Hay Festival 2022

We are delighted to announce the full programme of events for Hay Festival 2022.

Please note: tickets on sale are for live events, to attend in person. You can buy a pass to watch the festival online here.

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Event FiltersYou are viewing events filtered bySunday 29 May 2022View All

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Event 84

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Martin Rees talks to Mark Lee

Imagine... Science: Are Astronauts Extinct?

Venue: Festival Friends Stage
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Human journeys into space fill us with wonder. But the thrill of space travel for astronauts comes at enormous expense and is fraught with peril. As our robot explorers grow more competent, governments and corporations must ask, does our desire to send astronauts to the Moon and Mars justify the cost and danger? Martin Rees believes that beyond low-Earth orbit, space exploration should proceed without humans.

The United Kingdom’s Astronomer Royal, Martin Rees was previously Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge. His latest book, co-written with Donald Goldsmith, is The End of Astronauts. Mark Lee is an Emeritus Professor of Computer Science who has researched AI and robotics for 40 years and is author of How to Grow a Robot: Developing Human-Friendly, Social AI.

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Martin Rees talks to Mark Lee

Event 85

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Gurnaik Johal talks to Jon McGregor

10@10 Debuts: We Move

Venue: Starlight Stage
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A debut brimful of the music and movement of multicultural London, to stand beside White Teeth, Brick Lane and The Buddha of Suburbia. The stories in We Move are set in London, but chart a wider narrative about the movement of multiple generations of immigrants. In acts of startling imagination, Gurnaik Johal brings together the past and the present, the local and the global, to show the surprising ways we come together.

Beneath the planes circling Heathrow, various lives connect. Priti speaks English and her nani Punjabi. Without Priti’s mum around they struggle to make a shared language. Not far away, Chetan and Aanshi’s relationship shifts when a woman leaves her car in their drive but never returns to collect it. Gujan’s baba steps out of his flat above the chicken shop for the first time in years to take his grandson on a bicycle tour of the old and changed neighbourhood. And returning home after dropping out of university, Lata grapples with a secret about her estranged family friend, now a chart-topping rapper in a crisis of confidence.

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Gurnaik Johal talks to Jon McGregor

Event 86

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Kübra Gümüşay talks to Sophie Hughes

Imagine.... Equalities: Speaking and Being

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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Kübra Gümüşay is an award-winning author and activist from Germany. In her bestselling book Speaking and Being she examines how language dictates politics and shapes the way we think. Language opens up our world, and in the same instant, limits it. What does it mean to exist in a language that was never meant for you to speak? Why are we missing certain words? How can we talk about our communal problems without fuelling them? What does it actually mean to speak freely? As a writer and activist fighting for equality, Gümüşay has been thinking about these questions for many years. She addresses language and equalities related to gender with translator Sophie Hughes.

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Kübra Gümüşay talks to Sophie Hughes

Event 87

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

BBC Radio 4: Start the Week

Venue: Marquee
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Three prize-winning writers – Damon Galgut, Margo Jefferson and Jennifer Egan – discuss family drama, memory and redemption with Helen Lewis. Damon Galgut’s Booker-winning The Promise tells the story of a family and a country, and the failed promises that destroy them both. The promise of a super-connected world with memories as currency is set against the quest for privacy in Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House. And Margo Jefferson examines every passion and influence in her new memoir, Constructing a Nervous System.

Unreserved seating
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BBC Radio 4: Start the Week

Event 88

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Wayne Lewis and Helen Lucocq

Exploring Hay Hinterlands Walk

Venue: Meeting Place on Site
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Guides from Brecon Beacons National Park lead a gentle walk through the beautiful surrounds of Hay-on-Wye.

2 hours
Please wear appropriate footwear and come prepared for the weather. The walk returns to the Festival site by midday.
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Event HD8

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Lenny Henry talks to Nathan Bryon

The Boy With Wings

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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Join actor, comedian and author Lenny Henry as he talks about his brilliantly funny, action-packed adventure story The Boy With Wings. Twelve-year-old Tunde is an average kid with average friends whose life is turned upside down when, in the middle of a football match, he leaps for the ball and stays in the air – on an enormous pair of wings. He discovers newfound powers and a secret past, and finds out how an average kid can become an extraordinary hero.

9+ years
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Lenny Henry talks to Nathan Bryon

Event HD9

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Smriti Halls

Who Are You?

Venue: Cube
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Join award-winning author and former BookTrust Writer in Residence Smriti Halls for a fun-filled event, jam-packed with games and storytelling. First, it’s all about you as Smriti introduces her new picture book Who Are You? which celebrates the pieces, places and people that make us who we are. Discover Smriti’s inspiration and draw a doodle that represents you.

