This page will continue to be updated with key information about the River Festival leading up to the event. If you cannot find the information you are looking for here, please contact the Events Team.
No – the Bedford River Festival is free and open to tall.
The Festival will open at 10am on Saturday 23rd July, with the final Main Stage act and Illuminated Boat Parade finishing at 10pm.
On Sunday 24th July, the fun begins again at 10am and draws to a close at 8pm.
Plan your journey using the helpful information provided. Where possible we recommend using public transport, or if you live locally, walking.
There will also be additional Festival car parking available at Bedford International Athletics Stadium (£5 per vehicle) and Priory Country Park (£3 per vehicle), both on Barkers Lane, Bedford - ONLY CARD PAYMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED.
Additional car parking for disabled visitors will be available at Longholme Way (MK42 0BX). A blue badge will be required.
Please note there is no parking on the Festival site.
If you are separated from your child or a vulnerable adult you are attending the event with, please report this immediately to security, a steward or an Information Point where the event staff will assist.
We advise parents and carers to ensure their children have a contact mobile phone number on a paper wristband.
Responsible dog owners are welcome, however if your pet is upset by large crowds please leave them at home for their own wellbeing. As this is a summer event, the weather may also be too warm for animals and there are only a handful of shaded areas on the event site.
Yes – though please do not bring any glass bottles or packaging onto the event site.
There will also be plenty of caterers and bars offering a wide range of tasty food, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks right across the Festival site.
Please don’t forget to responsibly recycle and dispose of all waste in the bins supplied across the event site.
Yes. We ask that everyone attending the event helps us to protect the environment and to help keep our parks looking beautiful. We will be providing many bins across the site, including recycling bins for all recyclable waste (please do not put food in these) and general waste bins for all non-recyclable waste.
We will be running a reusable cup scheme on the bars to minimise waste. Visitors will purchase their reusable cup for a non-refundable fee of £1 when they buy their first drink from one of the event bars. This cup can then be returned to any bar and exchanged for a clean one with your next drink. When you choose to leave the Festival, you can either take your current cup home with you, or place it in one of the designated cup stations to be washed and reused at future events.
Standpipes will be available for refilling water bottles.
All residents within the footprint of the River Festival received a letter in June 2022 with access/egress details.
Traders and charities can find the application forms here.
The 2022 event programme is available here, or you can pick up a copy at the event itself.
Visitor parking is available at the town centre car parks, and also at Bedford International Athletics Stadium (£5 a vehicle per day) and Priory Country Park (£3 a vehicle per day), both on Barkers Lane - ONLY CARD PAYMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED.
There will be a designated car park available for blue badge holders only off Longholme Way/Cardington Road roundabout. The postcode is MK42 0BX.
Visitors will purchase their reusable cup for a non-refundable fee of £1 when they buy their first drink from one of the event bars. This cup can then be returned to any bar and exchanged for a clean one with your next drink. When you choose to leave the Festival, you can either take your current cup home with you, or place it in one of the designated cup stations to be washed and reused at future events. Only the River Festival onsite bars will be running this scheme. These bars are located at: • Russell Park (All three bars) • Mill Meadows • St Mary’s Gardens • Castle Mound • Butterfly Bridge on the Embankment • Festival Market • Dance Stage
We are asking that everybody follow the latest government guidance. We also ask that you do not attend the event if you feel unwell or if you are testing positive for Covid-19. There will be hand sanitisers available in all of the toilets and at the water points.
There are information points located across the site, one each at Russell Park, Mill Meadows and St Mary’s Gardens. Event staff will be on hand to assist you. Don’t forget that the programme and site map is available online.
All boat moorings have now been filled for the 2022 event.