WELCOME TO HAY

The full programme is available for this year’s festival, 26 May to 4 June. We very much look forward to seeing you in May.

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Event HD24

Judith Kerr

Mr Cleghorn’s Seal

Venue: Good Energy Stage

Based on a true story about Judith Kerr’s father, Alfred Kerr, who once took in an abandoned seal pup, this life-affirming tale is told with Judith’s signature wit, warmth and keen eye for the absurd. She reminds us all that you’re never too old for a brand new life filled with love and laughter.

There will be no book-signing after this event, but signed book plates will be available with every book sold in the Festival Bookshop.

6+
Price: £7.30
 
 
Judith Kerr

Event HD25

Tony Robinson

The Worst Children’s Jobs in History

Venue: Oxfam Moot

Ever thought life was hard? Sir Tony Robinson goes back in time to when being a child was no excuse for idleness, bringing alive the stinking, back-breaking jobs that children did as jigger-turners, turnip-pickers, matchbox-makers and more.

9+
Price: £7.30
 
 

Event HD26

Nicola Davies and Cathy Fisher

Perfect

Venue: Cube

Author and zoologist Nicola Davies and illustrator/artist Cathy Fisher introduce swifts – amazing birds that sleep and eat on the wing and never stop flying. Learn how to look out for them, listen for their cries and how to tell if they might be nesting where you live. Help Cathy draw a swift, see how she made the stunning artwork for Perfect, and listen to a story about how swifts helped a boy to understand his new baby sister.

3+
Price: £5.30
 
 
Nicola Davies and Cathy Fisher

Event W16

The Flying Potter: Pottery Workshop

Venue: Mess Tent

Get seriously messy with Jon Williams from Herefordshire’s Eastnor Pottery. You will see pottery demonstrations and  create your own sculptural masterpieces to add to our forest critter’s colony or take home...or both. One thing's for sure... mud will fly!

Age 12+
Sold Out
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Event DT10

Ticket to Dine

Late Lunch

Venue: Relish Festival Restaurant

Book a seat in the Relish Festival Restaurant and receive a complimentary drink on us. 

Enjoy a delicious meal from our Festival Restaurant buffet. Choose from a wide selection of hot and cold dishes created fresh onsite by our team of chefs using the best local seasonal produce.

Come up to the buffet and choose as much as like from all the dishes on offer for just £20, by booking online you will received a complimentary glass of wine, bottle of beer or soft drink. By booking online you will guarantee your seat in the restaurant where our team will be waiting to give you a warm welcome.

Alex Gooch breads and water are free for every customer.

A selection of desserts and local cheeses from Neil's Yard Creamery are also available to buy, as well as a full bar and baristas coffees.

See a Sample Menu Here

If you have any dietary requirements please state these in the notes at the Checkout stage.
Price: £20.00
 
 

Event 125

Letters Live 2

Venue: Tata Tent

Letters Live has rapidly established itself as a wonderfully dynamic and exciting new format for presenting memorable letters to a live audience and each event celebrates in an unforgettable way the joy, pain, wisdom and humour that so often hallmarks this most intimate of literary forms. Letters Live is inspired by Shaun Usher’s Letters of Note anthologies and Simon Garfield’s To the Letter. This event will feature a different programme of letters to Letters Live 1 on 27 May.

Sold Out
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Letters Live 2

Event 126

Nemat Shafik

Reformations 3: Policy

Venue: Oxfam Moot

 The Economist Platform

The British-American economist examines the formation of policy in the post-truth world, and reconfigures how expertise is mediated and how we manage the boundaries between advisors and politicians. Shafik was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and is the incoming Director of the London School of Economics. Chaired by Zanny Minton Beddoes.

Price: £9.30
 
 
Nemat Shafik

Event 127

Elizabeth Drayson

Cambridge Series: The Moor’s Last Stand

Venue: Good Energy Stage

The poignant story of Boabdil, the last Muslim king of Granada. Betrayed by his family and undermined by faction and internal conflict, Boabdil was defeated in 1492 by the forces of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of the newly united kingdoms of Castile and Aragon. The Christian victory marked the completion of the long Christian reconquest of Spain and ended seven centuries in which Christians, Muslims and Jews had, for the most part, lived peacefully and profitably together in La Convivencia.

Price: £7.30
 
 
Elizabeth Drayson

Event 128

Madeleine Thien talks to Jemimah Steinfeld

The Index Platform: Fictions

Venue: Starlight Stage

A conversation with the Canadian novelist whose Do Not Say We Have Nothing was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker, and who is now publishing her early novel Certainty. Her humane and exacting writing often explores the Asian diaspora. She has won many awards including the Governor General’s Award and The Giller Prize. She talks to the deputy editor of Index on Censorship.

Price: £7.30
 
 
Madeleine Thien talks to Jemimah Steinfeld

Event 130

Rebecca F. John and Jake Arnott talk to Georgina Godwin

Fictions: London Tales

Venue: Cube

John presents her novel The Haunting of Henry Twist – a mysterious love story set in 1926 that recalls the power and strangeness of Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Arnott’s The Fatal Tree is set 200 years earlier and is about the true story of Edgeworth Bess, which mesmerised C18th society: a riveting, artful tale of crime and rough justice, love and betrayal. Rich in the street slang of the era, it vividly conjures up a murky world of illicit dens and molly-houses; a world where life was lived on the edge, in the shadow of that fatal tree – the gallows.

