Hay Festival 2020 Earlybirds

We are delighted to announce our earlybird tickets for events in 2020. We are particularly excited to be hosting Shakespeare's Globe on Tour. Please be aware that tickets for these events are extremely limited, so do book early to avoid disappointment.

We will be adding many more events over the coming months, please ensure you and your friends are signed up to our newsletter so we can keep you informed every time we release tickets.

Art

Event 13

Charles Hewlings with Stephen Lewis, Gina Medcalf, Mali Morris RA and Naomi Van Holbutt

Randan Stables Gallery presents: Point of View 2019

Venue: Starlight Stage
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Four of the award-winning contemporary painters and sculptors taking part in this intergenerational and international exhibition introduce their work, hosted by Charles Hewlings. Formerly a Welsh mountain pony stud farm, Randan Stables Gallery is a unique rural exhibition space in the heart of the Welsh Marches, six miles from Hay.

Ticket holders are invited to visit the exhibition site to meet the artists with refreshments following this event, on a free shuttle bus service (Limited spaces. Please allow an additional 1.5 hours). Meet at the Meeting Place by the Festival site entrance at 12.40pm, straight after the event. Please wear sensible footwear and clothing if joining this rural gallery tour.
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Event 14

David Cannadine

The British Academy Platform 1: Churchill – The Statesman as Artist

Venue: Starlight Stage
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Over 50 years, Winston Churchill wrote extensively about art and produced more than 500 paintings. In this lavishly illustrated lecture, the historian offers an entirely new perspective on Churchill and his paintings. Professor Sir David Cannadine is Dodge Professor of History at Princeton University, Editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and President of the British Academy. His publications include The Undivided PastIn Churchill’s ShadowClass in Britain and The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy

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Event 424

BBC Radio Wales Arts Show: Arts and the Landscape

Nicola H Thomas, Gillian Clarke, Richard King, Mary-Ann Constantine, Celia Johnson, King Charles

Venue: BBC Tent
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A special Hay Festival edition of the BBC Radio Wales Arts Show. Nicola Heywood Thomas explores the ways that landscapes influence and inspire writers, musicians and visual artists. Her guests are poet Gillian Clarke, music writer Richard King, academic and short story writer Mary-Ann Constantine and artist Celia Johnson. Featuring live music from King Charles.

Free but ticketed
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Event 18

Elizabeth Goldring

Nicholas Hilliard: Life of an Artist

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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The Renaissance historian introduces her biography of the portrait painter who defined his age. Hilliard’s sitters included Elizabeth I, James I, and Mary, Queen of Scots; explorers Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh; and members of the emerging middle class from which he himself hailed. He counted the Medici, the Valois, the Habsburgs, and the Bourbons among his European patrons and admirers. Chaired by Horatio Clare.

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Event 46

Simon Schama

Rembrandt’s Eyes

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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350 years ago Rembrandt van Rijn died in poverty - but not obscurity - having sublimely reinvented every genre of art that he touched. Twenty years after his Rembrandt's Eyes was published Simon Schama asks what it is that makes his work so deeply moving and how did he re-make the image of humanity?

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Simon Schama

Event 54

Drawing and Walking

With Celia Johnson

Venue: Meeting Place on site
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Taking participants to a particularly lovely stretch of the river Wye to respond through writing or drawing to the landscape and its ambient sounds. Suitable for anyone interested in the landscape, walking, writing and drawing. Previous drawing experience is not necessary, all materials provided. Please come prepared for outdoor activity.

Adult
2 hours
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Drawing and Walking

Event 59

Bettany Hughes

Hay Festival Founders Lecture: Make Art Not War

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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The historian tells the story of extraordinary, transformative projects helping refugee stonemasons to begin to rebuild the shattered treasures of Syria. The new, trainee masons, artisans and artists are both women and young men. The lecture is illustrated with film footage from Hughes’ documentaries about the project. Chaired by Peter Florence.

