture takes centre stage throughout the year at events and festivals in the Borough. From Fun Palaces (October), to Bedfringe (July), there’s something to get your creative flowing.


Bedfringe – July
Now in its 12th year, Bedfringe runs for a week, attracting performers en route to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.  Many acts are trying out material for Edfringe, so it’s a great chance to see top-notch performers right on our doorstep.

Comedy, drama, dance, spoken word and theatre plus shows for families and kids are all programmed, plus live music on the Garden Stage.  With shows throughout the day, it’s a regular occurrence for audience members to see one show and then take a chance on the next one!  The year’s programme is released in May, so keep an eye on their social pages and website to find out this year’s line-up.


Fun Palaces ( Saturday 5 & Sunday 6 October)
Fun Palaces is an international celebration of art, science and culture at the heart of communities. Since 2015, venues throughout the Borough have taken part, with dozens of free, hands-on activities taking place.  Get up close with actual artists, musicians, designers and scientists.

June Arts Jam
Full House Theatre run an annual arts festival each summer, performing in venues throughout the town. Check out their website for details of this year’s activities.


Bedford Creative Arts
Keep an eye on BCA’s website for details of events and performances, from screenings to talks, workshops to installation pieces.

Photo by Cat Lane


The Higgins Bedford
Throughout the school holidays, the Higgins Bedford hosts creative activities for all the family. Working with many of the town’s artists and makers, the events are a great opportunity to get hands-on and try new things. 


Rogan’s Books
Author visits, live window illustration, talks and readings – all this and more can be found at Rogan’s Books on Castle Lane. Voted among the best independent bookshops in the UK, Rogan’s Books is a treasure trove for junior bibliophiles. The events take place throughout the year, so follow them on Facebook or check out the website.


Booktastic (date TBC)
Bedford’s children’s book festival brings award-winning authors and illustrators to Bedford for readings, workshops and activities. Former children’s laureate, Chris Riddell, Cressida Cowell and A F Harrold have all graced the Booktastic stage, alongside Bedford’s very own David Litchfield.

Booktastic 2017