There has been a notable absence on the live event scene in South London over the past few months due to the closure of The Bedford in Balham for an extensive refurbishment. Steeped in history, the much-loved Grade II listed pub has been a mainstay of the live entertainment scene for decades, hosting early shows for the likes of U2, Ed Sheeran, KT Tunstall, James Bay, Daughter and Paolo Nutini to name just a few as well as being a vital local resource providing spaces for everything from open mic nights and live comedy to baby sensory classes.
Following an extensive refurbishment, The Bedford will swing its doors wide open again on 3rd December and we look forward to the variety of programming that Tony Moore and the booking team at The Bedford will bring. Operated by the award-winning Three Cheers Pub Co, Balham’s legendary performance space has a strong reputation for championing grass-roots music and maintains a lasting legacy for nurturing the stars of the future.
In a climate where pubs and live entertainment spaces are closing at saddening rate, it’s fantastic to see investment that encourages rising acts to perform in warm, friendly and well-equipped spaces. Outside of music, the iconic venue has been well known for their legendary comedy nights and has a special place in the hearts of South West London locals and those travelling from afar alike.
The Bedford has an impressive alumni of A-list stars and a proven track record of supporting immense talent on the rise. Those who have made it to the top understand the importance of venues such as The Bedford and have welcomed the news of its upgrade. On hearing of its reopening, Ed Sheeran commented: “I loved playing The Bedford in Balham – it was such an important venue on the circuit and always had great acts playing every night. It holds fond memories for me and I look forward to coming back one day”.
The stage at The Bedford will showcase a brand new state-of-the-art sound and lighting system, featuring top quality lighting rigs and acoustic-enhancing tools that will provide the best possible experience for its patrons all round. Programming at The Bedford will continue to be led by ex-Iron Maiden and Cutting Crew musician Tony Moore, a respected music industry veteran with razor sharp A&R and talent spotting skills. Having given him one of his very first London bookings, Paolo Nutini said: “Tony at The Bedford believed in me, gave me a stage to be seen and a platform to be heard. I loved those days, we had fun and Tony will always be a legend to me!”
Says Moore of his time at The Bedford and the work carried out this year: “Over the last decade and a half that I’ve been booking and curating music at The Bedford, I am proud of how many incredible artists have taken off since their time with us. From 2019 onwards, I know that we will be able to do even more to help artists achieve even greater success with our brand new world class, stage, lights and audio system.”
With her sixth record WAX recently released, the fantastic KT Tunstall says of The Bedford’s refurbishment “Very excited to see the results of the new makeover at the Bedford. It’s a great space to play, and an essential venue, particularly for emerging artists.”
The Bedford will reopen boasting five bars, four private rooms, a restaurant, a ballroom, a 250-capacity live music club and 15 boutique hotel rooms, making it an excellent place for music industry events of all types and purposes. The multi-million pound refurbishment has been managed in order to retain the venue’s unique spirit, while enhancing facilities for both audiences and artists. Original features of the 1930’s building will be combined with elements of contemporary glamour exhibiting both the venue’s history and future. The new-look Bedford will allow the stars of tomorrow to flourish in a live setting, but will also attract established acts back to where the journey began for them.