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    Earlybird tickets available now

    box office: 01497 822 629

    Here are the details of our 2016 Hay Festival earlybird events. These are just a few highlights, and we will release more throughout the spring.

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    Hay-on-Earth Forum

    Event 1 Venue: Landmarc 100 Stage

    Hay-on-Earth is the festival’s ongoing sustainability project and is part of our programme of managing and mitigating our environmental impacts, particularly as we stage more festivals around the world. The project has been running for seven years. Please join us.

    Full day ticket allows entry to all 6 sessions.

    Events 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9.

    This event has taken place

    Molly Scott Cato and Polly Higgins

    Creating A Resilient World

    Event 2 Venue: Landmarc 100 Stage

    Is it possible to manage resources fairly and equitably? A strong local economy is important to sustainability, but how large is a local economy and how self-reliant can it be? What part does the law play in ensuring a resilient environment for all and preventing exploitation by the few? The Telegraph’s Geoffrey Lean chairs.

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    Rob Yorke, Simon Fairlie, Milly Wastie and Conor Colgan

    Farms Fit For The Future

    Event 3 Venue: Landmarc 100 Stage

    Horsemeat, Schmallenberg disease, fuel costs, drought, floods… From preventing food riots to maintaining the environment, how does our primary industry square up to the challenges ahead? Rural commentator Rob Yorke discusses with Editor of The Land Simon Fairlie, Young Farmers Chair Milly Wastie and the NFU’s Conor Colgan.

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    Quentin Blake

    The Hay Library Lecture: In and Out of the Book – The Uses of Illustration

    Event 4 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

    This year’s library lecture is given by the illustrator and writer, whose long collaboration with Roald Dahl and his own work, which includes Clown, Zagazoo, Mrs Armitage, Mister Magnolia and his recent study Beyond The Page, have confirmed him as one of Britain’s greatest artists.

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    Sandy Black

    The Sustainable Fashion Handbook

    Event 5 Venue: Landmarc 100 Stage

    Can the fashion industry ever be truly sustainable? With a wasteful, fast-moving fashion cycle and the social impact on the 40 million people employed worldwide in manufacturing and agriculture, it’s going to be an interesting journey. One of the world’s pioneering authorities in this field in conversation with Hay-on-Earth Director Andy Fryers.

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    Ruth Brooks

    A Slow Passion

    Event 6 Venue: Landmarc 100 Stage

    When BBC Radio 4’s Material World announced a search for the UK’s top amateur scientist, the winning experiment involved one of our humblest garden pests. Ruth Brooks asked the question: Do snails have a homing instinct? The Telegraph’s Louise Gray chairs.

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    Rob Hopkins reveals all to Andy Fryers

    The Power Of Just Doing Stuff

    Event 7 Venue: Landmarc 100 Stage

    It’s like that old punk idea: ‘Here are three chords. Now go out and set up a band.’ The process of making change can be really thrilling. In fact, it only works if it’s fun. The Transition Movement co-founder reveals all to the Hay-on-Earth Director.

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    The Massed Choirs

    In Concert

    Event 8 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

    Our four local choirs, Brecon and District Male Choir, Builth Male Voice Choir, Rhayader and District Male Voice Choir and Talgarth Male Choir sing a concert of classic and contemporary songs, with soloists Lynne Bryer and Paul Sweeting.

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    Jane Davidson, Adeline Johns-Putra and guests

    The 2013 INSPIRE Lecture: Literature And Sustainability

    Event 9 Venue: Landmarc 100 Stage

    The winning entry to the INSPIRE literature and sustainability competition that took the world by storm over Easter - how three academics from Aberystwyth used a sustainability lens to expose Shakespeare as a tax dodger and grain hoarder. The lecture will be read for the first time at this special event to mark a new partnership between the Hay Festival, INSPIRE and ASLE-UKI.... The collaborative authors Dr Jayne Elisabeth Archer, Professor Richard Marggraf Turley and Professor Howard Thomas present: Reading With The Grain: Sustainability And The Literary Imagination.
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    Noah And The Whale

    Event 10 Venue: Barclays Pavilion

    Noah And The Whale
    The band will release their fourth studio album, Heart Of Nowhere, on 6 May, their fourth record in five years, following 2011’s platinum-selling Last Night On Earth.

