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 353

Robert Macfarlane talks to Horatio Clare

Woodland Trust Series 3: Landmarks

Venue: Tata Tent
Read more

Words are grained into our landscapes, and landscapes are grained into our words. Landmarks is about the power of language to shape our sense of place. It is a field guide to the literature of nature, and a glossary containing thousands of remarkable words used in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales to describe land, nature and weather. The author of The Old Ways, Mountains of the Mind and The Wild Places shows that language, well used, is a keen way of knowing landscape, and a vital means of coming to love it.

This event has taken place
Robert Macfarlane talks to Horatio Clare

Event 354

Camila Batmanghelidjh, Helena Kennedy and Sue Berelowitz talk to Jon Snow

Why Does it Happen?

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
Read more

The sexual abuse of children by adult men is a global problem. It appears to happen in every sector of society and the exposure of paedophile rings is a daily news story. But why does it happen at all? Batmanghelidjh runs Kids Company, Kennedy is a human rights lawyer, Berelowitz is Chair, national inquiry into child sexual abuse linked to the family.

This event has taken place
Camila Batmanghelidjh, Helena Kennedy and Sue Berelowitz talk to Jon Snow

Event 355

George Zarkadakis

Artificial Intelligence

Venue: Good Energy Stage
Read more

We explore AI’s history, technology and potential; its manifestations in intelligent machines; its connections to neurology and consciousness, as well as – perhaps most tellingly – what AI reveals about us as human beings. Zarkadakis is the author of In Our Own Image: Will Artificial Intelligence Save or Destroy Us?

This event has taken place
George Zarkadakis

Event 356

Paul Dolan, Shashi Tharoor and guests

Magna Carta 800 – What Do We Want?

Venue: Oxfam Moot
Read more

We know that, as individuals, we often 'miswant' – that is, want things that will not improve our wellbeing. How can we miswant as citizens, policymakers, or societies? How might some of the 'good' desires also have a darker side to them? Desires around hope, choice, and achievement, for example, can all make things worse as well as better. Dolan is a Professor of Behavioural Science at LSE. Tharoor is an Indian MP with over 1 million constituents in Thiruvananthapuram, and 3 million Twitter followers.

This event has taken place
Paul Dolan, Shashi Tharoor and guests

Event HF145

Kate Saunders

Five Children on the Western Front

Venue: Starlight Stage
Read more
Join the Costa Award-winning author to hear all about her sequel to E. Nesbit’s classic Five Children and It stories. Witty, tender and full of insights into life, love and politics, this is a brilliant book in its own right as well as a worthy tribute. Find out about Kate’s inspirations for the book and her love for the original novels. She talks to literary critic Julia Eccleshare.
9+ years
This event has taken place
Kate Saunders

Event HF146

Mary Evans

Story Stew for Two

Venue: Elmley Foundation Cube
Read more
Kids? Parents driving you mad? Looking for something to keep them entertained? Then bring them along to Story Stew for Two, a parent and child creative writing workshop with Who Let the Gods Out? author Mary Evans. Using wit, charm and an inflatable hammer, Mary will help you to work together to create a tasty tale for two. Guaranteed to cook up creativity in everyone.
7+ years
This event has taken place
Mary Evans

Event 357

Emily Bell, Richard Sambrook, Tony Phillips and guests

Magna Carta 800 – What Do We Want? A Free Press

Venue: Oxfam Moot
Read more

Do we need a First Amendment? What’s the best we can argue for in terms of independence, regulation, ownership, and authority? Bell is a member of the Scott Trust and Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism; Sambrook was Director of the BBC World Service and now runs Cardiff School of Journalism. Tony Phillips is Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, World Service. Chaired by Jon Snow.

This event has taken place
Emily Bell, Richard Sambrook, Tony Phillips and guests

Event 358

Amanda Palmer

The Art of Asking

Venue: Telegraph Stage
Read more

Rock star, crowd-funding pioneer, and TED speaker Amanda Palmer knows all about asking. Performing as a living statue in a wedding dress, she wordlessly asked thousands of passersby for their dollars. When she left her record label to strike out on her own, she asked her fans to support her in making an album, leading to the world’s most successful music Kickstarter. In her groundbreaking book, she explores the barriers to asking for help in her own life and in the lives of those around her. Part manifesto, part revelation, this is the story of an artist struggling with the new rules of exchange in the C21st, both on and off the internet. Chaired by Francine Stock.

