News and Live Updates from Hay Festival Winter Weekend

The glory of the Hay Messiah
Fiona Evans and the Hay Community Choir raised the roof with Handel's Messiah. Read more
All's Well That Ends Well
Actors Diana Quick and Paapa Essiedu entranced the Hay audience with their Shakespeare readings.  Read more
American Nightmare

One year out from the 2020 Presidential election, historian Sarah Churchwell spoke at Winter Weekend, examining the unlikely roots of the Ku Klux Klan...

Read more
Crafting a business
Crafts galore in store. Read more
Mexcellent street food

Flying Pig Cookery school got children cooking at Winter Weekend today...

Read more
Stones in his pockets
Science and art combine in the fascinating subject of archaeology. Read more
This is not a drill
After Extinction Rebellion marched through Hay to the Festival marquee, Rupert Read gave an impassioned call to action on stage... Read more
Equal to Everything

Journalist and author Afua Hirsch returned to Hay Festival Winter Weekend alongside illustrator Henny Beautmont to talk about their new book for children, Equal to Everything...

Read more
Free trees
The Woodland Trust and Hay Festival are urging everyone to plant more trees this winter. Read more
Wrecked but Ready

The sublimely gifted Jason Byrne returned to Hay Festival with his brand-new show tonight...

Read more
Strong sentiments from Sentamu
Why are children starving? asked the Archbishop of York. Read more
Untold lives
Historian Hallie Rubenhold set the record straight on the Jack the Ripper myths, telling the stories of his five victims... Read more
Britain in crisis

Rosie Boycott was joined by a panel of experts at Winter Weekend to discuss the state of UK politics and post-election Britain...

Read more
Just Dance

Impelo dance group led fun, creative dance workshops to get the whole family moving...

Read more
Lost words and found treasures
Jackie Morris live-painted on stage while Mererid Hopwood read from the Welsh version of The Lost Words Read more
Mystery and memoir
Laura Cumming recounted her mother’s strange tales of life in a seaside hamlet of the 1930s, and of the secrets and lies perpetuated by a whole community... Read more
Shaping the Western world

Tom Holland gave an account of how the Christian Revolution forged the Western imagination at Hay Festival Winter Weekend today...

Read more
Window dressing
Hay shops vie for window-dressing prize Read more
Our children's future
Support is growing for the school protests.  Read more
Ice, Ice, Baby

Lindsay McCrae, cameraman for the BBC's Dynasties series, shared his wonderful and frank story - My Penguin Year - on Saturday...

Read more
In the market for foodie gifts
In the Market Square at Hay today, a food fair is underway Read more
Every Tree Counts
On Tree Charter Day, hundreds of oak trees are being planted in Wales to help tackle climate change Read more

Father Richard Williams performed a stunning live accompaniment to Fritz Lang's classic 1927 film METROPOLIS using the Bevington organ on Friday night...

Read more
Cerysmatic performance
The Hay crowd adored Cerys Matthews who spoke, sang and mixed cocktails on stage Read more
Girl, Woman, Other

"I wanted to explore the idea that as Black women in British society we are ‘othered’ by people who are not us," said Bernardine Evaristo as she introduced her Booker Prize-winning novel Girl, Woman,Other...

Read more
Light fantastic

BBC broadcaster Cerys Matthews switched on Hay-on-Wye’s Christmas lights as part of her Hay Festival Winter Weekend appearance on Friday 29 November...

Read more
Bewitched, bothered, but not bewildered
Witchcraft is alive in Britain, for good or ill Read more
The Art of Innovation

"We’re living in a period now where we have separated art and science far more than we should have," argued Tilly Blyth at Hay Festival Winter Weekend on Friday...

Read more
Schools strike at Winter Weekend

Activists Rosa Lynas (12), Tara Fox (12) and Grace Kerr Robertson (13) marked the global climate strike at Winter Weekend today alongside writers Jackie Morris and Nicola Davies...

Read more
Son of a Silverback

Comedian Russell Kane closed out the first day of Hay Festival Winter Weekend on Thursday with stories from his hilarious and searingly honest book, Son of a Silverback...

Read more
Melodies, familiar and new

MWO's SmallStages team romped onto stage with a radical reworking of John Gay's 1728 work The Beggar's Opera on Thursday night at Winter Weekend.

Read more
Long live the King!

Booksellers and friends, courtiers and admirers remembered the maverick visionary Richard Booth, King of Hay and founder of the international Book Town movement, on the opening day of Winter Weekend...

Read more
Candidates quizzed at Hay Hustings

Candidates from the three main parties faced questions from the public at the opening event of Hay Festival Winter Weekend...

