Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT ARE THE DATES FOR HAY FESTIVAL 2023?

Hay Festival 2023 will take place 25 May–4 June.

HOW CAN I BUY TICKETS FOR THE FESTIVAL?

You do not require a ticket to enter the festival site, but you will need to book individual tickets for each event you would like to attend. We have events that run from 9am in the morning right through the day. There are usually three or four choices across each time slot and with each event lasting for approximately an hour, our time slots are designed with enough time so that you can get from one event to another. To avoid disappointment, it is best to book some events in advance, but there may also be availability for some events during the festival itself, so you can add to your schedule at the box office when you arrive.

WHAT ARE EARLY-BIRD TICKETS AND WHEN IS THE FULL PROGRAMME OUT?

Early-bird tickets are available now, they are a handful of events to whet your appetite and we release them ahead of the full programme being published, which normally happens at the end of March/beginning of April. To be the first to hear about ticket and programme releases, please sign up for our newsletters.

WHO ARE THE FRIENDS OF HAY FESTIVAL AND WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BECOMING A FRIEND?

Friends are our loyal supporters whose involvement is greatly valued. In return for an annual membership, Friends get three days’ priority booking on all tickets we release (including the Winter Weekend). Become a Friend of the Festival.

WHERE IS THE FESTIVAL?

In Hay-on-Wye, recently named by a Which? survey as the best town in Wales and one of the best in the UK, Hay is situated on the edge of the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park. We're between Hereford and Brecon just off the A438. The site is located on a green field called Dairy Meadows (HR3 5PJ), just five minutes walk from the centre of Hay.

HOW DO WE GET TO THE FESTIVAL?

For full information on travel to and from the Festival, click here.

WHAT IS THE DISTANCE BETWEEN VENUES?

Most venues are together on the Festival site on Brecon Road, only a few minutes walk from each other.

HOW LONG ARE THE EVENTS?

Most sessions on site last around 1 hour and are followed by book signings. Our time slots are designed to allow you to move from one event to another. Please check individual listings for non-standard event durations. The evening concerts and comedy shows last 70–90 minutes. 

HOW DOES THE SEATING WORK?

Seating is not pre-allocated, and you take your seat on a first come-first served basis, please note that Friends of the Festival will be allowed into the venue via a priority queue to choose their seating first. Our stewards at each venue will be on hand to help you.

ARE THERE EVENTS FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES?

Our HAYDAYS events are for children and families and are included in the main listings – they are featured with coloured backgrounds. Children aged 11 and under must be accompanied to all events and workshops by an adult. A sign in and out procedure will be in place for children aged 12+ years attending workshops.

WHERE DO WE STAY?

Findmeabed.co.uk is the official accommodation service and booking agent for Hay Festival. Find Me A Bed offers a wealth of information about Hay and the surrounding area, and Sarah will be happy to help you with your accommodation enquiries. Email info@findmeabed.co.uk, or visit the website to view available accommodation. If you would like to camp, our official camping partner is Tangerine Fields. You can also find accommodation information via the local Tourist Information Services – see our accommodation page.

HOW ACCESSIBLE IS THE FESTIVAL?

Despite the Festival taking place in a field, we do our very best to ensure the whole site is as accessible as possible. All the venues have wheelchair access, and are connected by smooth walkways. The larger venues have hearing loops, and we can arrange for the hard of hearing or lip readers to sit in an appropriate seat. If you have any particular needs relating to events or venues, please let the Box Office know at the time of booking, either over the phone or via the ‘order notes’ when booking online. If you notify us in advance, our stewards will be expecting you – simply make yourself known to them on arrival. Hay Festival is committed to removing barriers for all, regardless of your disability. If you need any additional help which is not listed above, please contact accessibility@hayfestival.com and we will do everything we can to make your visit as easy and stress free as possible. 

WILL THE FESTIVAL BE AVAILABLE ONLINE?

Watch this space! We are hoping to be able to offer live, digital access to some of our events. The extent to which this is possible will depend on demand and funding. Please sign up to our mailing list to hear the latest news as soon as it is available. Many of our events will be recorded and available in our online archive “Hay Player” after the festival. 

WHAT ARE THE PUBLIC SAFETY MEASURES ON THE FESTIVAL SITE?

You will need to pass through security before entering the site with bag checks in operation. This will be done with minimal contact. Please allow extra time for arrival and do not bring large bags or rucksacks. Please report anything suspicious to a Festival steward or staff member.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I’M LATE TO AN EVENT?

Every effort is made to ensure that events start on time. Doors open 5–15 minutes before the start time. Customers with e-tickets, please make sure you have the correct barcode ready for scanning. It may not be possible to admit latecomers to all events; however, stewards will try to find a suitable break in the performance.

ARE THERE ANY JOB OPPORTUNITIES AT THE FESTIVAL?

Keep an eye on our jobs page for any opportunities.

HOW ARE THE WRITERS CHOSEN?

We invite the writers, artists, academics, thinkers and performers we most admire. We try to bring the greatest contemporary practitioners and the most exciting new voices to our audiences. We talk to publishers, writers and a huge range of advisors – including many festival-goers themselves. If you have any ideas to share, please send them to submissions@hayfestival.org.

CAN I BRING MY DOG ON SITE?

Unfortunately, only assistance dogs are allowed inside Hay Festival events.We hope that this doesn’t stop you from coming to the Festival. The town and surrounding countryside are great for dogs. There are many lovely walks nearby, including the mountains above Hay and a path along the river. See the Hay Tourist Information Bureau website for some ideas.

PLEASE NOTE

Audio recorders, cameras and mobile phones may not be used in the performance venues. 

No smoking or vaping anywhere on the Festival site. 

A paramedic is on duty at all times. 

Visitors to Hay Festival may be filmed and/or photographed for future promotions of the Festival.