Hay Festival Academy

The Hay Festival Academy is a skills development and practical apprenticeship programme for young people aged 18-25. It gives young people the opportunity to learn, train and practically experience how festivals and live events are created and produced from some of the industry’s most experienced events practitioners. 

All participants are located at the heart of the Festival and not only have access to the core staff team but also benefit from events and meetings with visiting speakers and artists drawn from the Festival’s programme.

The Academy places an emphasis on practical training and development, ensuring that each participant develops a deep knowledge and understanding of their chosen specialism. All participants gain invaluable experience of working on an internationally renowned Festival over 11 days and are given an unequalled opportunity to put their skills into practice in a live and public setting.

Young people who’ve attended a Hay Academy have gone on to work in the events industry, write books, secure jobs in publishing and broadcasting and to enjoy careers in the wider creative and media industries. Some have even come back to work with us! If you would like to join us we would love to hear from you.


Hay Academy placements are unpaid but students are provided with free accommodation (rooms in houses) in Hay-on-Wye, three meals a day and travel expenses to and from the Festival. 

All participants are supported throughout their placement and encouraged to develop and extend their skills. 

Applications will open next spring for Hay Festival Hay-on-Wye 2025

Watch below - participants share their thoughts and experience of Hay Academy.