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 90

Kazuo Ishiguro talks to Martha Kearney

The Buried Giant

Venue: Tata Tent
Read more

‘There’s a journey we must go on, and no more delay…’ The extraordinary new novel from the author of Never Let Me Go and Booker Prize-winning The Remains of the Day.

The Romans have long since departed, and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. But at least the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased.

The Buried Giant begins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years. They expect to face many hazards – some strange and other-worldly – but they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another.

Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge and war.

This event has taken place
Kazuo Ishiguro talks to Martha Kearney

Event 91

Martin Wolf

The Shifts and the Shocks

Venue: Telegraph Stage
Read more

The chief economics commentator of the Financial Times explains that further shocks could be ahead for the economy because governments have failed to deal with fundamental problems in the world’s financial systems. Wolf traces the causes of the great recession to the complex interaction between globalisation, destabilising global imbalances and fragile financial systems. He argues that management of the Eurozone in particular guarantees a future political crisis and he offers far more ambitious and comprehensive plans for reform than are presently being considered. Chaired by Susie Symes.

This event has taken place
Martin Wolf

Event 92

David Bainbridge

Cambridge University Series 6: Curvology: The Origins and Power of Female Body Shape

Venue: Good Energy Stage
Read more

Why is the human female the only female animal to have curves, and how do these curves rule our lives by influencing not only sexual selection but also social hierarchy and self-image? The Clinical Veterinary Anatomist at the University of Cambridge applies the science of evolutionary biology and cutting-edge psychology to the female shape. Chaired by Sarah Crompton.

This event has taken place
David Bainbridge

Event 93

Galina Timchenko, Mikhail Zygar, Oliver Bullough and guests talk to Nataliya Vasilyeva

We Need To Talk About Putin

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
Read more

Timchenko is the executive editor of the independent news platform Meduza. Zygar is the editor-in-chief of TV RAIN, Russia’s only independent television channel. Bullough is author of The Last Man in Russia and Let Our Fame Be Great and has reported over the last two years from the Ukraine. Vasiliyeva writes about press freedom and politics for Associated Press in Moscow.

This event has taken place
Galina Timchenko, Mikhail Zygar, Oliver Bullough and guests talk to Nataliya Vasilyeva

Event 94

Andrew Scull

Madness in Civilisation

Venue: Oxfam Moot
Read more

A Cultural History of Insanity from the Bible to Freud, from the Madhouse to Modern Medicine examines the human encounter with Unreason in all its manifestations, the challenges it poses to society and our responses to it. Chaired by Stephanie Merritt.

This event has taken place
Andrew Scull

Event 417

The Essay

A BBC Radio 3 Event at Hay

Venue: BBC Tent
Read more

For BBC Radio 3’s The Essay, this week two writers ask themselves ‘why I write’. In today’s session, the biographer and translator Daniel Hahn, and the writer and critic Alex Clark both take up the challenge of answering this key question.

This recording will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 at 10.45pm on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 May.

BBC Radio 3
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years
Duration: 1 hour
Free but ticketed
This event has taken place
The Essay

Event HF29

Nick Butterworth

Q Pootle 5

Venue: Starlight Stage
Read more
Nick Butterworth is a bestselling and award-winning picture book creator. He is author of Q Pootle 5, now a popular CBeebies animated series. In this family event, Nick talks about how he made the Q Pootle 5 books. You’ll see a glimpse of the CBeebies series, plus live drawing from Nick.
5+ years
This event has taken place
Nick Butterworth

Event HF30

Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet

I Need a Wee!

Venue: Elmley Foundation Cube
Read more
The creators of Barry, the Fish with Fingers and Norman, the Slug with the Silly Shell share their latest book I Need A Wee and assist you in making your very own character from the book using nothing other than…a toilet roll!
3+ years
This event has taken place
Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet

Event W12

Drawing the Head

Royal Drawing School Class

Venue: NFU Mutual Studio
Read more

In this portrait class, students will be encouraged to experiment with various drawing mediums, using colour and line to explore different ways of depicting depth and shade. There will be an emphasis on looking in detail at the individual, the peculiarities and structure of the head, discovering what makes a drawing a portrait.

Suitable for all ages and abilities

This event has taken place
Drawing the Head

Event 95

Bettany Hughes and Hannah Critchlow

The Raymond Williams Dialogue: The Ideas That Make Us

Venue: Telegraph Stage
Read more

A classicist and a neuroscientist explore the Ancient Greek words Liberty, Comedy, Charisma, Xenia, Wisdom and Peace and travel both forwards and backwards in time, investigating how these ideas have been moulded by history and have made an impact on history and the human experience. Hughes is the author of Helen of Troy – Goddess, Whore and The Hemlock Cup. Critchlow is named as a British Council's Top 100 UK Scientist for her work in communication.

This event has taken place
Bettany Hughes and Hannah Critchlow

Event 96

Mick Ebeling

Not Impossible: Technology for the Sake of Humanity

Venue: Good Energy Stage
Read more

Project Daniel was launched in January 2014 in Sudan with the establishment of the world’s first 3D-printing prosthetic limb lab, creating artificial limbs for victims of war.

As Mohammed Ali Humanitarian of the Year and named in the Top 50 Most Creative People 2014, Mick Ebeling is the founder and driving force of Not Impossible; making DIY, accessible, tech-based solutions for people around the world and powerfully telling those stories to inspire others to do the same.

