Addison Centre, Kempston, Bedford

Addison Howard Park
Addison Centre, Hillgrounds Road
Kempston, Bedford, MK42 8PN
Like every other venue it seems “we are known as the friendliest dance venue in your area.”   Oh come on guys, there must be something better you can say.  I mean, there’s a billion words out there you could use, and some of them can even be used twice.
This is a Ceroc Central venue, and like all the locations used in this franchise, it works well, largely I think because of the hard work of the franchise holder.
And yes it is friendly, although not the friendliest.   I’m beginning to think that this has something to do with the way in which the seating is arranged, and the number of people who attend in relation to the maximum possible.
Anyway, I’ll develop that theory over time.  For now, this venue has a seating area in a zone off the dance floor, leading to the bar.  It is usually just about adequate for a dance evening, and so I guess adequate for a club night too.
I’ve not been to a club night there, just dances – including a summer BBQ for charity, and all have been good fun.   There is a good number of dancers but never once have I found the dance floor too crowded.
Cooling is by big fans, or by opening the doors onto the playing fields and grasslands beyond – which occasionally result in a gale blowing through the whole place as a few overheated individuals try and cool down.
But overall it is a good place to dance.  Not as packed with practised pairs showing off their technique and fancy clothes, as you get at Bedford Corn Exchange, but a good mix of dancers who like to share and enjoy.  The free food is nice too.
The only thing I didn’t like was the dance with a stranger game they once played on a charity evening.  It just cuts people out of the dancing and you are left around watching not necessarily good dancers.
  • Air conditioning: 2 out of 5 – big fans, and in summer open the doors.  But it can get very hot, and people do move out into the car park which is adjacent to try and cool off.
  • Atmosphere: 3 out of 5.  The hall isn’t designed for atmosphere sadly.   It’s not bad but it is not brilliant.
  • Do ladies ask men: 4 out of 5.  Although it is not super lively, there seems to be a tradition of asking.  Of course some sit in the corner and wait, but many do ask.
  • Facilities: 4 out of 5 – maybe if the lighting was more adventurous that would do it.
  • Free water: No.  20p for a glass.
  • Friendliness: 4 out of 5.  There are some cliques and tight nit friends groups but not many
  • Location: 3 out of 5.  Just off the main road out of Bedford, but I got hopelessly lost even with a sat nav the first time.   Once you turn off the main road at the traffic lights turn immediate right, then you are there.
  • Music: 4 out of 5
  • Parking: 5 out of 5 large car park right outside.  Never seen it full, but if it were, that would indeed be a problem as there is nowhere else nearby.
  • Space: 5 out of 5 – what is needed is more people there not more space.
  • Venue overall: 4 out of 5