Welcome to our programme for Hay Festival 2023.
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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. Accompanying adults: please stay in attendance at all times, but you do not require a ticket.
Get your voice heard and be the difference you want to see! Radio Platfform provides a platform to express yourself. In this radio and podcasting workshop we’ll use activism and protest as a starting point – you’ll learn all the best tricks and tips about what makes a good podcast before having a go at recording and producing yourself.
Radio Platfform is a youth-led radio station working from the Wales Millennium Centre, with studios in Cardiff Bay and Porth. Since its inception in 2016, it offers accredited training in audio production, and members have job opportunities as well as hands-on experience at gigs and events.
Historians and broadcasters Peter Snow and Ann MacMillan tell the real stories of the most powerful men and women in British history. Exploring the lives, loves, triumphs and disasters of the best-known monarchy in the world, Snow and MacMillan offer a unique insight into those born to rule, whether villains or heroes, from cruel King John and warrior-king Edward III to Charles III.
As science develops understanding of the brain, we are seeing a sea-change of attitudes towards contact sports and concussion. Athletes, including household names, are speaking up about their symptoms and speaking out about their life-limiting diagnoses of MND, CTE and dementia. But there remains, particularly on social media, reticence to change. Victoria Silverwood, a lecturer in criminology at Swansea University’s School of Social Sciences, recommends changes that sport can make to reduce the risk of brain injury in athletes and looks at how societal attitudes can be impacted by social media and campaigning.
Combining chart-topping pop music with the theories of Carl Jung and Brene Brown, the 7 Days singer recounts the highs and lows of his high-profile career and offers advice and philosophy for those undergoing difficult times.
“I am now in a place where I've learned to have good vibes, to be true to myself, but it hasn’t always been this way. This is not a traditional memoir – it’s a series of lessons learned from a life lived, many of which I’ve only realised in retrospect – after all, it is only through living that we can learn and grow.
“I’m still learning, still a journeyman, with much to still absorb; still making mistakes, still striving. But I feel privileged now – after a lot of interesting twists and turns along the way – to share my journey with you. This is my story of how I have learned to tune back in and rediscover my good vibes.”
From DJ gigs in Southampton nightclubs to chart-topping global fame, Craig David found overnight success as a teenager. With no place for feelings of insecurity, he learned to push them down, building a reputation as the man who always had a smile on his face. Further down the line, things began to unravel. All the negative feelings Craig had been ignoring rose to the surface. He had to change his thinking.
In Craig’s much-anticipated first book – part-memoir, part self-help – he shares his journey of reinvention, self-love and acceptance, and the lessons he’s learned along the way.
Wowza! The nation’s favourite rapping teacher and the star of the Sky Kids’ smash Wonder Raps is back. So grab your hats, shades, chains and raps and get ready to read and rhyme with MC Grammar LIVE!
MC Grammar uses rap to teach kids cool facts about the world. Set to earworm tunes, his fun, comedic raps help kids learn by stealth.
Brothers Mat and Richard Osman discuss turning their hands to fiction. Mat – bassist and founder member of iconic British rock band Suede and a composer of music for TV and films – speaks about his debut The Ghost Theatre, a dazzling punk reimagining of Elizabethan London through the eyes of a clairvoyant, bird-worshipping protagonist and an unlikely theatre troupe. Richard, a producer and television presenter, explores the world of his Thursday Murder Club novels, a cosy crime series set in a retirement community. The latest Murder Club book is The Bullet That Missed.
How can ordinary people challenge the rich and powerful when the legal system so often only works for those with money and means? Barrister Jolyon Maugham (Bringing Down Goliath), founder of the Good Law Project, believes that the law can also put power in the hands of ordinary people. The legal campaign group has brought a series of landmark cases, and successfully reversed Boris Johnson’s unlawful suspension of Parliament. In conversation with author and journalist Oliver Bullough, Maugham reveals the story behind these cases, offering an empowering, bold new vision for how the law can work better for all of us in the fight against injustice, and tells his own story of how he came to dedicate his life to legal activism.
Digital fashion pioneer Kadine James invites you to take a trip to the metaverse to explore the future of publishing and editorial content in the virtual world. James is cited as a pioneer of the Metaverse, and founded The Immersive KIND, a company with a mission to bring brands into the metaverse through an extended reality studio specialising in virtual reality, augmented reality and immersive production. The entrepreneur co-created ‘ElectricCity’, a 3D-avatar based immersive shopping experience with POKEMON generating ‘in-game’ sales of its virtual fashion collection, and has also led a number of other projects. James lectures at the Royal College of Art, is a global metaverse strategist at Accenture and the Chief Metaverse Officer at Artificial Rome, a multi-award-winning immersive virtual production studio. Hilary Xherijimeja is co-founder of MSM Magazine.
Nature writers Jasmine Donahaye and Jay Griffiths and literary historian Rachel Hewitt explore ideas of diversity, equality, fair access and other moral matters of our relationship with the great outdoors and the natural world. In discussion with Gwen Davies, they look at the history and politics of field guides, grief and anger amid ‘turning times’ and the meanings we borrow from birds. Donahaye, a professor of creative writing at Swansea University, has written Birdsplaining: A Natural History and a memoir, Losing Israel. Griffiths is author of Wild and Why Rebel. Hewitt is author of A Revolution of Feeling and Map of a Nation. Davies is an artist inspired by Celtic folklore and the natural environment.
