Hay Festival 2020 is cancelled

We deeply regret that Hay Festival 2020 is cancelled due to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. Read more here.

Event HF162

Catherine Barr, Steve Williams and Amy Husband

The Story of Life Workshop

Venue: Scribblers Hut
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Award-winning illustrator Amy Husband and local authors Catherine Barr and Steve Williams will take children on the extraordinary journey of evolution. You will draw, cut and colour all kinds of creatures to create your own timeline of life on Earth.
6–10 years
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Catherine Barr, Steve Williams and Amy Husband

Event HF46

Charlotte and Adam Guillain

George’s Amazing Adventures

Venue: Starlight Stage
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Come and meet Charlotte and Adam as they perform their latest hilarious picture book, Pizza for Pirates, illustrated by the award-winning Lee Wildish. Set off with George on a high seas adventure in search of pirates! There’ll be strange noises, scurrilous sea dogs, marine monsters, a feathered friend, a bit of silly dressing up and funny songs!
5+ years
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Charlotte and Adam Guillain

Event HF45

David O’Doherty and Chris Judge

Danger is Everywhere

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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Do you enjoy enjoyment? Do you find danger dangerous? Come and join award-winning comedian David O’Doherty and illustrator Chris Judge for a hilarious lesson in Dangerology. Inspired by the notebooks of the enigmatic and ultra-cautious Dangerologist, David and Chris prepare you for many of life’s dangers through Docter Noel Zone’s unique BSTs (Basic Safety Tips) and many other useful acronyms. Come and discover what to do if a shark comes out of the loo or a volcano erupts underneath your house. Perfect for worriers, young and old.
7+ years
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David O’Doherty and Chris Judge

Event HF47

Tamsyn Murray

Cassidy Bond: Completely Cassidy’s Big Sleepover

Venue: Elmley Foundation Cube
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Onesies at the ready! Join Tamsyn Murray for a super sleepover where she’ll introduce you to the disaster-prone Cassidy Bond, the star of her new Completely Cassidy series, and help you find your undiscovered talent. There’ll also be plenty of secret sharing and popcorn snacking, so put your best bedhead on and get ready to be amazeballs.
8+ years
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Tamsyn Murray

Event 146

Free Thinking: New Generation Thinkers

A BBC Radio 3 Event at Hay

Venue: BBC Tent
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The New Generation Thinkers are the winners of the talent scheme run by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to find the brightest academic minds at the start of their careers, who have the potential to turn their ideas into broadcasts. Hear them discuss their fascinating research with presenter Rana Mitter.

The New Generation Thinkers in this event are:
Nadine Muller, Liverpool John Moores University; Catherine Fletcher, University of Sheffield; Daniel Lee, University of Oxford; and Joe Moshenska, University of Cambridge.

Broadcast Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10pm. This recording will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Thursday 28 May at 10pm.

BBC Radio 3
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years
Duration: 1 hour
Free but ticketed
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Free Thinking: New Generation Thinkers

Event W16

Drawing Out and About

Royal Drawing School Class

Venue: NFU Mutual Studio
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Drawing out and about around the festival demands a very different kind of language to that of the life room: nothing is fixed, everything is in flux. By working from observation outdoors and on the move drawing can be used as a means of recording a personal experience of our surroundings and their character, heightening perceptions of our environment and enlivening our drawing practice.

Suitable for all ages and abilities

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Drawing Out and About

Event 147

Sandi Toksvig

The Hay Library Lecture

Venue: Tata Tent
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 A celebration of reading and books from the comedian, broadcaster and writer whose books include the novels Hitler’s Canary, Flying Under Bridges and Valentine Grey, children’s stories The Littlest Viking and The Troublesome Tooth Fairy, non-fiction best-sellers Peas & Queues and Girls Are Best and the play Bully Boy. Introduced by Sue Wilkinson.

This event will be palentyped.
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Sandi Toksvig

Event 148

Andrew Keen and Robert Phillips talk to Sarah Churchwell

What’s the Question?

