Meet the Haymaker – Andy Middleton

Our monthly 'Meet the Haymaker' series shares stories of the change-makers at the heart of Hay Festival and the impact it has had on their lives. This month, get to know writer and our Planet Assembly host, Andy Middleton.  

What does Hay Festival mean to you?

Hay Festival is a treasured greenhouse for growing ideas that can change the world. So many bright, kind people from different backgrounds are ready to share, learn and connect.

What’s your favourite Festival memory?

Seeing a veteran community activist’s face beam with joy at a queue of people offering to help following one of our Planet Assembly events.

Have you ever changed your mind on something having been to a Hay Festival event?

Frequently. Dozens of talks at Hay, and the conversations that followed, have helped shape my life, not just my mind.

Who was the best speaker or performer you saw on a Hay Festival stage?

Rose Anne Kenny in 2023 reminding everyone about the way that the roots for healthy older age start in our 20s.

What advice do you have for a first-timer at the Festival?

Talk to strangers as you queue for events. Ask questions. Share your dreams and big ideas. Buy as many books as you can carry.

Sum up Hay Festival in five words or less…

Uplifting party for the soul.

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