About the Festival

The River Stour Festival celebrates the river that flows through Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire and surrounding Stour Valley. It offers a cultural programme of events that focus on art, music, literature and nature at various points along the river, across the seasons of the year. Often called ’The Painters Valley’ there are strong connections with artists both historic and contemporary, including Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable, Cedric Morris, Lett Haines, John Nash, Patrick George and our patron Maggi Hambling.

The festival aims to encourage a deeper understanding of this area, including Dedham Vale AONB, connecting its artistic, literary and historic heritage with the contemporary and provide opportunities for discourse on ecological and environmental topics. The programme enables a diverse and inclusive audience, irrespective of race, age, gender, sexuality and economic means, to access and engage with the landscape to support their mental and physical wellbeing.

Cows grazing on Kings Meadows in Sudbury by the River Stour

Kings Meadow, Sudbury

A small steering group creates a programme of specific activities that are promoted through the website and social media. The website is a resource for the area and includes events from other local organisations, acting as a kind of Time Out for the Stour Valley.

Take a look at our Resources section for information through films podcasts and leaflets on various topics.