Rebecca John is selected for Hay 30 – celebrating a new generation of thinkers, supported by the CASE Foundation
Price: £6.30
 
 

Event HD27

Michael Rosen

Jelly Boots/Uncle Gobb

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

Jelly Boots is a riotous celebration of words – silly words, funny words, new words, old words, words you only use in your own family and the very best words in the right order. Uncle Gobb and the Green Heads is the second uproarious Uncle Gobb adventure. Join Michael Rosen for an introduction to these and others of his much-loved and amazing stories.

6+
Price: £7.30
 
 
Michael Rosen

Event HD28

Lucy Worsley

My Name is Victoria

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

Join the acclaimed historian as she vividly tells the story of the childhood of Queen Victoria, growing up hidden from public view. There will be stories, facts, and even the chance to become part of history by joining in a living timeline complete with props.

9+
Sold Out
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Event W17

BIG Hay Festival Creative Writing Adventure with Emma Beynon

Venue: The Storytelling Nook

Drop in writing sessions to create a collaborative poem, with different themes every day. Come and explore your creativity with Emma Beynon, who has a wealth of experience running creative writing workshops and an infectious approach to building a story. Emma is currently writing a novel based on her sailing adventures in Svalbard and her educational writing includes Making Poetry Happen (Bloomsbury, 2015).

Family event
Drop in

Event W18

Animation Time Machine!

Venue: Scribblers Hut

Leave your mark and help re-animate a classic short film. Join Dan Brown and Nick Brown from MASH Cinema and HCA to colour and collage your own frames, and see the new film take shape over the weekend. Completed animation will be available on the Hay Festival website.

Age 12+
2 hours
Sold Out
Please log in to add this event to your wish list so we can notify you in case of further availability

Event W19

The Flying Potter: Pottery Workshop

Venue: Mess Tent

Get seriously messy with Jon Williams from Herefordshire’s Eastnor Pottery. You will see pottery demonstrations and  create your own sculptural masterpieces to add to our forest critter’s colony or take home...or both. One thing’s for sure...mud will fly!

Family event
Sold Out
Please log in to add this event to your wish list so we can notify you in case of further availability

Event 131

Garry Kasparov talks to Stephen Fry

Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins

Venue: Tata Tent

20 years ago, in May 1997, the world watched as Garry Kasparov, the greatest chess player in the world, was defeated for the first time by the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue. He talks to the Hay Festival President about a watershed moment in the history of technology: machine intelligence had arrived at the point where it could best human intellect. 

It wasn’t a coincidence that Kasparov became the symbol of man’s fight against the machines. Chess has long been the fulcrum in development of machine intelligence; the hoax automaton ‘The Turk’ in the 18th century and Alan Turing’s first chess program in 1952 were two early examples of the quest for machines to think like humans a talent we measured by their ability to beat their creators at chess. As the pre-eminent chessmaster of the ’80s and ’90s, it was Kasparov’s blessing and his curse to play against each generation’s strongest computer champions, contributing to their development and advancing the field. 

Like all passionate competitors, Kasparov has taken his defeat and learned from it. He has devoted much energy to devising ways in which humans can partner with machines in order to produce results better than either can achieve alone. During the 20 years since playing Deep Blue, he has played both with and against machines, learning a great deal about our vital relationship with our most remarkable creations. Ultimately, he has become convinced that by embracing the competition between human and machine intelligence, we can spend less time worrying about being replaced and more thinking of new challenges to conquer.

Kasparov tells his side of the story of Deep Blue for the first time – what it was like to strategize against an implacable, untiring opponent – the mistakes he made and the reasons the odds were against him. And he tells his story of AI more generally, and how he has evolved to embrace it, taking part in an urgent debate with philosophers worried about human values, programmers creating self-learning neural networks, and engineers of cutting-edge robotics. 

His previous book was Winter is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped. 

Price: £20.30
 
 
Garry Kasparov talks to Stephen Fry

Event 132

Sarah Churchwell

Reformations 4: Expertise

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

Everyone has experience, and the deeper your experience of a given subject or area, the greater your expertise. In a culture that trumpets anti-intellectualism, how might we reconcile and re-present academic expertise and practical experience? Churchwell is professorial fellow in American literature and chair of public understanding of the humanities at the School of Advanced Study, University of London.

Price: £7.30
 
 
Sarah Churchwell

Event 133

Meg Rosoff and Shappi Khorsandi talk to Stephanie Merritt

Fictions: Funny Business

Venue: Good Energy Stage

The writers introduce their two delightful comic novels: Rosoff’s Jonathan Unleashed is a blisteringly funny, touching story of a man whose love life is going to the dogs. Khorsandi’s Nina is Not OK is a darkly funny coming-of-age novel.