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Bettany Hughes

Event 61

Ben Lewis talks to Kirsty Lang

The Last Leonardo

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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The art historian forensically retraces the history of Leonardo da Vinci’s small oil painting, the Salvator Mundi, which was sold in 2017 for $450 million. The painting is a prism through which we can understand the highs and lows of the art world, experiencing the passions that drove men and women to own this work, as well as the philistinism that led them to almost destroy and lose it. Lewis tracks the vicissitudes of the highly secretive art market across five centuries, a twisting tale of geniuses and gangsters, double-crossing and disappearances where we’re never quite certain what to believe.

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Ben Lewis talks to Kirsty Lang

Event 422

Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, Amanda Levete, Patrick Marnham and Lindy Grant

Notre Dame de Paris

Venue: Cube
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The head of the Quai d’Orsay, France’s top diplomat, Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, is joined by the architect Amanda Levete, Lindy Grant, Professor of Medieval History at the University of Reading and the francophile catholic travel writer, Patrick Marnham. They reflect on the fire that destroyed the roof and spire of Notre Dame, the significance and power of the cathedral in French life and the global Catholic communion, and the coming moment of renewal. Chaired by Peter Florence.

Amanda Levete’s 2018 lecture about her renovation of the V&A and her Lisbon Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology is available on Hay Player.
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Event 98

Drawing and Walking

With Celia Johnson

Venue: Meeting Place on site
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Taking participants to a particularly lovely stretch of the river Wye to respond through writing or drawing to the landscape and its ambient sounds. Suitable for anyone interested in the landscape, walking, writing and drawing. Previous drawing experience is not necessary, all materials provided. Please come prepared for outdoor activity.

Adult
2 hours
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Drawing and Walking

Event 453

Stephen Fry and friends

Not The European Election Coverage - Wonderweaving

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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With Huw Edwards recalled to London to present the television coverage of the EU election results, some of the festival stars including Stephen Fry, Robert Macfarlane & Jackie Morris, Sarfraz Manzoor, Pat Barker, Marcus Brigstocke, Xinran and Kamal Ahmed join us in a gala variety show to conjure tales, cast spells, paint otters, tell love stories and interrogate the notion of balance on BBC News.
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Stephen Fry and friends

Event 145

Jerry Brotton, Hannah Critchlow, Catherine Fletcher and Germaine Greer

Leonardo 500

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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We celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of the incomparable Renaissance man – artist, scientist, inventor and lover. Brotton and Fletcher are Renaissance historians, Critchlow is a neuroscientist and Greer is a scholar and art historian. Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most inspiring figures of European history.

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Event 152

Fiona Stafford

The Brief Life of Flowers

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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Come rain or shine, flowers feature perennially in the landscape of human history. Their beauty has inspired some of the greatest works of art and literature, captivating creative minds from Wordsworth to Van Gogh, Botticelli to Beatrix Potter. Flowers have also played a key part in forming the past, and may even shape our future. Some have served as symbols of monarchs, dynasties and nations – from the Wars of the Roses to the Order of the Thistle. And while the poppy is often associated with WWI, it was the elderflower that treated its wounded soldiers, joining a long line of healing flowers that have developed modern medicine, including lavender and foxgloves. The right rose, according to the Victorian language of flowers, might mend a broken heart, while sunflowers may just save our planet. Stafford is Professor of English at the University of Oxford. 

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Event 197

Tracy Chevalier and Deborah Moggach

Fictions: Going Dutch

Venue: Hay Festival Foundation Stage
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The two friends celebrate the 20th anniversary of publication of their global bestselling novels Girl With a Pearl Earring and Tulip Fever. They discuss the resonance of the Dutch Golden Age, the gift of Amsterdam and the power of story with Georgina Godwin.

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Event 209

Adrian Edwards

The British Library Lecture: Making Your Mark

Venue: Hay Festival Foundation Stage
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The curator introduces the British Library’s blockbuster spring exhibition in this illustrated lecture. He explores the remarkable evolution of writing, from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs carved in stone and early printed text such as William Caxton’s edition of The Canterbury Tales to the art of note-taking by some of history’s greatest minds, and onwards to the digital communication tools we use today. Marvel at centuries of human innovation as writing enabled progress and opened doors to expression and art.

