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 52

Abdel Bari Atwan talks to Nik Gowing

Islamic State: The Digital Caliphate

Venue: Telegraph Stage
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The Palestinian editor of Rai al-Youm offers a comprehensive review of the group’s organisational structure and leadership, strategies, tactics and diverse methods of recruitment. He traces the salafi-jihadi lineage of IS, its ideological differences with al-Qa’ida, and the deadly rivalry that has emerged between their leaders. Atwan also shows how the group’s rapid growth has been facilitated by its masterful command of social media platforms, the ‘dark web’, Hollywood ‘blockbuster’-style videos, and even jihadi computer games, producing a powerful paradox where the ambitions of the Middle Ages have re-emerged in cyber-space.

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Abdel Bari Atwan talks to Nik Gowing

Event 53

Hannah Critchlow

Cambridge University Series 4: Busting Brain Myths, or Explore Your Mind

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
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Are you intrepid enough to explore your own sense of reality? Dr Critchlow invites you to take a journey through your brain, using mind-boggling experiments to strip down the neuroscience myths making the headlines and explore how brain research is shaping our society.

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Hannah Critchlow

Event 54

Anita Anand

Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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Sophia was born to Maharajah Duleep Singh, heir to a huge territory that stretched from the Kashmir Valley to the Khyber Pass. The territory was plundered by the British and the Maharajah was exiled to Britain. Sophia was raised a society lady and goddaughter to Queen Victoria. However, after a secret trip to India she returned a revolutionary to fight for Indian independence, the welfare of Indian soldiers in World War I, and, above all, for the cause of female suffrage. Anita talks to Stephanie Merritt.

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Anita Anand

Event 55

Get Creative and Write a Poem

A BBC Event at Hay

Venue: BBC Tent
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Never written a poem before? Now’s your chance. Poet Ian McMillan will show you how, and you will leave with a poem.

Not for broadcast.

Get Creative
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years
Duration: 1 hour
Free but ticketed
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Get Creative and Write a Poem

Event HF14

Atinuke

Venue: Starlight Stage
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Atinuke is a mesmerising storyteller as well as the author of The No.1 Car Spotter and Anna Hibiscus series and a number of picture books. You will be spellbound as she conjures up the sights, sounds and hustle and bustle of life in Africa and brings her stories to life.
7+ years
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Atinuke

Event HF15

Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton

That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown

Venue: Elmley Foundation Cube
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Celebrate the reissue of this classic picture book about adventurous Emily Brown and her toy rabbit companion, Stanley. Learn Cressida’s real life inspiration behind the books, and watch Neal Layton recreate the illustrations.
3+ years
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Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton

Event HF16

Vanessa Wolf

Sensory Story-time with Guess How Much I Love You

Venue: Scribblers Hut
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Join our special guest storyteller Vanessa Wolf for this delightful version of Sam McBratney’s family classic Guess How Much I Love You, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary.
3+ years
There will be a free goody bag for every child.
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Vanessa Wolf

Event 56

Germaine Greer talks to Martha Kearney

The Annual Hamlin Lecture: Liberation

Venue: Tata Tent
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A conversation with the teacher, writer and grand provocateur about what would make life better. ‘I’m a liberation feminist, not an equality feminist. Equality is a profoundly conservative aim and it won’t achieve anything.’
This event will be recorded for broadcast on the BBC World News programme Talking Books.
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Germaine Greer talks to Martha Kearney

Event 57

Roly Keating

The Mechanical Curator and Other Stories

Venue: Good Energy Stage
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The Director of the British Library browses the infinite possibilities for Libraries and Creativity in an Age of Data. ‘These are times of historic disruption in the whole global system of information and publication, and it seems right that the great knowledge institutions – with their historic remit to think and act with a view far into the future – should play a full part in shaping the changes that lie ahead.’ Chaired by Gaby Wood, Head of Books at The Telegraph.

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Roly Keating

Event 58

Andrea Sella

How the Zebra Got its Stripes: An Experimental Lecture

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
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Everyone loves a Zebra. But where do its stripes come from? A simple answer might be DNA; a more fanciful one that they’re painted on, like the leopard in Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories. In this lecture, Professor Sella takes us beyond the superficial, through complex and spectacular chemical reactions, and into the very fabric of our universe, where pattern and structure emerge as if by magic. Chaired by Dan Davis.

