TikTok announced as digital media partner to Hay Festival 2022

• New partnership comes as #BookTok phenomenon reaches 53 billion views, giving classics a new life and propelling debut authors to the mainstream 

• As Digital Media Partner, TikTok will be supporting Hay Festival 2022 as the iconic event looks to tap into the creativity of TikTok to reach new, diverse audiences 

TikTok and Hay Festival have today announced an exclusive new partnership that will see the entertainment platform become Digital Media Partner to Hay Festival 2022, the world’s leading arts and literary festival.

TikTok and Hay Festival have come together in an exciting new partnership for the festival's 35th spring edition in Hay-on-Wye, taking place 26 May–5 June 2022. As Digital Media Partner, TikTok will bring the magic of #BookTok - its thriving reading and literary community - to Hay Festival to entertain and inspire book lovers. TikTok will sponsor a trio of separate panels at the Festival, including 'An Introduction to #BookTok where panellists including BookTok creators Tolusuniverse and journalist and avid TikTok creator Monika Plaha will discuss how the TikTok community are sharing their passion for books with millions and reshaping the publishing world in the process. Throughout the festival there will be a specially created programme on Hay Festival's official TikTok account (@hayfestival), which will feature exclusive content and behind the scenes access to the festival.

The strategic partnership will see TikTok support Hay Festival as it looks to reach more diverse audiences via TikTok's easy to use product and supportive community. With discoverability and creativity hard-wired into the platform the opportunities for upcoming and established authors and writers are endless. TikTok will also be bringing new faces who are driving the #BookTok trend to Hay Festival. Popular #BookTok creators including abbysbooks, zai_rambles and emilymiahreads will attend the 11 day event to discuss the best new fiction and non-fiction on official Hay Festival panels and report on the Hay Festival experience via LIVEs and through exclusive in-app content. 

The #BookTok hashtag on TikTok is fuelled by users who have a passion for literature. Creators produce content that celebrates and elevates authors and popular books in-app, with popular formats including book reviews, book hauls and poetry reading. The growing #BookTok community is powered by a variety of content and sub-themes, with genres like #romancebooks, #YAFiction (young adult fiction) and #spicybooktok proving incredibly popular with younger users, whilst #poetry, #spokenword, #urdupoetry and #songwriting have captured the imaginations of older generations. #BookTok has grown considerably over the past 12 months, reaching over 53 Billion views in app, #BookTok views in app and is consistently driving off-platform sales, especially for little-known authors and genres. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller found a resurgence in 2021, whilst emerging authors like Casey McQuiston, Jill Santopolo and Samantha Towle have been propelled to the mainstream.

As a platform designed to entertain, TikTok will offer reading fans a window into the UK's most iconic literary and arts festival. This year, Hay Festival will feature in-person appearances from Hillary Rodham Clinton, Svetlana Alexievich, Caryl Lewis, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Stephen Fry, Nicola Sturgeon, Minnie Driver, Monica Ali, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jimmy Page, who all take part in the Festival’s global conversation, sharing the latest thinking in the arts and sciences with curious audiences.

Hay Festival communications director Christopher Bone said: “As Hay Festival’s spring edition returns in-person for the first time in three years, we’re delighted to work with TikTok in bringing the world’s greatest writers, thinkers, innovators and performers to the widest possible audience while offering Festival fans a fun look behind the scenes. This spring, the conversations that take place in our green field in Wales will reach further than ever before.”

James Stafford, Head of Partnerships & Community, UK said: “The #BookTok phenomenon really has captured the hearts of our community; with creators, reading enthusiasts and authors alike coming together to share their passion for literature in a uniquely TikTok way. With over 53 Billion views, #BookTok has given classics a new life and helped to propel authors into the mainstream.

“Being able to bring the #BookTok community to the iconic Hay Festival is an honour, as joy of reading and writing is shared with an even bigger global community.”

Hay Festival returns to Hay-on-Wye, with more than 500 in-person events over 11 days, 26 May–5 June 2022. Tickets are on sale now at hayfestival.org/wales or on 01497 822 629. 

Further partnerships with Adult Learning Wales, Strong Young Minds, Calibre Audio, The National Literacy Trust, Head4Arts, the BBC, Sky Arts and The Family Place will make this one of the most accessible Festival editions yet with targeted projects to attract harder-to-reach communities, while a plethora of new sustainability measures will help to tack the environmental impacts of running a festival.