Doughnut: The Outer London Festival

A day long exploration of London's transforming periphery

This one day event, on September 5th, will bring together writers, historians, architects and economists to discuss the development of London's peripheral boroughs.  Doughnut will be the first event of its kind – an adventurous celebration of all things Outer London and a critical reflection on the rapid transformation that the city's periphery is currently experiencing.

The main theatre line-up will include a conversation between Will Self, the Patron of the festival, and award winning writer Hanif Kureishi. Outside, businesses and artists from London's periphery will be manning pop-up food stalls, staging music performances and other family-friendly activities.

Main Theatre

A stellar line-up of contributors will thrash out the key questions facing the the city's edges, from the sanctity of the Green Belt to the future of suburban living. All day tickets as well as tickets for individual sessions are available. 

Courtyard Stage

London has one of the most diverse and creative music scenes in the world but as property prices spiral, musical production is increasingly most exciting on the periphery where practice space and housing is still within reach of emerging musicians. Doughnut will celebrate the music of Outer London with a line-up of bands representing a cross section of boroughs and genres playing throughout the day. Line up TBA.

The Outer London Market

In the courtyard of the Queen Anne building an array of traders, makers, food purveyors and educators will form the Outer London Market. Get a manicure, sample Outer London's finest Jerk Chicken, help create a giant map of the perfect periphery, explore The Mobile Museum's collection or 3D print a London telephone box. 

Main Stage Programme

Four sessions of debates and conversations exploring the critical issues that will shape Outer London's future.


11.00: Outer London Landscapes and the Future of the Green Belt

Andy Groarke | Lynn Kinnear | Barney Stringer | Ellis Woodman | Tom Holbrook

London is currently developing plans for the transformation of a number of major landscapes on its periphery, notably Rectory Farm in Hounslow, Walthamstow Wetlands and the Lower Lea Valley.  Bringing together industrial and recreational activities in new combination, these projects seek to radically expand the definition of the London park.  The city is also facing increasing demands to relax the definition of its greenbelt, in order to accommodate much needed new housing.  This session will consider the hotly debated future of the territories that lie on the boundary between London and its surrounding countryside.

14.00: Suburbia and the New Life: Reflections on the Essexodus

Patrick Wright | Gillian Darley | Ken Worpole

This session will consider some of the ideas, both idealistic and pragmatic, that have  driven and shaped  the exodus from London since the 1890s. Using examples from the city's north-east, we will consider both the informal  visions of self-sufficiency informing many of the"plotland" developments of the early twentieth century, and also the  larger scale exercises of contingency planning and architectural programming that have produced such places as Romford Garden City (1910-11), Harlow New Town (early 1950s) and South Woodham Ferrers (late 1970s).

15.00 Future of Housing in the Periphery

Wouter Vanstiphout | Michelle Provoost

You can tell a lot about a city from its edges. The periphery can be a test bed for social and urban experimentation but also a challenging territory fraught with tension and socioeconomic challenges. In this session Wouter Vanstiphout and Michelle Provoost of the Rotterdam-based Crimson Architectural Historians, explore the potential of London’s edges drawing comparisons from their extensive experience working with European cities and a radical reading of London’s post-riot landscape.

17.00 Will Self in discussion with Hanif Kureishi 

Hanif Kureishi's The Buddha of Suburbia set the parameters for a new literary consideration of London's peripheral areas, and established a new poetics of the outer-urban. In conversation with Will Self, another suburban Londoner, Kureishi will attempt to trace the lineaments of London's suburban consciousness over the past four decades.

Photograph: Nick Wall

Photograph: Nick Wall

19.00 The Inbetweeners Screening and Q&A

Iain Morris | Damon Beesley

A selected episode of the The Inbetweeners will be introduced by the writers Iain Morris and Damon Beesley who will also take part in a Q&A session after the screening. Set in dull suburbia, the hit Channel 4 comedy The Inbetweeners follows the lives (and embarrassing antics) of four schoolmates Will, Simon, Neil & Jay as they grapple with adolescence. The comedy ran for three series before reaching the big screen in two hugely successful films.


The Outer London Market Stalls

A mix of activities and food stalls offering ideas and tastes from around Outer London.