This event has taken place
Amanda Palmer

Event 359

Gavin Francis

Adventures in Human Being

Venue: Good Energy Stage
Read more

We have a lifetime’s association with our bodies, but for many of us they remain uncharted territory. The doctor takes us on a journey through health and illness, offering insights on everything from the ribbed surface of the brain to the secret workings of the heart and the womb; from the pulse of life at the wrist to the unique engineering of the foot. If the body is a foreign country, then to practise medicine is to explore new territory: the explorer and author of Empire Antarctica leads the reader on an adventure through what it means to be human.

This event has taken place
Gavin Francis

Event 360

Dominic Lieven

Cambridge University Series 18: Empire, War and the End of Tsarist Russia

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
Read more

'As much as anything, World War I turned on the fate of Ukraine...' The decision to go to war in 1914 had catastrophic consequences for Russia. The result was revolution, civil war and famine in 1917–20, followed by decades of Communist rule. Dominic Lieven explains why this suicidal decision was made and explores the world of the men who made it. But by looking at the origins and results of the First World War from a mostly Russian angle he also offers a radically different view of why Europe descended into disaster, overturning assumptions about the war's causes and consequences in a way that still has major implications for world history down to the present day. Chaired by Oliver Bullough.

This event has taken place
Dominic Lieven

Event 361

Bethan Elfyn – LIVE ON AIR

A BBC Radio Wales Event at Hay

Venue: Horizons Airstream
Read more

Bethan Elfyn presents the best new music from Wales and beyond with highlights, guests and performances, broadcasting live from the festival.

Broadcast every Saturday evening on BBC Radio Wales from 7pm–10pm.

BBC Radio Wales
Duration: 3 hours
This event has taken place
Bethan Elfyn – LIVE ON AIR

Event 362

Orsola De Castro, Jessica Bumpus, Margareta van den Bosch, Catarina Midby and Dilys Williams

Just Fashion

Venue: Starlight Stage
Read more

Pioneering fashion designer Orsola de Castro and co-founder of Fashion Revolution Day, discusses the future of sustainability in fashion with Margareta van den Bosch, H&M’s former design director and now creative advisor, Jessica Bumpus from Vogue and Catarina Midby, H&M's Sustainable Fashion Advisor. They talk to Dilys Williams, Director of the London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion. The panel will also offer their insights on the final garments created by 12 students from H&M’s Garment Recycling Programme after a week-long workshop with leading designers. The workshops will have encouraged students to use and consider sustainable sourcing and techniques in the production of their garments as well as ensuring the finished product is beautifully designed and presented.

This event has taken place
Orsola De Castro, Jessica Bumpus, Margareta van den Bosch, Catarina Midby and Dilys Williams

Event HF160

Julia Churchill

How To Get Your Children's Book Published

Venue: Elmley Foundation Cube
Read more
Children’s books agent Julia Churchill from AM Heath Ltd shares everything you need to know about getting your children’s book published, from what an agent does and the qualities that make a submission stand out from the slushpile, to what a publisher looks for and what drives their decisions. It is a 360-degree look at writing, pitching and publishing your children’s book – from picture books right through to young adult fiction.
11+ years
This event has taken place
Julia Churchill

Event HF147

Michael Morpurgo

The Mozart Question Concert

Venue: Tata Tent
Read more

Author Michael Morpurgo is joined by actress Alison Reid, violinist Daniel Pioro and The Storyteller’s Ensemble (a quartet of strings). Together they interweave words and music, to tell his haunting tale of survival against the odds, set against the background of the Holocaust. Adapted and directed by Simon Reade.

‘It is difficult for us to imagine how dreadful was the suffering that went on in the Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War. The enormity of the crime that the Nazis committed is just too overwhelming for us to comprehend. In their attempt to wipe out an entire race they caused the death of six million people, most of them Jews. It is when you hear the stories of the individuals who lived through it – Anne Frank, Primo Levi – that you can begin to understand the horror just a little better, and to understand the evil that caused it.

‘For me, the most haunting image does not come from literature or film, but from music. I learned some time ago that in many of the camps the Nazis selected Jewish prisoners and forced them to play in orchestras; for the musicians it was simply a way to survive. In order to calm the new arrivals at the camps, they were made to serenade them as they were lined up and marched off, many to the gas chambers. Often they played Mozart.