    Noah And The Whale are Charlie Fink (vocals, guitar), Tom Hobden (violin), Urby Whale (bass), Fred Abbott (guitar) and Michael Petulla (drums).

    Supported by the buoyant and lush alt-pop imaginings of Thumpers.

    See more at
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    Hay Castle Tour 1

    Event 450 Venue: Hay Castle Main Hall

    Hay Castle, once a great medieval stronghold, is alive with possibilities once again. Find out more with Mary Morgan, head of Hay Castle Friends, on a guided tour of the 12th Century keep, Jacobean mansion and Victorian service buildings. Includes tea and a bun.

    Please note: There are two tours, one starting at 10am and one starting at 11am. Please book for the tour you wish to attend, using the variant boxes below. 

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    Jonathan Haslam

    Cambridge University Series 1: Near and Distant Neighbours 1917–1989

    Event 11 Venue: Google’s Big Tent

    The history of Russia’s Secret Services from the Revolution to the Fall of the Wall: the Military Intelligence, the codes and ciphers and the KGB.

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    Antony McDonald (Director), Helen Cooper (Associate Director), Peter Wedd (Lohengrin) and Tom Service

    Wagner 200 – Lohengrin

    Event 12 Venue: Digital Stage

    The day after the première, members of the Welsh National Opera creative team and cast discuss their bicentenary production of Wagner’s great opera – a sublime confrontation between good and evil set on an epic symphonic scale.

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    John Bulmer talks to Revel Guest

    The North

    Event 13 Venue: Starlight Stage

    The photo-journalist shows and discusses his seminal 1960s reportage in b/w and colour from the industrial heartlands untouched by the Swinging Sixties.

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    John McCarthy

    You Can’t Hide the Sun: A Journey Through Israel and Palestine

    Event 14 Venue: Barclays Pavilion

    Transported as a young boy by his father’s tales of Palestine, John McCarthy has always been drawn to the mystique of the Middle East. Remarkably, his first-hand experience of its brutal conflicts – he was kidnapped and held hostage in the Lebanon for five years – only strengthened his determination to return and explore its myriad complexities.

    In the years since his ordeal, McCarthy has travelled through Israel and East Jerusalem, from the shores of the Mediterranean to the Bedouin encampments of the Negev Desert. His intensely moving encounters with the inhabitants of this beautiful but tormented region reveal the continuing tragedy of the Palestinians who remained in Israel after its formation in 1948 – and who still dare to think of it as home.

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    Mark Welland

    Cambridge University Series 2: The Future Is Nano

    Event 15 Venue: Google’s Big Tent

    An introduction to the development and progress of nanotechnology, and a reasonable expectation of what it can do – from miniaturisation of mobile phone tech to the understanding and treatment of human diseases. Professor Welland is the director of Cambridge University’s Nanoscience Centre, and was Chief Scientific Advisor to the MoD.

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    Dave Goulson

    A Sting In The Tale

    Event 16 Venue: Digital Stage

    Once commonly found in the marshes of Kent, the short-haired bumblebee now only exists in the wilds of New Zealand, the descendants of a few queen bees shipped over in the C19th. The conservationist describes his drive to reintroduce it to its native land, the effects of intensive farming on the bee population, and the consequences of extinction.

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    Elizabeth Day and Margaret Evison

    Death Of A Soldier

    Event 17 Venue: Starlight Stage

    Examining writing about the human experience of warfare. Evison discusses her award-winning account of the impact of the death of her young lieutenant son Mark, who had been serving in Afghanistan. Day’s novel Home Fires is a fictional account of two generations of a family dealing with the reality of war and loss. Chaired by Peter Florence and Steve Corry.

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    Nick Robinson

    The Inside Story

    Event 18 Venue: Barclays Pavilion

    The BBC star political editor and author of Live From Downing Street focuses on Churchill, Thatcher and Blair in his examination of the fraught relationship between the media and the politicians. Neither feral nor beastly, but a subtle historian and a killer mimic. Chaired by Peter Florence.

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    Cath Kidston talks to Lisa Armstrong

    Coming Up Roses

    Event 19 Venue: Google’s Big Tent

    Celebrating 20 years of Cath Kidston Ltd, one of Britain’s most admired designers and businesswomen tells her story of the highs, lows and learnings that saw the company grow to become one of the country’s bestselling brands.

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