Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT ARE THE DATES FOR HAY FESTIVAL 2023?

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

WHEN IS THE FULL PROGRAMME OUT?

The full programme is out now. To be kept updated on our progress, please sign up for our newsletters. Printed copies of the 2022 programme can be picked up around the town, or on-site from Thursday 26 May.

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.

WHERE CAN WE PARK?

For full information on parking, click here.

WHAT FOOD OPTIONS ARE THERE ON THE SITE?

Whatever your taste, you’ll find something on the Festival site to satisfy your appetite or quench your thirst. You can choose from one of our delicious Festival Food Arena options, book a meal in advance at the Grove Restaurant or pre-book a tasty picnic box. Click here for full information.

WHAT EXHIBITORS WILL BE ONSITE THIS YEAR?

Exhibition stands this year include immersive experiences, handcrafted clothing, jewellery, local art and crafts, unique homewares, gourmet food and drink, travel, social enterprise, magazines and charities. Click here for a full list.

HOW IS THE FESTIVAL TICKETED?

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 (with exception of the events at our offsite venues which may take a little longer to get to). To avoid disappointment, it is best to book some events in advance, but there will 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 IS THE DISTANCE BETWEEN VENUES?

Most venues are on the Festival site on Brecon Road, only a few minutes’ walk from each other. St Mary’s Church is behind the Swan Hotel, at the end of St Mary’s Road. Hay Castle is located in the centre of town. A shuttle bus runs between the town and the site throughout the day. It is approximately a 12-minute walk.

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 allow extra time between events for off-site venues and check individual listings for non-standard event durations. The Shakespeare performances last 2 hours and evening concerts and comedy shows last 70–90 minutes. 

HOW DOES THE SEATING WORK?

Seating is not pre-allocated. 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 accomodation information via the local Tourist Information Services – see our accommodation page.

HOW ACCESSIBLE IS THE FESTIVAL?

All the venues have wheelchair access and hearing loops. 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. If you have any particular requirements which would make your visit to the site in general easier, or more pleasant, please email accessibility@hayfestival.com

WHERE IS THE LOST CHILD POINT?

This is located in the Make & Take Tent, open 10am–5pm from Saturday 28 May. Outside these hours it will be located in the Festival Admin Office. 

WILL THE FESTIVAL BE AVAILABLE ONLINE?

75 events will be live-streamed across the Festival. Please click here for more information and to purchase an Online Festival Pass. Almost all of our events will be recorded and available in our online archive “Hay Player” after the festival. 

Will there be any covid regulations in place? What happens if the festival is cancelled because of covid?

We will work with any Welsh Government guidelines in place at the time of the festival and will communicate these to you should they change. We have made some modifications to the the site lay out and reduced overall capacity to make the festival more Covid safe. If we are forced to cancel the live festival because of Government regulations relating to Covid-19 you will be entitled to a refund for your ticket(s).

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.

IS THERE A CASH MACHINE ON THE FESTIVAL SITE?

There will be banking facilities and a cash machine on site located near the Festival entrance.  There will be a charge for cash withdrawals (required by the providers, not the Festival). In town cash can be obtained from the cash point on High Town and at the Post Office. 

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.

WHO ARE THE FRIENDS OF HAY FESTIVAL AND ARE THE BENEFITS OF BECOMING A FRIEND EXTENDED TO THE WINTER WEEKEND?

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.

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.

DOES THE FESTIVAL WORK WITH ANY CHARITIES?

The official Festival charity partner for 2022 is the Disasters Emergency Committee. The Festival also works with a number of other local and global charity partners: there are occasionally collections after some events.

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.