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14 October 2022

Bedford LGBTQ+ Arts and Wellbeing Festival

Street dance and a Drag Queen Story Hour are among the highlights of Bedford’s first LGBTQ+ Arts and Wellbeing Festival. 
Hands holding LGBTQ+ letters

The free NHS-backed event is being held on Saturday, November 12 

It is open to any members of the LGBTQ+ community in Bedfordshire and Luton, and allies. 

The festival has been organised by Rainbow Bedfordshire, as part of their LGBTQ+ Safe Space campaign. 

They are a group of ELFT colleagues and service users who work with local authorities and the third sector to actively combat stigma and loneliness by increasing visibility and social inclusion, through building LGBTQ+/ally networks. 

The programme of creative productions and activities includes an open mic session for local musicians, poets and spoken word artists. 

There will be a Voice Box Live discussion, the 'Dare to be Different' street dance production, and an interlude for the fabulous Drag Queen Story Hour. 

In collaboration with Better Days the Queer Craftivism Collective will also be launched. 

The Wellbeing Hub will feature a range of mental and physical health and wellbeing providers who can share health and wellbeing advice in a friendly, inclusive and fun environment. 

“Traditionally, members of the LGBTQ+ community can experience poorer health outcomes due to a range of factors, from worries about how health professionals will treat individuals to a lack of understanding among some providers about the unique needs of people from the queer community,” said Allison Jones, Interim Service Director for Bedfordshire Community Health Services (BCHS) and member of #RainbowBedfordshire. 

“The festival will be a friendly, safe space to discuss issues, connect and learn about the friendly, accessible support available to help us look after our wellbeing.” 

British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters will be available as part of the organiser’s commitment to accessibility for all. 

There will also be a chill out zone for people who may get overwhelmed.

The festival is supported by the University of Bedfordshire and will be held at its Bedford campus in Polhill Avenue, MK41 9EA, from 10am-5pm on November 12. 

Book your free ticket for the festival here