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Adrian Edwards

Event 254

Jane Jelley

Traces of Vermeer

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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Johannes Vermeer’s luminous paintings are loved and admired around the world. We see sunlit spaces, the glimmer of satin, silver and linen; we see the softness of a hand on a lute string or letter. We recognise the distilled impression of a moment of time and we feel it to be real, yet we do not understand how the paintings were made. The few traces Vermeer has left behind tell us little: there are no letters or diaries, and no reports of him at work. Jelley has taken a new path in this detective story. A painter herself, she has worked with the materials of his time: the cochineal insect and lapis lazuli; the sheep bones, soot, earth and rust. She investigates old secrets and hears travellers’ tales. Her research allows us to unlock the studio door, and catch a glimpse of Vermeer inside, painting light.

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Event 262

Nicola Green

Encounters: The Art of Interfaith Dialogue

Venue: Compass Studio
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The 21st century is a new era for interfaith dialogue. While in the past such encounters might have been stiff affairs contrived to generate a politically expedient photo-op, what is remarkable today is the depth of relationships being formed across historically deep divides. In her wide-ranging work Encounters acclaimed artist Nicola Green is a first-hand witness to this new era in our collective history; for the first time in history religious leaders are publicly articulating their respect for other faiths without undermining the absolute truth of their own. Green presents a series of artworks and a book created in collaboration with global religious leaders including Archbishop Rowan Williams, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the Dalai Lama, the Grand Mufti of Egypt and former British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

Encounters: The Art of Interfaith  Dialogue uses Nicola Green’s artwork as a lens through which to explore and analyse the state of interreligious dialogue today. It includes essays by leading global scholars, theologians and art historians: Dr Rowan Williams, Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Professor Ben Quash, Professor Aaron Rosen, Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, Professor David Ford OBE, Revd William Danaher, Maryanne Saunders, Dr Lieke Wijnia, Dr Chloe Reddaway, Dua Abbas, Jibran Khan, Gabrielle Rifkind and Skinder Hundal.

Chaired by Simon Lockett.

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Nicola Green

Event 264

Jonathan Jones

Sensations: The Story of British Art from Hogarth to Banksy

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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Sensations presents a radically new story of British art. It connects the artists of today with British culture more than three hundred years ago as it finds an unexpected thread that links William Hogarth and Tracey Emin, Thomas Gainsborough and Lucian Freud. What they share is an eye for the real world. I hope this book will change how you see Britain, and its art” – Jonathan Jones.

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Event 266

Michael Tavinor

Ethelbert, King & Martyr: Hereford’s Patron Saint

Venue: Hay Festival Foundation Stage
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Hereford Cathedral is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Ethelbert the King. But who was St Ethelbert? He played a significant role in the development of the church in Mercia. Following his beheading by King Offa in 794 pilgrims flocked to his shrine in Hereford Cathedral, which became a place of healing. Medieval writers elaborated stories of the saint and, although there are no traces of his original shrine, his story lives on and says important things about life and faith today. Tavinor is Dean of Hereford Cathedral.

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Michael Tavinor

Event 273

Will Gompertz, Ben Okri, Tommy Wide and Alex Walton

Culture Under Attack: Rescuing Art From Conflict

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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Art In Exile, an exhibition as part of Imperial War Museum’s Culture Under Attack season, uncovers how cultural treasures in British museums and galleries were evacuated during the Second World War. But how do we decide what to save when our culture is threatened by conflict? And what do our choices say about us as a society? How have historic attitudes to what constitutes ‘great’ art shifted over time, for better or for worse? Art in Exile curator Alex Walton and a panel of experts including Ben Okri, award-winning poet, novelist and cultural activist, and Tommy Wide, co-curator of Smithsonian London and former assistant director at the Freer Sackler Galleries (Washington), will provoke discussion and debate by paralleling cultural attitudes to art during the Second World War with contemporary cultural values to ask how might our decisions differ today and what we have learnt in the process. Chaired by Will Gompertz, BBC Arts Editor and author of What Are You Looking At? 150 Years of Modern Art, and Think Like An Artist.

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