3+ years
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Smriti Halls

Event W5

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Book Collaging Workshop

Venue: Summerhouse
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A one-hour collaging workshop with Hay Festival Illustrator in Residence Tom Etherington and Bethan Thomas, founder of Collage Crew workshops. Tom and Bethan guide you through the playful world of collage. Create striking artwork from old books, while learning about what makes an iconic book cover. Tom is a former Penguin Books designer behind some of the most memorable jacket images of recent times, from Greta Thunberg’s No One is Too Small to Make a Difference and Grayson Perry’s The Descent of Man to the recent Jack Kerouac reissues and the Green Ideas series.

Collaging materials will be provided though you are welcome to bring along your own favourite imagery if you wish.
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Book Collaging Workshop

Event MT3

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Make & Take Crafting

Morning Session

Venue: Make & Take Tent
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An opportunity to get crafting! Activities differ every day, including everything from print-making to junk modelling with recycled materials. Get messy and creative: your imagination is the limit.

Book for the session and you can drop in at any point during the 2.5 hour duration. An accompanying adult must attend at all times but does not require a ticket.

3–11 years
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Make & Take Crafting

Event 89

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Damon Galgut talks to Elizabeth Day

The Promise

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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Damon Galgut’s 2021 Booker Prize-winning novel charts a country in transition and a family in crisis. On a farm outside Pretoria, the Swarts are gathering for Ma’s funeral. The younger generation, Anton and Amor, detest everything the family stand for – not least their treatment of the Black woman who has worked for them her whole life. Salome was to be given her own house, her own land… yet somehow, that vow is carefully ignored. As each decade passes, and the family assemble again, one question hovers over them. Can you ever escape the repercussions of a broken promise?

Damon Galgut was shortlisted for the Booker Prize twice with The Good Doctor and In a Strange Room before winning in 2021 with The Promise.

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Damon Galgut talks to Elizabeth Day

Event 90

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Michael Morpurgo and Lemn Sissay talk to Polly Russell

The Power of Libraries

Venue: Starlight Stage
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In an information age where disinformation and silo-thinking are ever-present, the role of libraries as hubs for knowledge, reflection and community are more essential than ever. In this conversation Britain’s best-loved children’s book writer Michael Morpurgo, renowned author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay and Polly Russell, Head of the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library, reflect on the value of libraries and the continuing role these transformational spaces play within our societies.

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Michael Morpurgo and Lemn Sissay talk to Polly Russell

Event 91

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Alexandre Antonelli

The Kew Gardens Platform: Hidden Universe

Venue: Festival Friends Stage
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Brazilian-born botanist Alexandre Antonelli is Director of Science of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where he leads the work of over 300 scientists in a quest to protect and restore biodiversity. Founder of the Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre and a Cisneros Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, he is one of the world’s most highly cited scientists and has received numerous awards and prizes. His debut book The Hidden Universe: Adventures in Biodiversity is an exploration of the science, stories and wonders of biodiversity. He talks to journalist and editor Rosie Boycott.

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Alexandre Antonelli

Event 92

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

BBC Radio 3: The Verb

Venue: Marquee
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Ian McMillan and guests explore language and memory and ask what we choose to write down -or forget. Joining Ian are Jennifer Egan, whose new novel The Candy House imagines wild technological possibilities for human memory; Allie Esiri brings us the words of long forgotten women poets in the anthology A Poet For Every Day of the Year, and Gurnaik Johal examines how we hand down cultural memories in his debut short story collection We Move.

Unreserved seating
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BBC Radio 3: The Verb

Event HD10

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Julian Clary & David Roberts

The Bolds Go Green

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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Give a hoot and don’t pollute! The Bolds have decided to do their bit for the planet and go green. They’re reducing, reusing and recycling as much as they can. Not all of their eco-friendly ideas are welcome though – especially when it comes to ‘watering’ the neighbours’ front garden with wee. An eventful trip to the charity shop leads to a new rescue adventure for the Bold family, and an old friend returns with an unexpected list of demands. Can the Bolds keep their cool as temperatures rise? The much-loved comedian and award-winning illustrator reveal the answer!

Age 7+
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Julian Clary & David Roberts

Event HD11

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Madeleine Finlay

Beetles for Breakfast

Venue: Cube
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Find out why eating insects, getting inspiration from desert-dwelling bugs and even using poo for power could help us lead more environmentally friendly lives in the future. Author, scientist and BBC presenter Madeleine Finlay will discuss some of the weird and wacky ideas scientists have to live greener. You’ll get the chance to try some insects and design your own bug-based menu.

