This year's Festival brought more new imaginings from our most diverse programme yet of writers, artists, musicians, politicians and personalities.
The 2016 line up included some of the best known names in contemporary literature. British writer Hanif Kureishi CBE (My Beautiful Laundrette, The Buddha of Suburbia, Love and Hate) joined us, and contemporary Irish writers speaking included Patrick McCabe (The Butcher Boy), Kevin Barry (Beatlebone), Lisa McInerney (The Glorious Heresies) in conversation with Sinead Gleeson (The Long Gaze Back anthology), Jax Miller (Freedom’s Child), Liz Nugent (Unravelling Oliver), Oona Frawley (Flight) and Vanessa Ronan (The Last Days of Summer).
For politics fans, the former leader of the Labour Party, Eamon Gilmore discussed life Inside the Room, and John Bruton, former Taoiseach and EU Ambassador to the US talked about life in international politics. Chelsea Garden Show winner Mary Reynolds discussed sustainable agriculture and food production.
2016’s history strand commemorated the Battle of the Somme, with lectures from Brian Ervine and Myles Dungan. This year also saw events marking the centenary of 1916 Rising with Caitriona Crowe, Padraig Yeates, Sinead McCoole, Gene Kerrigan (The Scrap) and Joe Duffy (Children of the Rising).
A brand new strand, The Image, saw graphic and visual effects artists explore the art of the graphic novel and modern game design. Talks and workshops featured Rhianna Pratchett (Tomb Raider), Paul Bolger, Maeve Clancy, Allan Cavanagh, Damien Marshall, Maura McHugh, and Michael Carroll (Judge Dredd).
Children learned about the creation of a book – from idea to publication, in a workshop led by newly-appointed Children’s Laureate and renowned illustrator PJ Lynch with former Laureate Siobhán Parkinson.
For music fans, Dublin duo The Lost Brothers, and Mary Black played Hay Sessions. And closing notes featued a music gig from Kells native Michael Brunnock, joined by very special guest Colm Mac Con Iomaire.
For those who’d like to support the Festival’s work, becoming a Friend of Hay Festival Kells means you can contribute directly to the Festival, and enjoy invitations to special events and access to priority seating.