‘I wondered how it must have been for a musician who played in such hellish circumstances, who adored Mozart as I do – what thoughts came when playing Mozart later in life? This was the genesis of my story, this and the sight of a small boy in a square by the Accademia Bridge in Venice, sitting one night, in his pyjamas on his tricycle, listening to a busker. He sat totally enthralled by the music that seemed to him, and to me, to be heavenly.’ Michael Morpurgo.

8+ years
Duration 1 hour 15 minutes. No interval.
This event has taken place

Event 363

Marcus Brigstocke, Ed Coleman, Milly Thomas, Thom Tuck, Rachel Parris and Andre Vincent

Makey Uppey

Venue: Tata Tent
Read more

It’s comedy improvisation night – we’ve no idea what they are going to say…and neither have they. It’s a match made in heaven.

This event has taken place
Marcus Brigstocke, Ed Coleman, Milly Thomas, Thom Tuck, Rachel Parris and Andre Vincent

Event 364

Simon Schama

Night Will Fall – Screening

Venue: Good Energy Stage
Read more

The historian and author of The Story of the Jews introduces a screening of André Singer’s documentary. When Allied forces liberated the Nazi concentration camps, their terrible discoveries were recorded by army cameramen, revealing for the first time the horror of what had happened. Using British, Soviet, and American footage, the Ministry of Information’s Sidney Bernstein collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock to make a film that would provide evidence of the Nazi’s unspeakable crimes. Yet, despite initial support from the British and US governments, the film was shelved. In this compelling documentary by André Singer (executive producer, The Act of Killing), the full story of the filming of the camps, and the fate of Bernstein’s project, can finally be told.

1 hour 30 mins
This event has taken place
Simon Schama

Event 365

Laura Bates, Nimko Ali, Sonia Faleiro and guests

Magna Carta 800 – What Do We Want? Equality

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
Read more

Is equality law working to deliver equality for women? If not, what’s it going to take? Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism project. Nimko Ali is a social activist, an FGM survivor and campaigner, co-founder of Daughters of Eve. Journalist and writer Sonia Faleiro is the author of Beautiful Thing: Inside the Secret World of Bombay's Dance Bars and 13 Men.

This event has taken place
Laura Bates, Nimko Ali, Sonia Faleiro and guests

Event 366

Brenda Lozano, Daniel Saldaña París, Laia Jufresa with Gaby Wood

México20

Venue: Elmley Foundation Cube
Read more

2015 is the Year of Mexico in the UK and the Year of the UK in Mexico. To celebrate we’re working with the British Council and Conaculta to present México20, a project that promotes 20 new voices of Mexican writers under the age of 40 and brings their work to an international readership. Come and join three of the emerging superstars of the anthology for an evening of Mexican stories, music and drink. With music from the stunning mariachi band Las Adelitas.

This event has taken place
Brenda Lozano, Daniel Saldaña París, Laia Jufresa with Gaby Wood

Event 367

The Devil’s Violin presents

The Forbidden Door

Venue: Starlight Stage
Read more

What would you sacrifice for the sake of the one you love? The Forbidden Door tells passionate, funny and hauntingly interwoven stories. Twisting human nature’s need to disobey the rules into beautiful tales of love and loss, this is storytelling for adults; there are no big eyes or nursery rhymes. Expect impossible quests, heart-stopping twists, love, loss, high drama, low comedy and pure moments of total abandonment from the real world. The Devil’s Violin is Daniel Morden – story, Oliver Wilson-Dickson – violin, Sarah Moody – cello, and Dylan Fowler – guitar.

This event has taken place
The Devil’s Violin presents

Event 368

Tracey Thorn talks to Xan Brooks

Naked at the Albert Hall

Venue: Oxfam Moot
Read more

The riveting follow-up to her Bedsit Disco Queen. Part memoir, part wide-ranging exploration of the art, mechanics and spellbinding power of singing, Naked at the Albert Hall takes in Dusty Springfield, Dennis Potter and George Eliot; Auto-tune, the microphone and stage presence; The Streets and The X Factor. Including interviews with fellow artists and portraits of singers in fiction as well as Tracey’s real-life experiences, it offers a unique, witty and sharply observed insider’s perspective on the exhilarating joy and occasional heartache of singing.

This event has taken place
Tracey Thorn talks to Xan Brooks

Explore All Genres