Latest News

2022 Festival Press Release


In March 2022, the Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama will celebrate its 100th year with a special Centenary Festival, which will feature a number of one-off commemorative classes that celebrate the Festival reaching this exceptional milestone. Founded in 1921, the Bedfordshire Festival (or Bedfordshire Eisteddfod as it was originally called) gives people of all ages the opportunity to perform for audiences in some of the most prestigious venues in Bedford, to share their work with their peers and receive feedback from some of the country’s most eminent experts in music, speech and drama. Although competitive in nature, the Festival is an annual celebration of the talent that can be found in Bedfordshire and the surrounding area and gives young and old alike the chance to share their passion for the performing arts.

During the pandemic, the 2021 Festival took place entirely online and, while hugely successful, did not allow the opportunity for the Centenary celebrations to go ahead. Now that restrictions have been lifted, the Centenary Festival will take place in March 2022 with a week of in-person classes, culminating in a celebratory concert featuring a selection of the outstanding performances seen during the course of the week.

Entries are open now and will close on 1 st December 2021 and a full syllabus detailing all of the classes is available on the Festival website.

To mark the 100th year of the Bedfordshire Festival, 14 special centenary classes have been introduced for 2022 only, including music classes for any bowed instrument and for any age, instrument or voice, and speech and drama classes that include a poetry solo, a creative performance and a special centenary ‘Write and read a story’ class. A full list of centenary classes can be found on the website.

Julia Smith, Chairman of the Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama, said: “We are delighted to be able to announce the launch of our Centenary Festival – it will be such a joy to welcome performers back to the stage and to experience the magic of live music and speech and drama once again.

‘For 100 years, the Festival has showcased the finest talent from Bedfordshire and beyond – giving people the chance to perform, sometimes for the very first time, in front of peers and professionals alike. It is an important date in the calendar for those who love the performing arts and we are working hard to ensure that the Centenary Festival will be the biggest and best yet. We can’t wait to celebrate this fantastic milestone and encourage new and seasoned performers alike to enter what promises to be a moving and memorable Festival.’ To find out more about the 2022 Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama, to view the syllabus and to register your entries, visit

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact the Festival Press Office – or call 07730 517000

Notes The Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama was founded in 1921 and provides a showcase for the wealth of talent in the amateur performing arts in Bedfordshire and the surrounding area. The Festival offers a wide range of classes for all ages covering most musical genres including Classical, Musical Theatre, Jazz and Asian music, as well as many varied Speech and Drama classes including Verse Speaking, Acting, Mime and Improvisation. It features categories for school groups, Special School groups, orchestras, wind bands, junior and senior choirs and group creative performance.