Price: £7.30
 
 
Meg Rosoff and Shappi Khorsandi talk to Stephanie Merritt

Event 134

Sally Rooney talks to Olivia Cole

Fictions: Hay 30

Venue: Compass

Rooney’s debut Conversations with Friends is an exquisitely clever and perceptive novel about relationships; about identity and infidelity and love. 

Price: £7.30
 
 

Event 136

Kate Raworth, David Pitt-Watson and Juliet Davenport talk to Andy Fryers

Money, Money, Money–How to Use it For Good

Venue: Starlight Stage

How do we make better use of finance and money, turning it into a force for societal and environmental good? Renegade economist Kate Raworth, responsible investment and business expert David Pitt-Watson, and CEO of Good Energy, Juliet Davenport discuss possible futures for pension funds, stock markets, bitcoin and cash.

Price: £7.30
 
 
Kate Raworth, David Pitt-Watson and Juliet Davenport talk to Andy Fryers

Event HD29

Scarlett Thomas

Dragon’s Green

Venue: Cube

Dive into The Worldquake Sequence and enjoy travelling with Effie on her journey from a School for the Gifted, Troubled and Strange to the dangerous Otherworld to retrieve a magical book. The author will discuss the creation of her richly imagined fantasy world and the fabulous characters who live in it.

9+
Price: £5.30
 
 
Scarlett Thomas

Event HD30

Jacqueline Wilson

Wave Me Goodbye

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

Join Jacqueline Wilson as she introduces her new book, set in the Second World War. She will also discuss how she started her writing career and created some of her best-loved characters including Tracy Beaker and Hetty Feather.

There will be no book signing after this event but printed bookplates with Jacqueline’s signature will be available with every book bought in the Festival Bookshop.

Age 9+
Price: £7.30
 
 
Jacqueline Wilson

Event DT11

Ticket to Dine

Dinner - Early Sitting

Venue: Relish Festival Restaurant

Book a seat in the Relish Festival Restaurant and receive a complimentary drink on us. 

Enjoy a delicious meal from our Festival Restaurant buffet. Choose from a wide selection of hot and cold dishes created fresh onsite by our team of chefs using the best local seasonal produce.

Come up to the buffet and choose as much as like from all the dishes on offer for just £20, by booking online you will received a complimentary glass of wine, bottle of beer or soft drink. By booking online you will guarantee your seat in the restaurant where our team will be waiting to give you a warm welcome.

Alex Gooch breads and water are free for every customer.

A selection of desserts and local cheeses from Neil's Yard Creamery are also available to buy, as well as a full bar and baristas coffees.

See a Sample Menu Here

If you have any dietary requirements please state these in the notes at the Checkout stage.
Price: £20.00
 
 

Event 137

Tracey Emin in conversation with Dylan Jones

Talking About Art

Venue: Tata Tent

Tracey Emin’s art is one of disclosure, using her life events as inspiration for works ranging from painting, drawing, video and installation, to photography, needlework and sculpture. Emin reveals her hopes, humiliations, failures and successes in candid and, at times, excoriating work that is frequently both tragic and humorous.

Emin’s work has an immediacy and often sexually provocative attitude that firmly locates her oeuvre within the tradition of feminist discourse. By re-appropriating conventional handicraft techniques – or ‘women’s work’ – for radical intentions, Emin’s work resonates with the feminist tenets of the ‘personal as political’. In Everyone I’ve Ever Slept With, Emin used the process of appliqué to inscribe the names of lovers, friends and family within a small tent, into which the viewer had to crawl, becoming both voyeur and confidante. Her interest in the work of Edvard Munch and Egon Schiele particularly inform Emin’s paintings, monoprints and drawings, which explore complex personal states and ideas of self-representation through manifestly expressionist styles and themes.

Tracey Emin was born in London in 1963, and studied at Maidstone College of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. She has exhibited extensively internationally including solo and group exhibitions in Holland, Germany, Japan, Australia and America. In 2007 Emin represented Britain at the 52nd Venice Biennale, becoming the second female artist ever to do so. That same year, Emin was made a Royal Academician and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal College of Art, a Doctor of Letters from the University of Kent and a Doctor of Philosophy from London Metropolitan University. In 2011 she became the Royal Academy’s Professor of Drawing and in 2012, Queen Elizabeth II appointed her Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for her contributions to the visual arts.

She talks to the editor of GQ magazine.

Price: £10.30
 
 
Tracey Emin in conversation with Dylan Jones

Event 138

Gillian Tett

Reformations 5: Capitalism

Venue: Oxfam Moot

Wall Street and The City like to operate under the flag of Adam Smith; his free market economic ideas are often considered to be a defining bedrock of capitalism. In reality, those financial capitalists today have completely forgotten the core essence of his ideas; indeed, their vision of capitalism and the modern company totally perverts them. Tett’s reformation is a call to arms for all devotees of Adam Smith – to return to his original ideas about market forces and reform that idea of capitalism in a fundamental manner. Tett is US Managing Editor of the FT and the author of The Silo Effect, Fool’s Gold and Saving the Sun. Chaired by Oliver Bullough.

Price: £9.30
 
 
Gillian Tett