5+ years
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Madeleine Finlay

Event W6

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Theraplay Workshop with Vivien Norris

Venue: Summerhouse
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Theraplay is a way of playing with your child which builds and enhances attachment, self-esteem, trust in each other and joyful engagement.The ideas can be used in everyday parenting and in any setting where relationship connection is important. It is based on the natural patterns of healthy interaction between parent and child. Join our family Theraplay group and experience what it’s like! The group will be playful, physical, personal and fun. Everyone joins in so come prepared for activity.

5+ years
A parent/carer must attend but does not require a ticket.
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Event 93

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Lenny Henry and Monica Dolan talk to Sarfraz Manzoor

From Book to Screen: My Name is Leon

Venue: Festival Friends Stage
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Executive producer Lenny Henry and members of the cast and crew discuss the BBC’s adaptation of Kit de Waal’s best-selling novel My Name is Leon, previewing clips from the film.

Set in 1980s Birmingham, it tells the moving story of nine-year-old Leon, a mixed-race boy, and his quest to reunite his family after being taken into care and separated from his blonde and blue-eyed baby brother. Following Leon’s journey, full of energy and hopefulness despite the hardships he encounters, we witness the touching relationship between him and his foster carer Maureen. Leon’s adventure teaches him valuable lessons about himself, the world, love, and what family really means.

The film is Shola Amoo’s first screenplay for television and is directed by Lynette Linton in her directorial debut on a television drama. It stars Sir Lenny Henry CBE (The Lord of the Rings), Malachi Kirby (Small Axe), Monica Dolan (A Very English Scandal), Olivia Williams (Counterpart), Christopher Eccleston (The A Word), Poppy Lee Friar (In My Skin), Shobna Gulati (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie) and Cole Martin plays the lead, Leon, in his first TV role.

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Lenny Henry and Monica Dolan talk to Sarfraz Manzoor

Event 94

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Devi Sridhar

The John Maddox Lecture: Preventable

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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In Preventable: The Politics of Pandemics and How to Stop the Next One Professor Devi Sridhar uses the spellbinding story of the Covid-19 pandemic to show how global politics shape our health. Sridhar has risen to prominence for her vital roles in communicating science to the public and speaking truth to power. She highlights lessons learned from outbreaks past and present – including her personal experience as a scientist during the Covid-19 pandemic – and sets out a vision for how we can better protect ourselves from the inevitable health crises to come. In dissecting the global structures that determine our fate, Sridhar reveals the deep-seated economic and social inequalities at their heart. Chaired by Ritu Dhand.

​Devi will deliver a 30 minutes lecture followed by Q&A
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Devi Sridhar

Event 95

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Leor Zmigrod

Lunchtime Lecture: Ideologies on the Brain – The Science of Radicalisation

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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Dr Leor Zmigrod, Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, discusses how political neuroscience can increase our understanding of extremist behaviour and how to tackle it. Her research combines methods from experimental psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience to investigate the psychology of ideological adherence and group identity formation. She focuses on investigating cognitive characteristics that might act as vulnerability factors for radicalisation and ideologically-motivated behaviour.

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Leor Zmigrod

Event 96

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Maki Sekiya and Ilya Chetverikov

Lunchtime Concert: Hay Music

Venue: St Mary’s Church
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Maki Sekiya wowed Hay Music audiences in 2021 and returns to Hay, this time with her pianist husband Ilya Chetverikov, in a programme spanning reflective and highly dramatic music for two pianos by French and Russian composers of the early 20th century. The programme features Debussy’s Blanc et Noir (1915), 2nd movement, Lent. Sombre; Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (1913), arranged for two pianos by the composer: Parts 1 & 2: Adoration of the Earth, The Sacrifice; and Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances Op 45 (1940), 2nd & 3rd movements: Andante con moto; Tempo di Valse and Lento assai – Allegro vivace.

Rachmaninov and Stravinsky were born within a few years of each other and had similar musical backgrounds. Oddly both suffered notorious first performances of early major pieces – the scandal around first performance of The Rite of Spring in 1913 is well documented but the first performance of Rachmaninov’s First Symphony some 20 years earlier was also considered a failure and the careers of both composers were significantly influenced by these experiences. Debussy, who was 20 years older than Stravinsky, first met him in 1910 and, despite very different aesthetics, they hugely respected each other’s music.

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Maki Sekiya and Ilya Chetverikov