2020 lineup launched

Marian Keyes to appear at Primadonna as festival offers chance to ‘win a wedding’ – to yourself

Following Emma Watson’s lead, the team behind the Primadonna festival today announce an addition to their 2020 line-up: an alternative wedding chapel where festival-goers can book in to ‘self-partner’.

Already committed to appearing at Primadonna 2020 is bestselling novelist Marian Keyes, who will also appear at the Suffolk festival at the end of July.

Keyes is the hugely successful author of more than a dozen bestsellers, as well as short stories and other articles. Since starting her writing career 25 years ago, she has sold more than 30 million books worldwide, and been translated into 33 languages.

She is the first writer to be announced as part of Primadonna’s 2020 line-up. The festival returns after huge demand following its inaugural weekend at Laffitts Hall, Suffolk last August.

And Keyes is supporting Primadonna’s competition which offers one lucky winner their very own (self)wedding and VIP treatment for the day at the festival.

On 29 February – the day that women are traditionally encouraged to pop the question to their menfolk – Primadonna are inviting people to make a decent proposal: to marry themselves.

Anyone who makes a donation to the Primadonna Festival GoFundMe page tomorrow, 29 February, will be entered into a prize draw to win a wedding at Primadonna 2020.

“We’ll provide the cake, the confetti and the congregation. It’ll be much cheaper – and a lot more fun – than getting a wedding planner in,” says Sandi Toksvig, one of the 17 ‘Primadonnas’ who set up the festival. “And it’s not only for single people. We’re very happy to have conventionally coupled-up people marry at the Primadonna wedding chapel: only not each other, just themselves. The point is to show a commitment to being kind and good to the most important person in your life: you.”

She adds: “We like the message behind Watson’s headline, which is that being in a relationship does not define a person as successful or approved of or socially accepted. We set up Primadonna to create a space where we can push back against mainstream messaging like this that damages women in particular. And we’re fundraising to make what we do sustainable, so that more people can share in the Primadonna vibe of creativity and equality and fun. So we’re saying that this 29 February, let us be your significant other.”

This year’s Primadonna festival will be held from 31 July – 2 August, and will repeat the same mix of writers, comedians, musicians, foodies, artists and other creatives, with an emphasis on spotlighting women writers and voices from the margins.

Among last year’s speakers was Bernadine Evaristo, the first black woman to win the Booker Prize. She said: “I loved Primadonna. It’s a wonderfully inclusive festival for writers, open to everyone, based in a beautiful countryside setting. Very special.”