Our monthly 'Meet the Haymaker' series shares stories of the change-makers at the heart of Hay Festival and the impact it has had on their lives. Get to know Megan Davies, former news desk writer at Hay Festival.
Name: Megan Davies
Hay Festival role: Former Hay Festival news desk writer & occasional interviewer.
What does Hay Festival mean to you?
Hay will always hold a special place in my heart. It was a where I first realised that to be nerdy and passionate and curious is to be cool. On a professional level, the lovely people of Hay have given me so many opportunities to learn and develop.
What’s your favourite Festival memory?
In 2019 I was lucky enough to be in the same (small) space as Margaret Atwood. She spoke about her writing, sharing her wisdom in such a beautiful, considered way. It was a real Hay pinch me moment.
Have you ever changed your mind on something having been to a Hay Festival event?
I think the beauty of Hay is that you're constantly thinking and reconsidering. I remember learning a lot from Peter Frankopan and Lindsey Hilsum about histories that I thought I understood.
Who was the best speaker or performer you saw on a Hay Festival stage?
It feels like a very cruel question to ask someone to pick the best speaker they've seen on a Hay stage. I loved listening to Elizabeth Day and Emily Maitlis tell their stories. Arundhati Roy was a real highlight in 2019. I was so lucky to be front row for Diaries Live in 2019 and then managed to get in to see The Kingdom Choir perform. Incredible.
What advice do you have for a first-timer at the Festival?
Be open, be curious, be alert. Wear comfy shoes and suncream. If you can, pull up a deckchair at the end of the day, buy a Pimm’s and read your latest purchase as the sun begins to set. Bliss. Be prepared to leave with a bag of books as full as your heart.
Sum up Hay Festival in five words or less…
A small slice of heaven.
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