Frequently asked questions

What is the Hay Festival Winter Weekend?

Hay Festival Winter Weekend is a smaller version of the main festival, that takes place from Thursday 23 to Sunday 26 November 2023.  

The town’s atmospheric market square is a focus of festivities. On Friday 24 November, the Hay Christmas lights are turned on, transforming the town into a winter wonderland brimming with festive cheer. 

Where is the Festival?

In Hay-on-Wye, 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 – see our travel information


You will need to book and purchase individual tickets for each Festival event you would like to attend.

How do I buy tickets?

The best way to book is online.

If you wish to book by telephone call the Box Office on 01497 822 629. It will help us to process your order more efficiently if you have ready the event numbers that you are booking for.

The telephone is answered 9am–5pm Monday to Friday and all day until late during the Winter Weekend. If you do not get through straight away, please leave a message and a member of the Box Office staff will call you back.

You can also book tickets in person at the Hay Festival Box Office. During the run-up to the festival, the Box Office is located in the Drill Hall, 25 Lion Street, Hay-on-Wye HR3 5AD. Normal Box Office opening hours are 9am–5pm Monday to Friday. During the festival, the box office will be located in the Great Hall at Hay Castle, and will be open from the first event until the last.

We accept credit and debit cards including Visa, Mastercard and Amex. Cash payments are accepted in person only; please do not send us cash by post.

Where are my tickets?

All tickets for the Festival are now electronic or ‘e-tickets’, this means your tickets will be sent directly to your email address. Your tickets will be sent to you approximately one week before the Festival. When you receive your tickets, you can choose to download them to your own mobile device or print them. Tickets will contain a unique barcode and can only be printed once. On arrival at the venue a steward will scan your ticket. 

If you do not have an email address, please call the Box Office and we will arrange for your tickets to be printed and posted in the traditional way.

Where do we park?

Parking for Hay Festival Winter Weekend is available at the Oxford Road car park (HR3 5EQ) in the centre of Hay-on-Wye, directly opposite the castle.

This is a long stay pay and display car park for all vehicle types. Please see the car park sign for current tariff details and full parking conditions.

Where do we stay? 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, call Sarah on 07375 396 748 or click here to view available accommodation. 

You can also find accomodation information via the local Tourist Information Services – see accommodation.

Other accommodation may be available through Air B and B and

How accessible are the venues?

Both venues have wheelchair access. Please call the Box Office on 01497 822 629 if you have a particular accessibility requirement, and we will do our best to make your visit as easy as possible. More about accessibility at the Winter Weekend.

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.

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. The directors talk to publishers, writers and a huge range of advisors – including many Festival-goers themselves.

What is the Festival policy on photography?

Only accredited photographers may photograph events, and accreditation must be sought from the press office. Please respect the copyright and integrity of the Festival programme when sharing images on social media. Visitors to the Festival may be filmed and/or photographed by accredited Festival photographers for reports of the Festival and future promotion of the Festival.

Is it good for families?

There’s a great creative programme for children and you can enjoy the special Christmas atmosphere in the town and enjoy the most beautiful countryside in Britain.

What's the safety policy for kids?

Children aged 12 years and under must be accompanied at all times by a parent or guardian, including during events and in workshops, unless otherwise stated in the programme. The Lost Child Point is the entrance to the main venue. 

Funded by UK Government
Powered by Levelling Up
Powys Council