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Andrea Sella

Event 59

Danny Dorling and Mary O’Hara

Inequality and Austerity

Venue: Telegraph Stage
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Few would dispute that we live in an unequal and unjust world, but what causes this inequality to persist? Dorling, author of Inequality and the 1%, examines who is most harmed by these injustices and why, and what happens to those who most benefit. O’Hara, author of Austerity Bites, takes us on a journey to the sharp end of the cuts in the UK. Hard-hitting and uncompromising in its call to action, this analysis is essential for everyone concerned with social justice.

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Danny Dorling and Mary O’Hara

Event 60

Hannah Rothschild talks to Rosie Boycott

Fictions – The Improbability of Love

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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This debut novel is a wicked satire of London society, a redemptive and captivating love story, and a journey into the darker corners of European history. Rothschild, who is also chair of the National Gallery, has created one of the most spectacular villains of recent times. ‘Every painting has a story – and if it could speak, what would it tell us?’

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Hannah Rothschild talks to Rosie Boycott

Event W66

Ali Sparkes Workshop: Dyssy Delight

Lovereading4kids Dyslexia Series

Venue: Scribblers Hut
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A workshop for creative kids who struggle with the whole reading and writing thing. Ali is a Dyslexia Action Ambassador.

8+ years
Free but ticketed
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Ali Sparkes Workshop: Dyssy Delight

Event HF18

Holly Webb

The Water Horse

Venue: Elmley Foundation Cube
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When the waters start to rise, flooding the streets of Venice and causing chaos, Princess Olivia realizes that only her magic can prevent disaster befalling the city. Join bestselling author Holly Webb as she introduces her new book and takes you on a magical tour of historic Venice.
7+ years
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Holly Webb

Event HF17

Stephan Pastis

Timmy Failure

Venue: Starlight Stage
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Stephan Pastis is a lawyer-turned cartoonist, and creator of the New York Times bestselling series, Timmy Failure. In this lively event Stephan talks about his career, from lawyer to cartoonist. Expect lots of live drawing and cartooning from Stephan, and plenty of laughs.
8+ years
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Stephan Pastis

Event 61

Start The Week

A BBC Radio 4 Event at Hay

Venue: BBC Tent
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Tom Sutcliffe presents BBC Radio 4’s flagship programme of ideas, and will be joined on stage by a panel of guests for stimulating, entertaining and lively discussion.

Broadcast on Mondays at 9am and repeated at 9pm. This recording will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Monday 25 May.

BBC Radio 4
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years
Duration: 1 hour
Free but ticketed
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Start The Week

Event 62

Sally Wainwright and Sarah Lancashire talk to Alan Yentob

Happy Valley to Halifax

Venue: Tata Tent
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What’s the relationship between a writer and a lead actor? Screenwriter Sally Wainwright and her star Sarah Lancashire have collaborated on Happy Valley and Last Tango in Halifax. They talk to the BBC’s Creative Director.

This event will be palentyped.
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Sally Wainwright and Sarah Lancashire talk to Alan Yentob

Event 63

Ian Bostridge talks to Tom Service

Schubert’s Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession

Venue: Telegraph Stage
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Franz Schubert’s Winterreise is one of the most powerful and enigmatic masterpieces in Western culture. One of the work’s finest interpreters, Bostridge, focuses on the context, resonance and personal significance of a work that is possibly the greatest landmark in the history of Lieder. He unpicks the enigmas and subtle meaning of each of the twenty-four songs to explore for us the world Schubert inhabited, bringing the work and its world alive for connoisseurs and new listeners alike.

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Ian Bostridge talks to Tom Service

Event 64

Graham Swift

Fictions – England and other Stories

Venue: Good Energy Stage
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Through the 25 stories in Swift’s most recent anthology, we are steered effortlessly from the Civil War to the present day, from world-shaking events to the secret dramas lived out in rooms, workplaces, homes. With his remarkable sense of place, he charts an intimate human geography and, in doing so, he moves us profoundly, but with a constant eye for comedy. He reads from the collection and discusses his work with Peter Florence.

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Graham Swift

Event 65

David Brooks

The Road to Character

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
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You could say there are two kinds of virtues in the world: résumé virtues and eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the ones you list on your CV, the skills that contribute to external success. The eulogy virtues are deeper. They’re what get talked about at your funeral and they are usually the virtues that exist at the core of your being – whether you are kind, brave, honest or faithful; what kind of relationships you formed over your lifetime. We live in a culture that encourages us to think about how to be wealthy and successful, but which leaves many of us inarticulate about how to cultivate the deepest inner life. Brooks connects us once again to an ancient moral tradition, a tradition that asks us to confront our own weaknesses and grow in response, rather than shallowly focus on our good points. He talks to Sarfraz Manzoor.

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David Brooks

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