About Us

Hay Festival is an independent, mission-led charity based in the booktown of Hay-on-Wye, Wales. We seek to inspire, examine and entertain with sustainable events and projects around the world. 

Offering innovative platforms to discover new ideas, Hay Festival invites audiences to imagine the world as it is and as it might be. It is a catalyst for change and a community that is open and accessible to everyone. Nobel Prizewinners and novelists, scientists and politicians, historians, environmentalists and musicians take part in the Festival’s global conversation, sharing the latest thinking in the arts and sciences with curious audiences.

In 1987, the Festival was dreamt up. Thirty-six years later, the unique marriage of exacting conversations and entertainment for all ages has travelled to editions in 30 locations, from the historic town of Cartagena in Colombia to the heart of cities in Peru, Mexico, Spain, and the USA.

Alongside these events, Hay Festival’s year-round programme of free outreach and education programmes brings inspiration to communities all over the world, widening cultural participation and inspiring the world-changers of tomorrow. From the Scribblers Tour, Scribblers Beacons Project and Hay Joven programmes for young learners to our Adult Learning Days and work to support refugees.

The organisation now reaches a global audience of millions each year and continues to grow and innovate, building partnerships and initiatives alongside some of the leading bodies in arts and the media. Our work has earned multiple awards, including a Festival of Sanctuary Award from City of Sanctuary UK and Spain’s prestigious Princess of Asturias Prize in Communication and Humanities.

Find out more about how you can support our work here.

“Former President Bill Clinton, who has attended in the past, called Hay Festival 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 democratizes inspiration.” 

Caroline Michel, Chair, Hay Festival 


Caroline Michel (Chair), Dylan Jones, Rosie Boycott, Nik Gowing, Jonathan Godfrey, Geraint Davies, Philippe Sands, Terry Burns, Mair Gwynant


Stephen Fry

Explore opportunities to join our team on our Jobs page.