What can I expect at Primadonna this year?

Conversations

At Primadonna we’re all about positive thinking. We programme a roster of authors, actors, activists, journalists, musicians and other creatives to think about the big issues, tell us about the best books and talk about their ideas and inspiration. We are very excited to bring you another amazing lineup this year.

Featuring popstar-turned-published-author JB GILL (formerly of JLS) – award-winning journalist ANGELA SAINI – actor and author REBECCA HUMPHRIES in conversation with friend and author DAISY BUCHANAN –  DIANA EVANS in conversation with KIERAN YATES about her new book – Costa-shortlisted ROWAN HISAYO BUCHANAN on being dog hearted – author, actor, presenter and Celebrity Masterchef champion EMMA KENNEDY – memoirist MIKI BERENYI, frontwoman of 90s Britpop phenomenon Lush – best-selling political writer IAN DUNT on the chaos in Westminster – and more award-winning and bestselling authors, actors, activists and creatives of all kinds. 

Spend the weekend thinking big with brilliant people.

For writers

This year, we’ve established a space at the festival just for writers and aspiring writers: the Writers’ Green Room is your space to sit down, feel inspired and start writing. This dedicated writers’ space, open all weekend, will provide you with everything you need to become a published author, alongside workshops of all kinds designed to inspire and enlighten. We’ve discovered so many unsigned writers at Primadonna in the past – could this be the year your writing leads to something amazing? 

Featuring: ADELE PARKS on What It Takes To Be A Successful Author – PATRICE LAWRENCE on alternative ‘happily ever afters’ – JOANNA CANNON on Plotting – FATS TIMBO on Main Character Energy – ANDI OSHO on the Journey Of A Book – JOANNE HARRIS on Disappearing Women – Meet an agent – Pitch your novel – Dazzling debuts – Do your research – Write around the kids – Flash fiction challenges and much, much more.

It all adds up to something that’s even better than a writers’ retreat – and a lot cheaper (and more fun!). 

Workshops

You don’t have to actively participate at Primadonna. We know that sometimes the most fun can be had by sitting back and just listening. 

But for those of you looking for some more hands-on action, we have a weekend of workshops for mind, body and soul that will leave you uplifted, enlightened and energised, ready to return to the real world with renewed purpose. 

Featuring ELAINE KASKET‘s Reboot: Reclaiming Your Life in a Tech-Obsessed World – LENNA CUMBERBATCH‘s drag king workshop – MISSFITS Workout – Ready, Get Set Goals with ATHENA STEVENS – Qi Gong with LAURA ICHAJAPANICH – Goodness Gracious Grief with IKRA ARSHAD – Feminist Invoicing – Citizens’ Panel with the Bank of England – Dear Future Me and a dedicated wellness area for treatments and therapies, open all weekend…

You never know, it could be the start of something that really lasts… changing your mind, changing your outlook or just changing your outfit. 

Performance

Alongside our fantastic lineup of conversations, workshops and wellness, we’ve also got a lot of good old-fashioned fun for you. 

From the best stand-up comedy to live bands and late night DJs, performance poets and dance troupes, we’ve curated a weekend of eclectic entertainment that will keep you smiling all night… and all the way home.

Featuring BRIGITTE APHRODITE – DJ set from ANGELLE JOSEPH (BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, 6Music and BBC Radio Suffolk) – intergalactic gal pals FIGS IN WIGS bringing Astrology Bingo – the MIKI BERENYI TRIO playing live – DOSA CAT THE DRAG QUEEN – standup comedy from CALLY BEATON – Mary Poppins dancealong – poetry Rhyme and Shine with DEAN ATTA – live sets from ELECTRIC FIREFIGHTMILKSYLVIETIAH JEANHASNARUBBER ROSE and many more exciting acts…

Come for the books, stay for the packed all-hours programme of music, comedy, performance and more.

Kids and young people

Primadonna takes place at the Food Museum, which is not only one of the Observer’s ’30 things we love in the world of food right now’, it is also 75 acres of glorious Suffolk countryside incorporating 17 buildings – from windmills to medieval barns to tiny chapels – a farm area with rare breeds, growing crops, a river walk and an orchard.

And that’s not all: we’ve programmed tons of things for young people to try, to see and to do: story sessions for budding readers including Captain Loo Roll with MATT CARR – Crossing the Line with TIA FISHER – Black Flamingo with DEAN ATTA – Rapunzella with ELLA McLEOD – Ministry of Unladylike Activity with ROBIN STEVENS – Get spooked! – Bat and badger walks – steam engine rides – bread oven baking – foraging walks – graffiti workshop – wood carving…

You can let your kids’ imagination run truly wild, and they can run as wild as they like in a setting that’s as safe as it is beautiful. It’s a weekend they’ll never forget. 

At Primadonna, you can camp onsite in your own tent or campervan, or you can glamp in a lovely bell tent – all the detail you need is in our Info section under ‘Where to Stay’. There’s also a link to a discounted hotel nearby, if you prefer a bit more solidity to your walls. 

We have a range of brilliant food vendors on site all weekend as well as a gin van, several bars and an ASDA right outside. There’s a marketplace to shop for your next wear-it-every-day necklace, t-shirt or handbag, or to just stock up on essentials. Waterstones are our on-site bookseller and their shop is open all weekend, so if you see someone you like and you want to read their latest bestseller (or meet them and say hi), head to the Farm Barn any time.

And if you’ve still got questions about what’s in store, see our FAQs in the Info section or email us: primadonnafestival@gmail.com.