Bedford Music in Detention


Music In Detention (MID) is a national charity that works with immigration detainees, bringing them together with professional musicians and local communities to share, create and enjoy music, enabling often-ignored voices to be heard in new ways.

Delivered by Bedford Creative Arts, Bedford MID is a partnership between MID and local voluntary, community and arts organisations in Bedford, which works with immigration detainees held at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre, and people from the local Bedfordshire community.


Our workshops take place in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre (IRC). We take an innovative approach to our music led programme and run weekly workshops during term time facilitated by local musicians and other partnership projects which can vary; the artists come from local, national and international backgrounds. Artforms include; singing, song-writing workshops, African drumming, music improvisation, learning keyboard and music led cross artwork projects.

We work with schools and collaborate with communities, museums and arts organisations on the exchange project to build connections between detainees and local community members in Bedford and beyond. Partnerships are used to open up a range of experiences for the participants and detainees to connect them through music, involving both groups in the creative process, as well as compliment areas of the National Curriculum such as Citizenship, PSHE and Music, and encourage pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

The range of community groups we have worked with including Family Groups BedfordFusion United Youth Singing at All Saints Church, Project 229, Bedford Mind BLMK, Southbank Centre and local schools, including Biddenham Upper School.

Please see our most recent partnership projects at annual cultural events and festivals providing themed workshops for the participants. Refugee week 2017 projects; Different Pasts, shared futures, New CD, Hear her singing. We also celebrated Black History Month and Diwali through a carnival costume-making workshop and an Indian dance and music workshop at Yarl’s Wood in autumn 2016.

We are always happy to hear from musicians that would like to work with us, particularly those who are former refugee artists and artists who work or have worked on a migration project based in or near to Bedford.

If you are a local community group, school or organisation who would like to work with us, please contact: Jih-Wen Yeh at



Bedford Music in Detention Projects

Different Pasts, Shared Futures

For Refugee Week 2017 Bedford Music In Detention collaborated with The Higgins Bedford on the project called ‘’Different Pasts, Shared Futures’’.

Hear Her Singing

Hear Her Singing, Exhibition at Southbank Centre, London. With thanks to Ministry of Culture, Taiwan

Countrywide CD Launch

CD launch of Countrywide, the outcome of a community exchange between Yarl’s Wood detainees and Mind BLMK choir members, with artists Johanne Hudson Lett and Michael Goodney.

Bedford MID at Have A Go With Harpur

South African Drum Workshop

Love From Syria

For this year's Refugee week BedMID launched Love From Syria.

Translation of Love

For Refugee Week 2018 BedMID launched Translation of Love by Hope Givers Choir.


A large-scale puppetry and sound installation theatre piece by Theatre Témoin with the local refugee, migrant, Bedford community groups