Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister of Wales joins Hay Festival 2023 programme
Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister of Wales will appear at Hay Festival on Saturday 3 June at 1pm in a free event in conversation with writer and activist Tom Bullough.

As part of a series of events at Hay Festival 2023 on the future of Wales, the First Minister will explore the future of devolution and the union, Wales’ unique Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, climate change, and Wales’ place in the wider world.

The First Minister said: “This will be my first visit to the Hay Festival. I’m looking forward to talking to Tom about some of the work we are doing in Wales to tackle the impact of climate change. The climate emergency is perhaps the greatest challenge we will face in our lifetime but we can all make a difference if we all play our part.”

Hay Festival CEO Julie Finch said: “We are delighted to welcome the First Minister to Hay Festival to take part in a series of conversations around the biggest challenges facing our country today and the bold solutions required to tackle them. This last-minute programme addition tops off a blockbuster line-up for the Festival’s next 11 days. Here is a space for open discussion and free thinking; somewhere great minds won’t always think alike, a place to share ideas. Everyone is welcome. Join us.”

Hay Festival is the world’s leading festival of ideas, bringing readers and writers together in sustainable events to inspire, examine and entertain on the edge of the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park.

This year’s programme launches the best new fiction and non-fiction, while offering insights and debate around significant global issues. Award-winning writers, policy makers, pioneers and innovators take part from around the world, offering big thinking and bold ideas.

Guests previously announced include writers Margaret Atwood, Barbara Kingsolver, Eleanor Catton, Max Porter, Jonathan Coe, Leïla Slimani, Fflur Dafydd, Caleb Azumah Nelson, Alys Conran, Richard Ford, Jojo Moyes, Horatio Clare, Natalie Haynes, Richard Osman, Douglas Stuart, Elif Shafak, Katherine May; poets Simon Armitage, Owen Sheers, Carol Ann Duffy, Rufus Mufasa and Michael Rosen; YA star Alice Oseman; children’s heroes Cressida Cowell, Jacqueline Wilson, Julia Donaldson, Connor Allen; music icons Stormzy, Dua Lipa, The Proclaimers, the Levellers,  Judi Jackson, Baaba Maal, Zhadan and the Dogs; comedians Dara Ó Briain, Tom Allen, Jason Byrne, Kiri Pritchard-McLean, Josie Long, Isy Suttie; stars of stage and screen Helena Bonham Carter, Richard E. Grant; politicians and policy makers Sadiq Khan, chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance; journalists George Monbiot, Alastair Campbell, Marina Hyde, Gary Younge, Lyse Doucet; activist Munroe Bergdorf; economist Mariana Mazzucato; historians Lucy Worsley, Simon Schama, Irene Vallejo; artist Tracey Emin; foodies Mary Berry, Jack Monroe, Ruth Rogers, Andi Oliver and Prue Leith; Thinkers in Residence Laura Bates, Will Gompertz, David Olusoga, Charlotte Williams; and many more. 

Providing exciting new platforms to discover fresh ideas, Hay Festival invites audiences to imagine the world as it is and as it might be. It is a catalyst for change and action, open and accessible to all.

Hay Festival’s Dairy Meadows site is free to enter. Tickets to individual events are on sale now at or on 01497 822 629.