About the Festival

The River Stour Festival celebrates the river, its culture, surrounding landscape and people throughout 2018. It will provide an impetus to arts, nature, health, environment and businesses in the Stour Valley and beyond, and an ambition to connect both local people and visitors with the rich landscape on our doorstep.

The River Stour Festival was inspired by a walks and film project, The River Runs Through Us, by local artists Ruth Philo and Stuart Bowditch.  Whilst working on this in early 2017 Ruth had the idea for a festival and found many people in the valley were keen to help develop this idea. The festival includes walks, a wild river swim, boat trips, exhibitions, music, poetry, painting, photography and wild writing.

Ruth Philo, Artist and Director of the River Stour Festival, adds:

“It is a somewhat unusual festival, as instead of running for a particular week or so it will take place throughout the year at different points along the river, rather like a caravanserai, with something happening somewhere in the Stour Valley each month. It is a chain reaction of people, events and places, all finding their links with the river”.

The festival will open on 7th January 2018 with a screening of Ronald Blythe’s Akenfield at the Quay Theatre, Sudbury. There will be a focus weekend when The River Runs Through Us film will launch at the Boat House Gallery, Flatford on Saturday 30 June, accompanied by a lecture The East Country in East Bergholt by Professor Jules Pretty.

We welcome everyone to help support the River Stour Festival and make its first year a great success!