We are pleased to announce the full programme for Hay Festival 2018.
The uproariously funny comedian is best known as the host of BBC3's Live at The Electric, regular appearances on BBC1’s Live at the Apollo, BBC3’s Unzipped, ITV2’s Celebrity Juice and I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! Now!
The cult stars have totally re-invented the brass band sound for the modern age. A truly brilliant live act, they have played the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, the BRITs, MOBO and Mercury Awards. The group has great playing chops and a fun-loving stage presence that makes every one of their shows both visually and musically compelling.
One of the most versatile broadcasters currently in the UK, multiple award-winning Gemma started her career at BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra and has since become a BBC Radio 6 Music and Radio 4 firm favourite. She has also hosted the Glastonbury Festival coverage and BBC Music Awards. Her first book, Open: A Toolkit For How Magic and Messed Up Life Can Be was published in 2017. With her prolific music background and love of disco dancing, Gemma will grace the decks at Hay this year, spinning her famous multi genre party set including ole skool, hip-hop, garage and '90s classics, peppered with pop bangers and perhaps some Motown and soul… Who knows what will happen? Come and find out.
Hardy is in his fourth decade as a stand-up this year. That’s a more dramatic way of saying he started 33 years ago and, without a lottery win, probably has at least another 33 years to go. The tenth series of Jeremy Hardy Speaks to the Nation was broadcast on Radio 4. He is also well known for his appearances on The News Quiz and I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. “In an ideal world, Jeremy Hardy would be extremely famous, but an ideal world would leave him without most of his best material” - Guardian.
Innovative British singer-songwriter, two-time Mercury Prize nominee and two-time MOBO award winner, Laura Mvula grew up in Birmingham. She first sang in church and later with all female acapella group Black Voices. By 2008 she had formed and was composing for her own jazz/neo-soul outfit Judyshouse. Her debut album Sing to the Moon was released in 2013 and garnered multiple award nominations and critical acclaim. Discussing her follow-up, 2016 album The Dreaming Room the Guardian described how Mvula “pulls the listener along with her through the most serpentine songs: however, winding their routes, the melodies are almost always beautiful.” Her live gigs are joyful, soulful, and unforgettable.
Following her critically acclaimed 2016, 103-date sell-out international tour, ‘The Kardashians Made Me Do It', Shazia Mirza brings you her brand new stand-up show.
"After starving to death on a desert Island, I've changed my mind about a few things. I knew nothing about men before, I know an awful lot now. Men versus women, survival, and is anyone really an atheist in the middle of a tsunami? Oh, and the answers to everything are in The Periodic Table. A show about lies and truth- or is that the same thing? Nudity and the Periodic Table", these things hold the key to the future. How much do you wear? What do you look like, and will they let you in? Whatever happens, don't you dare wear more than dental floss on a French beach.
Our Hay Poetry Slam is hosted by 2017 SLAMbassador Emmeline Armitage and will feature three of the most celebrated performers of the international spoken word circuit – Antonio Anaxagorou, Zena Edwards and Sabrina Mahfouz, the Young People’s Laureate and Creative Wales award-winning Sophie McKeand, and Rufus Mufasa.
This thrilling seven-piece band fuse hip hop and classical music with a mix of classical strings, operatic vocals, heavy beats and energetic rap. The band’s energy is infectious: audiences dance, jump and join in with moves and lyrical hooks. They come to Hay after a festival tour that included Glasto, Womad and Camp Bestival.
Following two critically acclaimed West End runs, the comedian brings his Olivier-nominated one-man show to Hay. This is a show about memory, ageing, infidelity, dysfunctional relatives, moral policing on social media, golf and gay cats. A massively disrespectful celebration of the lives of David Baddiel’s late sex-mad mother, Sarah, and dementia-ridden father, Colin. Come and be offended on David’s behalf!
