Dairy Meadows, Hay on Wye, Wales, United Kingdom
One of the world's best known book festivals.
Award-winning writers gather to launch new work, while global policy makers, pioneers and innovators seek solutions to the biggest issues of our time, from the rise of populism to the climate crisis. Featuring over 600 speakers in events across 11 days, the festival also offers a vibrant schedule of late-night music, comedy and entertainment for all ages alongside HAYDAYS and #HAYYA programmes encouraging younger readers to get creative.
2019 speakers and performers include Arundhati Roy, Ian McEwan, Jeanette Winterson, Steven Pinker, Caroline Criado Perez, Stephen Fry, Sandi Toksvig, Bill Bailey, Sara Pascoe, Nish Kumar, Matt Haig, Jo Brand, Michelle Paver, Jacqueline Wilson, Maxine Peake, Max Porter, Amitav Ghosh, Siri Hustvedt, Ken Follett, Leila Slimani, Eric Vuillard, Steinunn Sigurðardóttir, Paris Lees, David Olusoga, Serhii Plokhy, Joanna Lumley, David Lammy, Carole Cadwalladr, Fintan O'Toole, Dustin Lance Black, Emily Maitlis, Dolly Alderton, Michael Pollan, Mary Robinson, Robert Macfarlane, Moby, Ezra Furman, and more.
Major global anniversaries are marked through the week, including Da Vinci 500, Rembrandt 350, Kindertransport 80 years on, Stonewall 50, and Tiananmen Square 30 years on, plus a range of milestones in the children’s book world: Elmer and We're Going on a Bear Hunt at 30, The Gruffalo at 20, and 20 years of the Children’s Laureate.
A new international Hay Festival project launches: Europa 28 brings together prominent female authors, thinkers, writers and scientists - one participant from each EU country, across genres and generations - to discuss their visions for the future of Europe, culminating at a new festival in the upcoming European Capital of Culture, Rijeka, Croatia, in June 2020.
Literary award winners will be celebrated, including winners of the Man Booker Prize, Baillie Gifford Prize, Prix Goncourt, Wellcome Book Prize, New Welsh Writers Awards, and The Bookseller YA Book Prize, CLiPPA poetry award, and 2019 Hay Festival Medals will be awarded.
Hay Festival’s free Programme for Schools opens the festival on Thursday 23 May and Friday 24 May, while a series of projects encourage accessibility, including the Beacons Project, free tickets for students in higher education, a student exchange with Bradford Literary Festival, a day for adoptive families run with The Family Place, and Hay Compass, a special space on site to learn and discover for 16-25-year-olds, with free access to inspiring speakers.
Free to enter, the festival village is comprised of 10 tented venues, the Festival Bookshop, HAYDAYS courtyard, Wild Garden, Make and Take Tent, the Scribblers Hut, the Cube, the Mess Tent, and market stalls, cafés, exhibitions and restaurants.
In an age increasingly characterised by abbreviated content and algorithmic recommendation, Hay Festival offers serendipitous discovery through the long-form, immersive experience, in the astonishing beauty of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
"Former President bill Clinton, who has attended in the past, called Hay the ‘Woodstock of the mind.’ My colleague Sarah Lyall, once described it as a Sundance for Bibliophiles, minus the Hollywood swag. The bottom line is this: Hay Festival democractizes inspiration. It is more human than other idea fairs" - New York Times.
“Hay is more than a literary festival. It’s beginning to resemble something closer to cultural diplomacy... The stunning locations are certainly a plus, but what’s most exciting is its ability to bring together a range of disciplines and voices, to transmit a slice of collegiate experience to different populations" - GQ.