What to see and do on site

Hay Festival is free to enter and is packed with activities, tempting places to eat and drink, exhibitors to browse, and places to simply sit and read.


The bookshop is a large and airy space with plenty of room for all ages to relax and browse. It stocks books by all authors attending the Festival and more, and will host book signings as usual. Please note that only one book per person that is not purchased from the Festival bookshop can be accepted for signature. The bookshop is open from 9am daily.


Visit the new Hay Festival Shop to find perfect gifts for your friends and family – and perhaps a treat for yourself. Hay Festival T-shirts and hoodies are annual bestsellers, and there is a wide range of stationery from pens and pencils to leather-bound notebooks. You can also buy gift vouchers, which are redeemable against items from the shop during the Festival and online afterwards at hayfestival.org/shop, or against tickets for Festival events. 


Exhibition stands on site include handcrafted and vintage clothing, jewellery, local art and crafts, Welsh textiles and lavender products, prints, unique homewares, gourmet food and drink, children’s clothing and accessories, travel, education, magazines and charities. View the full list of exhibitors.


Discover the benefits of joining the Hay Festival membership schemes: Friends, Patrons and Benefactors. Come to the membership desk in the Box Office for a chat or to join on the spot. More information at hayfestival.org/join-us.


The Festival’s gardens provide the perfect place for you to relax with a book and there is plenty to keep young children busy at our Make & Take Tent, where collage, glue and paint reign supreme. You will also find many free events and workshops, some of which require booking in advance, so please remember to check the programme at hayfestival.org for more details.


Come and see wonderful artists at work in the Make & Take Tent and find out what it’s like to be a working illustrator. See who’s in residence each day on the chalkboard outside the Make & Take Tent and check it out on #HAYDAYS.


Drawing Europe Together is an exhibition in the Summerhouse of artworks created by 45 children’s book illustrators from across Europe who have shared their powerful visions of the European Union's shared past and its unsure future. This is a passionate and heartfelt exploration of Europe and what it means to many of the people who live and work within its borders. Limited edition prints from eight of the exhibiting artists – Axel Scheffler, Chris Riddell, Emily Gravett, Catherine Rayner, Judith Kerr, Thomas Müller, Jörg Mühle and Thé Tjong-Khing – will be available to purchase from the Hay Festival shop.


A new covered space for festival-goers to relax in, created by our friends at Serious Readers. The Serious Reading Room is open throughout the Festival, offering a comfortable spot for contemplation between events, as well as surprise, free readings from star festival speakers every day. Visit hayfestival.org/wales/serious-reading-room for the daily schedule of performances and follow @seriousreaders.


Hay Festival is pleased to welcome Paula Bonet as British Council Illustrator in Residence. She will be illustrating her impressions of the Festival throughout the weekend of 25–28 May. Paula Bonet is part of Hay Festival Europa 28 (hayfestival.org/europa28), a project celebrating the work of 28 women – one from each European country – in literature, science and the arts. Europa28 will be launched at Hay Festival 2019 and will culminate in a Festival in Croatia in the summer of 2020. You can see Paula’s illustrations on the Hay Festival International Writers’ Blog, Hay Festival social channels @hayfestival and on the British Council’s website: literature.britishcouncil.org


HCA degree students from different departments are bringing exciting and varied content to the Festival this year. Illustration students are running workshops and creating artwork around the site. Performing Arts, Music and Contemporary Design Craft students are staging A Bottle of Happiness, a joyous and resonant story about the gift of sharing; and Graphic Design and Animation students are creating infographics about the Festival’s sustainability agenda, Hay on Earth (hayfestival.org/hay-on-earth). 


There will be a phone and laptop charging facility available in the Food Hall from 9.30am until 6pm daily at a charge of £3 per phone/laptop.


There are many more events taking place in and around Hay during Hay Festival, from markets and pop-up exhibitions to farm visits and local guided walks – find out more.

Hay Festival 2019 Site Map

Hay Festival site map