Saving a friend from falling in with the wrong crowd; the importance of friendship, care and community; and the need for urban green spaces. Sita Brahmachari will talk about her powerful YA novel When Shadows Fall, a timely, lyrical and impactful story of disaffected youth and the vulnerability of teenage years. The book mixes forms, including verse, prose and illustrations from Natalie Sirett, exploring themes that will open wide-ranging conversations.
Sita Bramachari won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize with her debut Artichoke Hearts and is Writer in Residence at Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants. Natalie Sirett is a multimedia artist whose work explores issues of body image and the growing pains of adolescence.
The enormity of climate change and biodiversity loss can leave us feeling overwhelmed. How can an individual ever make a difference? Isabella Tree and her husband, conservationist Charlie Burrell, know first-hand how spectacularly nature can bounce back if we give it the chance. And what comes is not just wildlife in super-abundance, but solutions to the other environmental crises we face. Rewilding is a spectrum, and everyone is on it. Whether we have a garden or a window-box, a tree or some roadside verge, there is no space too small. Tree’s The Book of Wilding is a handbook for how we can all help restore nature. It is ambitious, visionary and pragmatic and explains how every one of us can play a part in rewilding our world. Tree talks about her manifesto of hope with Ben Goldsmith, author of God is an Octopus: Loss, Love and a Calling to Nature, in which, struggling to comprehend the shocking death of his teenage daughter, he finds solace in immersing himself in plans to rewild his Somerset farm.
From ghosting to dating apps, modern relationships are more complex than ever. One thing that hasn’t changed is our desire for true connection and lasting relationships. Mind coach Vex King imparts wisdom on how to understand the role you play within your connections, build meaningful and mindful relationships and how to love authentically and unconditionally. King rose to fame on Instagram, and with his wife Kaushal founded The Rising Circle, a wellness and lifestyle community whose mission is to help create a world filled with compassion.
It’s delivered millions of pounds in funding to create jobs, drive growth and instill pride in communities across the UK, but critics of the government’s Levelling Up agenda have said it’s not working. Former cabinet minister and levelling up champion Justine Greening talks to Professor Lisa Stansbie from the University of Worcester, cultural policy expert (and triathlete), about their shared experiences of social mobility, why it’s important to keep driving the agenda forward and where it needs to go next.
From the Channel 4 Formula 1 presenter, this is the story of Bob Bloomfield, whose little brother tragically died in childhood. Bob has grown up to live a ‘materially rich, spiritually empty’ existence. But when the impossible happens and allows Bob to speak to his 12-year-old self through an old mobile phone, things begin to change in the present too. Are the phone calls a chance for Bob to prevent his brother’s death? And will he like the world he creates if he succeeds? Jones discusses writing this heartwarming book with comedian Rachel Parris.
Palestine Comedy Club (PalCom) is a Palestinian-UK collaboration fusing comic traditions from both cultures and supporting Palestinian comedians to tour in Palestine and beyond. Comedian, writer and activist Mark Thomas and three Palestinian comics – Alaa Shehada, Diana Swity and Hanna Shammas – perform stand-up, as well as discuss the evolution of PalCom and the challenges and ironies of staging comedy under occupation.
Many of Britain’s rivers are in a sorry state, and the fight to reverse that is felt particularly intensely along the Wye, whose complex ecosystems are ravaged by an unholy trinity of pollution, habitat loss, and climate change. Three experts involved in the restoration of rivers discuss who has the power to help rescue our waterways, and how. Jyoti Banerjee is a co-founder of North Star Transition and launched the Wye-Usk Transition Lab to facilitate and enable the transformation of the landscape for the benefit of all living things in the two catchments. Simon Evans is CEO of the Wye and Usk Foundation, and has been working to restore the Wye for over 20 years. Tessa Wardley is director of communications and advocacy at The Rivers Trust. Nicola Cutcher is an investigative journalist and film-maker.
Channel your inner witch with writers Anya Bergman, Juno Dawson and Emilia Hart, as they chat all things ‘witch lit’. Bergman’s debut novel, The Witches of Vardø, is a vividly detailed story of female adventure and emancipation during the Vardø witch trials in 17th- century Norway, while Dawson’s Her Majesty’s Royal Coven and its sequel The Shadow Cabinet imagine a UK in which witches have their own – secret – government department. Hart’s Weyward is about three women in different times, trapped by the whims of men. The trio talk about what makes witcherature so enduringly popular, how their characters seek to reclaim what is meant by the word ‘witch’, and discuss their favourite witches in popular culture.
We’re constantly being warned about the need to act to save our planet from the effects of climate change and ecological emergency. Yet at the same time, adverts for highly polluting lifestyles – from airlines, car makers and more – are also everywhere. Are we slow to act on climate change because we’re getting mixed messages, and is it time to implement bans, like those on tobacco adverts, on major polluters? Author Andrew Simms, co-director of the New Weather Institute and joint founder of the Badvertising campaign, and Veronica Wignall, co-director of Adfree Cities, are joined by students from Festival partner Hereford College of Arts, who have been working on a project that turns the table on adverts.
The comedian, writer and actor known for his sharp suits, acerbic wit and riotous storytelling has finally moved out of his parents’ house, meaning he has lots of life updates to give, from getting audience opinions on his vegetable patch and delving into the protocol of inviting friends with children for dinner. Tom Allen is the host of The Apprentice: You’re Fired and co-hosts Cooking With The Stars, Like Minded Friends and appears as a commentator on Bake Off: An Extra Slice. Prepare for a stomach-achingly funny evening.