This event has taken place
Mick Ebeling

Event 97

Elif Shafak

Fictions – The Architect’s Apprentice

Venue: Oxfam Moot
Read more

Sixteenth century Istanbul: a stowaway arrives in the city bearing an extraordinary gift for the Sultan. The boy is utterly alone in a foreign land, with no worldly possessions to his name except Chota, a rare white elephant destined for the palace menagerie… The Turkish author of The Forty Rules of Love and Honour discusses her mesmerizing new novel with William Sieghart.

This event has taken place
Elif Shafak

Event 98

Steve Hilton talks to John Mitchinson

More Human: Designing a World Where People Come First

Venue: Tata Tent
Read more

Humans don’t always behave as you expect them to. Sometimes their responses and actions are completely irrational – we don’t always make perfect decisions – but the model we base everything on is a rational one. Why? If we design our systems, our government, and all the products and services we use for perfect, rational people, is it any wonder they aren’t working? The Stanford academic and political advisor believes that change is possible and necessary: that we can create a more local, more accountable, more human way of living that will make us more productive, more fulfilled and ultimately happier.

This event has taken place
Steve Hilton talks to John Mitchinson

Event HF32

Aneirin Karadog and Martin Daws

Bilingual Poetry, Rap and Spoken Word

Venue: Elmley Foundation Cube
Read more
Aneirin Karadog and Martin Daws – Bardd Plant Cymru and Young People’s Laureate for Wales – meet in an interactive performance and discussion, taking the audience on a bilingual journey of poetry, rap and spoken word, through anecdotes and banter. Language will be no barrier to enjoyment, and beware, as you may be called upon to become a poet yourself!
9+ years
This event has taken place
Aneirin Karadog and Martin Daws

Event HF33

Dylan’s Amazing Dinosaurs

Venue: Starlight Stage
Read more
It’s time for another Dino-Mission with Dylan and his trusty time-travelling pterodactyl. Come and help gather dinosaur facts as we travel to Roar Island with a herd of inflatable dinosaurs and a lot of imagination.
3+ years
This event has taken place
Dylan’s Amazing Dinosaurs

Event HF31

Helen Skelton

Amy Wild: Amazon Summer

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
Read more

Join TV presenter Helen Skelton as she introduces her children’s book, the first in a new action-packed adventure series. Helen reveals how her own incredible real-life experiences and adventures have influenced her writing, from cycling to the South Pole to tightrope walking between the towers of Battersea Power Station. Amazon Summer is based on Helen’s own experiences travelling through the Amazon. Chaired by writer and broadcaster Matt Brown.

8+ years
This event has taken place
Helen Skelton

Event 99

Free Thinking

A BBC Radio 3 Event at Hay

Venue: BBC Tent
Read more

BBC Radio 3’s arts and ideas programme comes to Hay to record a special edition. Was Ralph Waldo Emerson right to say that a great person is always willing to be little? Rana Mitter and guests New York Times journalist David Brooks, novelist Azar Nafisi and historian Tom Holland discuss the concept of humility. Vice or underrated virtue?

Broadcast Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10pm. This recording will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Wednesday 27 May at 10pm.

BBC Radio 3
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years
Duration: 1 hour
Free but ticketed
This event has taken place
Free Thinking

Event 100

Karen Armstrong

Fields of Blood – Religion and the History of Violence

Venue: Tata Tent
Read more

Karen Armstrong, former Roman Catholic nun and one of our foremost scholars of religion, speaks out to interrogate the link between religion and bloodshed.

Religion is as old as humanity: Fields of Blood goes back to the Stone Age hunter-gatherers and traces religion through the centuries, from medieval crusaders to modern-day jihadists. Today we regard faith as a personal and private matter, but for most of history faith has informed people’s entire outlook on life, and has often been inseparable from politics. Fields of Blood is a celebration of the ancient religious ideas and movements that have promoted peace and reconciliation across millennia of civilization.

This event has taken place
Karen Armstrong

Event 102

Martin Rees

Can the Next Generation Inherit a Better World? A Scientist’s Hopes and Fears

Venue: Telegraph Stage
Read more

In 1902 HG Wells wrote ‘Humanity has come some way, and the distance we have travelled gives us some earnest of the way we have to go. All the past is but the beginning of a beginning; all that the human mind has accomplished is but the dream before the awakening.’ The astronomer boldly explores post-human evolution and offers a SWOT analysis of mankind’s short- and longer-term futures. He considers the risks of asteroid impact, climate change and, most worrying of all, the downsides of biotech, AI and other fast-advancing technologies. Chaired by Dan Davis.

This event has taken place
Martin Rees

Event 103

Owen Sheers talks to Alex Clark

Fictions – I Saw a Man

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
Read more

The event that changed all of their lives happened on a Saturday afternoon in June, just minutes after Michael Turner – thinking the Nelsons’ house was empty – stepped through their back door.

Moving from London and New York to the deserts of Nevada, Sheers’ new novel is a brilliant exploration of violence, guilt and attempted redemption, written with the pace and grip of a thriller. He takes the reader from close observation of the domestic sphere to some of the most important questions and dilemmas of the contemporary world.

Sheers is a poet and playwright whose latest works include the National Theatre of Wales’ Mametz, the award-winning poem Pink Mist and Calon.

This event has taken place
Owen Sheers talks to Alex Clark

Explore All Genres