This sublime, critically acclaimed collaboration between two adventurous virtuoso musicians – Welsh harpist Catrin Finch and Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita – delivers a stunning exhibition of world-class musicianship. Their second album SOAR takes flight on the wings of the osprey, the magnificent bird of prey recently returned to Wales after centuries of absence, which makes its annual 3,000-mile migration from the coasts of West Africa to the estuaries of Wales, soaring like music and dreams over man-made borders, in an innate and epic journey of endurance. Entrancing, mesmeric, intricate and ethereal, this is remarkable music and a thrilling live experience.
The supergroup of great West African women musicians raise the Bank Holiday Monday roof with a spectacular and glorious concert. Their exuberant harmonies and sublime rhythms make for a perfect celebration.
Mamani Keita (vocal), Rokia Kone (vocal), Awa Sangho (vocal), Joseph Palmer (drums), Mariam Kone (backing vocal), Mamadou Diakite (guitar) and Llorens Barcelo (Keys).
Their first album Republique Amazone is out now on the Real World label.
Viral sensation Rachel Parris, star of BBC’s The Mash Report, presents a comedy show packed with stand-up, song, sketch and, inevitably, a sideways swipe at society. “Tears of laughter... endearingly frank and funny.” – The Guardian.
Mr Bingo talks hilariously about his non-standard career, having worked as a commercial illustrator for 15 years for clients such as The New Yorker, the Guardian, TIME, CH4, The Mighty Boosh and the New York Times. In 2015 he launched a Kickstarter with a rap video to fund a book about his Hate Mail project. Three years later, it’s still the most successful UK crowdfunded publishing project ever. Now a self-titled artist, he’s said goodbye to the client world and makes a living from what he calls ‘silly art projects’ such as a nude Advent calendars and Brexit tea towels. Be warned, this event is not for the easily offended.
Four of the best improvisers in the country come together to play with ideas coming from the audience. Tonight will be a brilliant, one-off, never-to-be-repeated, dazzling, hilarious, silly, exciting, dangerous, innovative show featuring real fire (candles). And there will be cake. Actual cake.
Dara is one of the most recognisable faces on British TV, as host of the hugely successful Mock The Week, Star Gazing Live, Robot Wars and Go 8 Bit. Catch one of the most charismatic, intelligent, fast-talking and downright funny live performers working today in this brand new show for 2018. “His set is a masterclass in intelligent, no-frills stand-up” - The Guardian. “If you want a comic who can hold an audience in the palm of his hand for two hours, here’s your man” - The Times.
The entrancing singer-songwriter’s debut album English Rain was released in 2013 and contained a slew of UK top 10 singles, including: Please Don’t Say You Love Me, Panic Cord, Home, Salvation and Gabrielle’s unforgettable cover of The Power of Love which reached No.1 in the UK chart. Light up the Dark followed in 2015 and she built her label Never Fade Records, generating 100 million worldwide streams. Aplin’s seemingly relentless creative output continued in 2017 – she released two EPs featuring the infectious singles Miss You and Waking up Slow.
The Irish Rockabilly superstar brings her phenomenal live show to the festival. Her new album is described as her ‘most personal and heartfelt work to date’ (Independent). With accolades from the likes of Bob Dylan, her latest release has been celebrated as a combination 'of dusky Americana and vintage British soul’ (All Music). Her previous albums include Love Tattoo, Mayhem and Tribal.
James Acaster is hilarious and brilliant. Here is his show blurb for the programme: “James Acaster reflects on the best year of his life and the worst year of his life and does stand-up comedy about them while throwing a strop. Last year he did a book tour and was reading from his book and while the blurb said very clearly that it was a book reading, absolutely zero members of the audience knew it was a book reading and turned up expecting stand up. So, having learnt that no one reads these blurbs you’ll excuse me if I don't put 100% effort into this one. I will, however, put maximum effort into the show, which is a stand-up show although I imagine the audience will be expecting a book reading. And yes, I’ve given up pretending it’s not me writing this blurb.” Definitely expect stand-up. Great.