Read more
The Five named Hay Festival Book of the Year 2019

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold has been named Hay Festival Book of the Year 2019 at the opening of Hay Festival Winter Weekend today...

Read more
Festival choir closes a weekend of wonders

After a weekend of rehearsals, the Festival Choir performed Handel’s Messiah part 1 and the Hallelujah Chorus for the closing event of Hay Festival Winter Weekend 2018.

Read more
Stand up for justice
Gina Miller's book Rise! is a heartfelt affirmation of the need to stand up for justice, and for yourself, whatever the cost.  Read more
Let Her Fly
For more than 20 years, Ziauddin Yousafzai has been fighting for equality - first for Malala, his daughter - then for girls throughout the world living in patriarchal societies. Now he presents his autobiography, Let Her Fly. Read more
Henry VIII and the men in his life

The men who had influence over Henry VIII are indications of a softer, more sympathetic side to the king, argues historian Tracy Borman.

Read more
British Justice is Failing Women
Eve Was Shamed is a riveting manifesto for change - in the law and in the institutions that are still failing women Read more
The secret land of crooks and thieves
Oliver Bullough's new book Moneyland investigates the scandal of offshore tax havens and shell companies, and the role of Britain in corrupt practices. It has just won the Sunday Times Business Book of the Year 2018. Read more
Question Time at Hay
Four favourite Festival guests discussed Brexit at a Sunday morning session, armed with strong opinions and stronger coffee.  Read more
Sea of strangers, gathering of friends
Writer, poet and musician Gwyneth Glyn presented the live experience of her new album Tro at Hay Festival Winter Weekend on Saturday 24 November 2018 with band members Rowan Rheingans, Dylan Fowler and Gillian Stevens.
Read more
The Book of the Moon by Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock
There are many moons in the solar system but none quite like ours. Maggie Aderin-Pocock explains how the moon is our celestial partner in space.  Read more
The Road Home today
Rose Tremain's The Road Home is Hay Festival Book of the Month for November, she talked about the novel's contemporary relevance at a special session at Hay Festival Winter Weekend. 
Read more
Jeanette Winterson's Christmas Stories
Christmas season has arrived - Jeanette Winterson's reading was magical this evening at Hay Festival Winter Weekend. Read more
How To Be Right

Forget agreeing to disagree - James O'Brien taught Hay Festival Winter Weekend How To Be Right on Saturday afternoon.

Read more
A Short History of Europe

Lecturing to a packed Hay Festival audience on his new book A Short History of Europe, Simon Jenkins interrogated the linked histories of revolution, war and treaties, interwoven over centuries to bring us to the 21st Century...

Read more
Light in the darkness

Travel writer Horatio Clare presented a pair of extraordinary new books at Hay Festival Winter Weekend in conversation with the Creative Wales Hay Festival International Fellow Dylan Moore.

Read more
Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror
Father Richard Williams, organist, composer and vicar of St Mary’s Church in Hay, performed his live accompaniment to FW Murnau’s classic, silent horror Nosferatu on Friday night.
Read more
Kate Humble turns on the Christmas Lights
Tonight Kate Humble led a procession of children carrying their Christmas Lanterns from Hay Public Library to the Market Square for the annual turning on of the Christmas Lights. Read more
The Skripal Files
Before dashing back to present this evening's Newsnight in London, BBC diplomatic and defence editor Mark Urban joined us to talk about the explosive story of the poisoning of Sergei Skripal. Read more
Hay Festival Winter Weekend begins with atmospheric walk through Hay town identifying trees with The Woodland Trust.  Read more
Boys at war

Nearly four decades have passed since the Falklands war, but the human experience of the conflict is still being discovered. Two chroniclers, Lt Gen Sir Cedric Delves and Hennessy Award-winning historian Helen Parr, shared their stories...

Read more
Branching out

The Woodland Trust returns to Winter Hay with a series of Tree ID walks in the picturesque surrounds of the town. Ahead of time, programme manager Christina Joachim offers her top tips for sorting your Oak from your Ash...

Read more
A Spanish hour to remember

Mid Wales Opera were back at Hay Festival Winter Weekend on Thursday with their second SmallStages tour, Ravel’s exhilarating one-act bedroom farce, A Spanish Hour (L’heure espagnole).

Read more
Starting with a swing
A dance party for everyone opened the Winter Weekend celebrations. No Ceilidh experience was necessary. Being up for a good time was essential... Read more
Hay Festival Book of the Year 2018 is...

Inventing Ourselves by Sarah-Jayne Blakemore is named Hay Festival Book of the Year 2018 on the opening day of Hay Festival Winter Weekend begins today, kicking off a four-day global celebration of ideas with writers, thinkers and entertainers, alongside a rich strand of workshops, woodland walks and town festivities.

Read more