Speakers – Frequently Asked Questions

In 2018 the Festival runs from Thursday 24 May to Sunday 3 June

How can I book accommodation?

If you are appearing as part of the festival programme, or if you represent someone who is speaking at the festival, then the Artist Management team can book accommodation on your behalf, and will be happy to work to your requirements and budget (most rooms range from £100-£250 per night during the festival).

What's the admin fee?

We charge a 15% admin fee to cover our time in finding, vetting and booking accommodation. This fee will be added to the cost of your accommodation when we invoice you.

What details do you need?

To book a room for you, we need to know the exact date(s) required and whether the room is for double or single occupancy (and if for a family, we need to know the ages of any children). We also need to know whether you will drive to Hay or come by train; and your train arrival and departure times if you'd like us to collect you from/return you to the station. Please also let us know if you have any other special requirements.

I'm a publicist/agent, can you book a room for me?

Unfortunately we only hold enough rooms for festival speakers, but our accommodation partner Visithay can help find you somewhere suitable.

When will you provide the details of accommodation allocated?

We send all speakers who have requested accommodation the details of where they will be staying about a fortnight before the festival starts. We block book accommodation year on year as rooms are in such high demand. We then gather all the information from speakers to see what everyone requires for their visit and allocate rooms accordingly.

Can I get a room in Hay itself?

Hay is a small town and rooms within walking distance of the festival are over-subscribed. We will do our best to meet everyone's requirements, but a lot of our rooms are a short drive outside of Hay.

When do I need to confirm to guarantee a room?

By Friday 27 April 2018.

What will my accommodation be like?

Hay-on-Wye only has one main hotel, and a limited number of B&Bs. Because of the demand lots of local people do pop-up bed and breakfast for the festival week only, so it might be that we place you in a room in a private house. We do vet all of the accommodation we use, and we go back to the same reliable providers year after year.

What if I need to cancel my room booking?

If you give us at least two weeks' notice before the festival starts we will not charge you. If you give us less than two weeks' notice we will do our best to refill the room with another booking but cannot guarantee this. If we can't, we are still obliged to pay for the room and will have to pass this cost on to you. The latest date that we can guarantee charge-free cancellation is Wednesday 9 May 2018.

Where is the nearest train station?

Hereford Train Station is the closest to Hay, a 40 minute drive. You can see more travel details here. If you're a festival speaker arriving by train we can arrange transport from Hereford Train Station to Hay and back. Please inform us of your train arrival and departure times as soon as you know them. We like to leave Hay one hour before your return train is due to depart.

What if my train is delayed on the day?

If your train is delayed please call our transport desk on 01497 570 877 to inform us of your new arrival time.

How long before my event should I arrive?

Please come straight to the Artists Reception Desk to let us know you've arrived, and make sure you're in the Green Room at least one hour before the start time of your event.

How long will my event last?

Events at Hay Festival last for an hour (unless otherwise specified in the programme). A typical one-hour event consists of a 45-minute talk (either by a single speaker or as an 'in conversation' between a chairperson and one or more speakers); and we usually open the last 15 minutes of the session to audience Q&A.

What if I have technical requirements?

Please enter details of your technical requirements in our online form.

What are the requirements for PowerPoint presentations?

PowerPoint slides should be formatted as 'On Screen Show (16:9)' in the Page Setup menu. Images used in PowerPoint presentations can be 72dpi or higher.

Do I get any complimentary tickets?

Speakers are entitled to tickets to their own event(s), plus up to ten complimentary tickets to other events (subject to availability). We reserve an allocation of tickets for speakers, so in some cases when an event is sold out to the public we may have a few seats left for speakers. You will be able to reserve these a fortnight before the festival when you receive your Artist Letter.

Can I park on site?

We have a small car park opposite the festival site. Speakers may only use this car park on the day(s) of their event(s). You will need to state your name and your event number to the security staff on the gate to gain entry. Please use alternative parking if you are visiting the festival site on other days.

Can I use festival cars/shuttle buses?

Our festival cars are in great demand during the festival. We can collect and return you to the train station, and if necessary we can bring you to the festival site for your event. Please book these journeys before the festival begins where possible. For all other journeys please use alternative transport. The festival site is only a 10-minute walk from the centre of town, and we can provide shuttle bus passes at Artists Reception on site. There are three local taxi firms:

A2B Taxis
01874 658 899

Julie’s Cabs
07899 846 592

Radnor & Kington Taxis
07831 898 361 or 01547 560 205

Who do I contact during the festival?

You can contact Marta, Ellen or John on our onsite landline 01497 570 877. This line is only active during the festival. You can otherwise reach us before/after the festival in the office on 01497 822 620.

Do you need my contact details?

Please let us know your mobile number so we can contact you on the day if needed.

Will my event be recorded?

We have always recorded all Hay Festival events for our audio archive online and now film some events for our Hay Player. As part of our global partnership with them the BBC put some clips and extracts of various events on the BBC Arts Online digital platform. Your session may be excerpted on different BBC platforms in the UK and internationally. If you would not like your event included in this activity please let us know before the festival.

Where is Hay?

Directions and travel options can be found on our travel page.

Further Questions?

Please contact Marta Codello if you have any other questions.