The People’s Map of Outer London

A series of large-scale maps to which the general public can contribute their favourite places to eat, escape, or be taken on a first date. These pooled memories will form a fresh perspective on the many characters of Outer London.

The Brick Box

Arts regeneration mavericks, The Brick Box (@thebrickbox), will be celebrating the creation and destruction of urban life with Hi-Vis and high jinx in the courtyard. Build high streets, construct marble runs and topple towers with the formidable Brick Box Ladies.

The Mobile Museum

The Mobile Museum, by artist Verity-Jane Keefe, is a roaming vehicle for exploring methods of classification, through commonplace library, museum and archiving standards. It is currently touring Barking and Dagenham housing Estates gathering information, collecting, cataloguing and making as a test site for the whole of Outer London.

Pappi's Pickles

Papi's Pickles (@papispickles) is a family-run, community-driven social enterprise. Working with unemployed women of London's South Indian and Sri Lankan communities, the team will be on hand to serve exquisite dishes from these regions.


'Bokit'La' was born out of a love of traditional French Caribbean food shared between three friends. It is unique in London as it is the only traveling foodstall which serves the 'Bokit', nicknamed the 'Creole Burger', which emanates from Guadeloupe in the West Indies. Beyond the fact that they bring amazing food to local farmer's markets from Brixton to Crystal Palace, these guys are perhaps most recognized for their matching overalls and blasting Caribbean music. 



Alicia Ama, founder of Chalé! Let's Eat (@ChaleLetsEat), will be delivering delicious Ghanaian street food to festival goers. 

Yum Jungle

Yum Jungle combines Thai and Caribbean cooking styles for a street food must have, known for their orginal pan-Asian fried chicken recipe, they are growing as a much loved part of London's thriving street food culture.

Kitchen 54

Courtyard Stage Programme

Playing the festival's courtyard stage are bands from around Outer London representing the broad mix of the music that is emerging beyond Zone One. The line up has been curated by Emily Mccarthy, a freelance writer and researcher based in London.

11am Ella Bee

Ella Bee moved to London aged 14 to pursue a career in music. An experimental singer songerwriter, she's the opening act of the festival's musical line up and currently attending the East London Arts and Music college in Stratford.

12pm Only Rays

Tim Crombie ‘aka Only Rays’ uses sampling techniques across genres. Based in South London, his latest EP TJD002 is his second release on independent label “The Jazz Diaries”.

1pm Brightness


2pm Lightboxes

The duo, formed of singer/drummer Donna Thompson and upright bass player John Atterbury, play a warped sort of soulful pop.

3pm Hirvikolari

Hirikolari is a Finnish word meaning an accident involving a motor vehicle and an elk but also the name of this Modular Synth and trumpet two piece. 


4pm Matagot 

A four piece who met at Goldsmiths College. The Girls Are magazine said of their track, Lidless, embedded below: Lidless is steeped in Kate Dove-Dixon (vocalist/keyboardist/lyricist) and Rose Asprey’s (vocalist/guitarist/cellist) saccharine vocals, a bittersweet blend of bruised riffs and blackened beats. 

5pm Sami El-Enany 

Composer and keyboard player for LA Shark, Sami El-Enany's music defies simplistic catagorisation with its rich and varied styles.

For tickets to the festival discussions and more information visit the festival homepage here.


Tickets area available for indivudal sessions or for the full day's programme

General festival pass - free!
Access to all outdoor festival activities including the market, workshops and music perfomances is free.

Main stage day ticket
First three sessions in the theatre

Session One
Outer London Landscapes and the Future of the Green Belt

Session Two
Suburbia and the Essexodus + Housing in the Periphery 

Session Three
Will Self and Hanif Kureishi in conversation

Session Four
The Inbetweeners + discussion

Buy Tickets


Getting to Doughnut

The Outer London Festival is taking place in and aroudn the Queen Anne building of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.

Docklands Light Railway (DLR)

Cutty Sark DLR Station is located in the heart of Greenwich town centre a two minute walk to the campus West Gate entrance. 

London Underground (Tube)

For connections from the Tube network, the quickest option is to alight at Canary Wharf station on the Jubilee Line and get a DLR Lewisham bound train to Cutty Sark station.

River services

Thames Clippers provides a regular boat service from Westminster to Greenwich Pier (adjacent to the Old Royal Naval College) stopping at various locations on route.