Venue: Good Energy Stage
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Keen’s incisive critique The Internet is Not the Answer traces the development of the net through the waves of start-ups and the rise of the big data companies to the increasing attempts to monetize almost every human activity. He shows how the Web has had a deeply negative effect on our culture, economy and society. Phillips’ Trust Me, PR is Dead asks whether we can ever really trust companies and their stories in an age when technology not only allows transparency, but demands it. Keen is executive director of the Silicon Valley salon FutureCast and the author of Digital Vertigo and The Cult of the Amateur. Phillips was CEO of Edelman, the world’s largest PR company, before leaving to set up Jericho Chambers.

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Andrew Keen and Robert Phillips talk to Sarah Churchwell

Event 149

Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe McFadden

Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology

Venue: Telegraph Stage
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 Life is the most extraordinary phenomenon in the known universe; but how does it work? Even in this age of cloning and synthetic biology, the remarkable truth remains: nobody has ever made anything living entirely out of dead material. Life remains the only way to make life. Are we missing a vital ingredient in its creation?

Drawing on recent ground-breaking experiments around the world, they show how photosynthesis relies on subatomic particles existing in many places at once, while inside enzymes, those workhorses of life that make every molecule within our cells, particles vanish from one point in space and instantly materialize in another.

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Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe McFadden

Event 150

John Harrison talks to Francesca Rhydderch

1519: Journey to the End of Time

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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In 1519 an arrogant and unscrupulous man sailed from the Caribbean with orders to find a missing Spanish expedition. He immediately set about carving himself an empire in modern Mexico, while the governor of Cuba sent a force out to kill him. Hernán Cortés explored the coast to Veracruz then struck inland, seduced by tales of a great empire rich in gold. He found the largest and best-run city on earth and reduced it to rubble.

Award-winning travel writer and historian John Harrison followed in his footsteps for four months, finding the jungle ruins and sophisticated hilltop cities which put the lie to the popular image of the Aztecs and their neighbours as bloodthirsty savages. Popular accounts always suggest Cortés was mistaken for a returning god; the truth is very different and far more interesting. Both the Spanish and the Aztecs thought that the world was coming to a close soon, and that they were pleasing their gods in performing vital last deeds.

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John Harrison talks to Francesca Rhydderch

Event 151

Carwyn Jones talks to Guto Harri

What Next For Wales?

Venue: Starlight Stage
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The First Minister of Wales responds to the UK election results, detailing how Wales will respond to the new Westminster Parliament, whether he will be seeking any new powers, who he will be collaborating with and what he hopes to achieve for Wales over the next five years.

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Carwyn Jones talks to Guto Harri

Event HF49

Benji Davies and Elli Woollard

The Giant of Jum

Venue: Elmley Foundation Cube
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Look out children, the Giant of Jum is grumpy and hungry and he’s off in search of a tasty snack! And the tastiest of all is a boy known as Jack… Join major new picture book pairing Elli Woollard and Benji Davies as they bring this brilliant, big-hearted twist on a classic fairy-tale to life in an interactive story-telling adventure.
6+ years
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Benji Davies and Elli Woollard

Event HF48

Malorie Blackman, James Dawson, Louise O’Neill and Non Pratt

Love Hurts

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
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An unmissable line-up of YA talent for your delectation. Four fabulous writers range over many topics that concern their readers, including love. Love Hurts is a new collection of writing, edited by Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman, to which James and Non have both contributed. They are joined by the winner of the inaugural YA Book Prize, Louise O’Neill in what promises to be a lively conversation chaired by Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust. 

12+ years/YA
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Malorie Blackman, James Dawson, Louise O’Neill and Non Pratt

Event 439

A Get Creative Debate: Should young people study the arts?

A BBC Event at Hay presented by What Next? and the CLA

Venue: BBC Tent
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In a time of increasing pressures, priorities and testing, our young people are often told to prioritise some subjects over others, to focus on getting a job and to think about the financial implications of the choices they make. Given this backdrop, is studying the arts the right choice?

