Bedford is famous for its independent music scene. At the heart of this is Esquires, a much-loved Bedford institution and one of the UK’s best independent music venues. Dozens of well-known bands having played at Esquires on their road to success including Coldplay, Elbow and Muse. The Esquires bar is open every Wednesday to Sunday and most Fridays and Saturdays you can see free live music as well as pick up a ticket for the Main Stage.
Bedford Corn Exchange hosts an annual programme of well-known names and tribute bands and is home to the Philharmonia Orchestra. Throughout the year, the Philharmonia performs some of the greatest music ever written in six world-class concerts in Bedford. 2018/19 sees the orchestra’s 24thseason in at the Corn Exchange.
You can catch live music at many of Bedford’s pubs including The FlowerPot on Tavistock Street, The Kings Arms on St Mary’s Street and at The Three Cups on Newnham Street.
Music lovers should definitely make a date with Bedford’s bi-annual River Festival – the second largest outdoor festival in the UK. It has three stages of live music plus a dance tent, attracting up-and-coming and well established music acts.
Mill Race Folk was formed in 2015 by Bedford based folk trio, MarisaJack&Davy. They bring some of the best folk acts in the world to some of the most unique venues in the Borough including Bromham Mill, Elstow Moot Hall and the John Bunyan Boat on the River Great Ouse.
Through August, the Embankment comes alive at the Bandstand where local brass bands play on Sunday afternoons so check out Music in the Meadow for details.