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What’s On: September

Sexy September! 20 brilliant things to do in Herts, Beds and beyond this month including cinema, comedy, theatre, festivals, exhibitions and more.

Pub in the Park’s Drive In Garden Party, 11-13 Sept

Pub in the Park’s Drive In Garden Party, Knebworth

The symbolic home of the rock concert, Knebworth House, is getting back to its pre-Covid roots. Get your groove on from the comfort of your own private garden space at The Drive in Garden Party (11-13 Sept), with Kaiser Chiefs, Basement Jaxx, Gabrielle, Toploader and Rick Astley all hitting the stage. But make sure you wander around the arena between sets to make the most of the game-changing food offerings from Tom Kerridge, Paul Ainsworth and Atul Kochhar. Tickets from £45. See ya there!

SHOP: Handmade and Vintage, centre:mk, Milton Keynes, 5 – 6 Sept 

Handmade and Vintage, centre:mk, Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes is known for its high street shopping and mega brands so it’s brilliant to hear there’s something a little different on offer this month for shoppers who veer towards the quirky. This mammoth craft and vintage bazaar will host stalls selling fashion, homewares, furniture, gifts, art, vinyl and more. You’ll find it all in that cavernous 1800 sq m space outside of John Lewis.

Chilfest Outdoor Cinema Presents an Intimate Evening with The Real Thing, Pedley Meadow, Tring, 5 Sept

Chilfest Outdoor Cinema Presents an Intimate Evening with The Real Thing!

Head down to Pedley Meadow, Tring, for Chilfest’s intimate evening with The Real Thing. “Everything: The Real Thing Story” – the story of four working-class boys from Liverpool who went on to become one of Britain’s biggest funk and soul acts of all time. The film will be screened at 7pm, with live music from the band themselves (!) starting from 9pm. There will be lots of festival-style food and drink on site, so get your dancing shoes on and get down there.

Heritage Open Days, Various Locations, 11-20 Sept

Mosaic, Verulamium, St Albans

The wonderful Heritage Open Days are the perfect chance to get that post-lockdown culture hit. Here are our top picks. After a period of closure, you can now climb the 93 steps of the historic medieval St Albans Clocktower once more. This experience is only open on the 12/13th of September – so get it in the diary. We also recommend the guided walk around St Albans’ Verulamium Park to discover the town’s Roman history. This fascinating tour will include a visit to the wonderful mosaics – book in here.

80th Anniversary Battle of Britain Anniversary Weekend , Duxford, 19,20, 21 Sept

Duxford Airshow ©IWM

Now this might sound like one for the boys, but the 80th Anniversary Battle of Britain Anniversary Weekend is set to be a real spectacle. Visit the Battle of Britain Vintage area, indulge in a 1940s hair and beauty makeover (you know you want to) and take in the amazing displays, including the Battle of Britain Proms flying display on the 19th, the Spitfire Flypast, and even a display from the world-famous Red Arrows. Oh, and there are also retro dance classes if you fancy a little Charleston.

Decorative Salvage and Vintage Fair, Knebworth Park, 19/20 Sept

Decorative Salvage and Vintage Fair

If you’re love a good vintage find, or have a serious penchant for reclaimed interior and garden pieces (guilty), then why not head over to the wonderful Knebworth House for the Decorative Salvage and Vintage Fair. And when you’ve had your (car boot) full of furniture, sculpture, fireplaces etc. you’ll be pleased to hear that the ticket includes access to the Gardens and Dinosaur Trail, so that you can promise the kids something at the end.

42nd Street, Sandpit Theatre, St Albans, 20 Sept

42nd Street, The Sandpit Theatre

The sensational St Albans Sandpit Theatre will be screening the toe-tapping hit Broadway musical, 42nd Street on Sunday the 20th. This American fairy tale tells the story of a young performer, destined for greatness. the leading lady suddenly get’s injured and Peggy’s up! book in to find out how she fares.

The South Terrace Grill, Ashridge House, 11 & 18 Sept

The South Terrace Grill, Ashridge House

Soak up the late summer evenings listening to Cafe del Mar with a sundowner. Ibiza? Not quite, but how about the terrace of the glorious Ashridge House. Much more civilised. And you get to indulge in gourmet grill platters from the South Terrace Grill as part of this al fresco treat of an evening. Book in here (there’s even an option to upgrade your reservation to include a bottle of Veuve Cliquot for the table on arrival. Sign me up.)

Lazy Sunday Music Series, Wrest Park, 6, 13, 20, 27 Sept

Lazy Sunday Music Series, Wrest Park

Roll out that picnic blanket, open a bottle and spend a chilled out Sunday afternoon enjoying beautiful music and company in the historical grounds of Wrest Park. Alternatively, wander the grounds and discover the gorgeous gardens with a fab chilled out soundtrack. Delightful.

MK Calling, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, 11 Sept – 1 Nov

MK Calling, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes

MK Gallery reopens its doors on 11 September and will be extending its pre-lockdown exhibition MK Calling. The show features work from over 130 contemporary artists, both established and up-and-coming, with one third of the pieces produced by local talent.

Luna Cinema, Waddesdon Manor, Bucks, 11 – 14 Sept

 Luna Cinema, Waddesdon Manor

The ever-popular Luna Cinema returns to Waddesdon Manor with four great films on a big screen situated on the North Lawns. This time around you can watch the brilliant Elton John biopic Rocketman, Eighties classic Dirty Dancing, singalong favourite The Greatest Showman and the dark, multi-award winner The Joker.

Never Alone, Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, until 2 Feb 2021

Never Alone, Bletchley Park

Did you know there are now more devices connected to the internet than there are people on the planet? This exhibition in Hut 12 investigates the stories behind the rapidly expanding ‘Internet of Things’ and invites visitors to think about the choices they make while connected to the internet.


London Design Festival, various locations, 12 – 20 Sept

London Design Festival, various locations, 12 – 20 Sept

Now in its 18th year, this cool festival features commissions and installations across the city, including The Hothouse, located in the newly coined International Quarter (Stratford). The glasshouse installation provides a controlled habitat for cultivating plants that would not ordinarily grow within the UK’s climate. 

Aubrey Beardsley, Tate Britain, until 20 Sept

Aubrey Beardsley
Aubrey Beardsley, Tate Britain, until 20 Sept

Here’s the last call to see this awesome retrospective exhibition of Aubrey Beardsley’s work, from his early medievalist and mythological subjects to his bold illustrations covering themes of sex, death and humour.

Electronic: From Kraftwerk to the Chemical Brothers, The Design Museum, London, until 14 Feb

Electronic: From Kraftwerk to the Chemical Brothers, The Design Museum

From underground raves to the pioneering sounds used in Dr Who, this exhibition explores the history and culture of electronic music throughout the ages. 

Ai Weiwei: History of Bombs, Imperial War Museum, London, until 24 May 2021

Part of Refugees, a free season of exhibitions, artistic commissions and immersive events taking place across IWM London and IWM North, this exhibition draws on renowned artist Ai Weiwei’s ongoing investigation into politics and power.   

Steve McQueen, Tate Modern, London, until 6 Sept 

Steve McQueen, Tate Modern

This solo exhibition of London-born artist and director of Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen’s portfolio features 14 major works spanning his extensive career in film, photography and sculpture and is the first major UK exhibition since he received the Turner Prize in 1999. So, yeah, it’s a pretty big deal! The display will cover the last 25 years of McQueen’s career, including personal and intimate works such as his early film on a Super 8 camera and this awesome aerial depiction of the Statue of Liberty (above).

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