Leading education and cultural professionals including Professor Dai Smith, Chair of the Arts Council of Wales, Kevin Jones, Headmaster of St John's College School Cambridge; Lizzie Crump from Cultural Learning Alliance (CLA) and Sam Smith from Transition Tradition discuss the value of arts, culture and creativity to our young people and ask whether we're offering them the right choices.

Debate organised by What Next? and the CLA

Get Creative




Cultural Learning Alliance What Next?
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years.
Duration: 1 hour
Free but ticketed
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Event 152

Diarmaid MacCulloch

The British Academy Platform: Sex and the West

Venue: Good Energy Stage
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As society becomes more liberal, the Churches often seem more entrenched. The Oxford historian explores how Western Christianity’s complex and often divisive ideas about sex, marriage and gender have their roots in a story that began 3,000 years ago. Chaired by Anita Anand.

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Diarmaid MacCulloch

Event 153

Nick Cohen

What Do We Do Now?

Venue: Telegraph Stage
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The Spectator and Observer journalist looks back at the General Election, and discusses the future of political alignment and the relationship between politics and the media. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.

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Nick Cohen

Event 154

Steve McCurry talks to Tim Marlow

A Journey Along the Coffee Trail

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
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The award-winning Magnum photographer discusses his 30-year career shooting conflicts, vanishing traditions and contemporary culture with the Artistic Director of the Royal Academy. He presents his latest book From These Hands: A Journey Along the Coffee Trail. This brand new collection documents all the important coffee-growing communities around the world. McCurry’s striking colour portraits reach beyond the physical processes, to capture the very essence of these communities: ‘This project is about coffee, but not in a literal sense. It’s about how we live, about how people interact with one another.’

Photo: Bruno Barbey

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Steve McCurry talks to Tim Marlow

Event 155

Julia Fan Li, Alexandra Grigore and Divya Venkatesh

Cambridge University Series 9: Global Health in the Twenty-first Century

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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Three young female scientists who are recipients of the University of Cambridge’s most prestigious scholarship, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, talk about their research. Julia Fan Li is director of the Global Health Investment Fund, which funds research and development for some of the most pressing global health challenges; Divya Venkatesh researches African sleeping sickness and does cross-disciplinary work in biotechnology; Alexandra Grigore works on an innovative fingerprint identity system for accessing medical records in developing countries.

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Julia Fan Li, Alexandra Grigore and Divya Venkatesh

Event 156

Jonathan Edwards and Paul Henry

My Family and Other Superheroes | Boy Running: A Reading

Venue: Elmley Foundation Cube
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Leaping from the pages, jostling for position alongside the Valleys mams, dads, and bamps, and described with great warmth, the superheroes in question are a motley crew: Evel Knievel, Sophia Loren, Ian Rush, Marty McFly, a bicycling nun, and a recalcitrant hippo. Other poems focus on the crammed terraces and abandoned high streets where a working-class and Welsh nationalist politics is hammered out. This is a post-industrial Valleys upbringing reimagined through the prism of pop culture and surrealism. Edwards marries an authentic colloquial voice with sound technique to produce poems that recognize the exotic in everyday life, and a first collection that, remarkably, has won the Costa Prize for Poetry 2014.

Henry’s new collection explores a marital break-up, his childhood in Aberystwyth, and in the final sequence we meet 'Davy Blackrock': washed-up songwriter and modern day alter ego of Dafydd y Garreg Wen (David of the White Rock), alias David Owen (1720–1749), the blind, 18th century harpist and composer who fell asleep on a hill and dreamt the famous song which bears his name.

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Jonathan Edwards and Paul Henry

Event HF50

Catherine Barr, Steve Williams and Amy Husband

The Story of Life

Venue: Starlight Stage
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Authors Catherine and Steve and illustrator Amy bring evolution alive for a young audience, with an illustrated talk and the children’s help in creating a timeline exploring the fascinating story of life on Earth.

6+ years
Free to children attending local schools, please call Box Office to reserve tickets – 01497 822 629
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Catherine Barr, Steve Williams and Amy Husband

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