The Hay Festival is an annual literature and arts festival held in Hay-on-Wye, Powys, Wales, for ten days from May to June. Devised by Norman and Peter Florence in 1988, the festival was described by Bill Clinton in 2001 as “The Woodstock of the mind”.
Since its inception, the festival was held at a variety of venues around Hay, including the local Primary School, until 2005 when it moved to a central location just outside of the town. The Guardian was the main sponsor of the festival from 2002 to 2010, succeeding The Sunday Times. The Daily Telegraph and its associated brands in Telegraph Media Group are the current 3-year sponsors, starting with the 2011 festival.
The festival has expanded in recent years and now includes musical performances and film previews. A children’s festival, “Hay Fever”, runs alongside the main festival. It has also expanded internationally and sister festivals take place in Nairobi, Dhaka, Zacatecas, The Maldives, Kerala at Thiruvananthapuram, Beirut, Belfast, Cartagena, the Alhambra Palace, Parc Prison in Bridgend and Segovia. In 2009 Hay Festival also took on the ailing Brecon Jazz Festival.
2015 Festival’s program can be found here.
Front Row – BBC Radio 4 Event at Hay
BBC Radio 4’s daily arts programme Front Row discussed the future of publishing with authors, critics and industry insiders as they grapple with the creative and economic challenges of the digital world. Presented by Samira Ahmed.
Ben and David Crystal – The Shakespeare Dictionary
Shakespeare is the best and most creative writer of the English language of all time. He deploys the widest and most thrilling vocabulary, drawing on classical and biblical scholarship and the keenest ear for human speech ever bent. And where the words he needed didn’t exist, he invented them. The classical actor and his father, the great Linguistics professor, entertain us with the most vital language ever used.
As the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity, Woodland Trust is the leading voice for woods and trees. This charity campaign to protect precious ancient woods, restore the ones that are damaged and fight for those under threat. Organisation creates new native woodland with the help of communities, schools, organisations and individuals.
Woodland Trust inspires people up and down the country to visit woods, plant trees, treasure wildlife, and enjoy the overwhelming benefits that woods and trees offer to our landscape and lives. ‘Life’s better with trees‘ – they say.
The European Commission Office in Wales
European Commission in the UK staff were looking forward to meeting with members of the public and will be on hand to answer and discuss questions about the EU. This included the role of the EU in Wales and the UK; employment opportunities in the EU institutions; opportunities for students to study in another European country; and linguistic and cultural opportunities. Young children were also drawing their own European flags and were given some information of what Europe and European Union is and how long UK is a part of it.
The Olmec Head
When you arrive at the Hay Festival, the first thing you see is a head sticking out of the ground. It is made out of stone and is a miniature reproduction of an Olmec head.The Olmec were the oldest civilization in prehispanic Mexico and only a few of these giant rock heads remain. This particular replica was a gift of the Mexican government to the festival.
Wildlife Photography for Kids (4-12 years old)
Young wildlife photographer took photography challenge to discover what lives in the Hay Festival garden and get creative! Kids were learning new skills and discovering nature with Natasha Jenkins of Photo Junior and RSPB Cymru.
For 27 years Hay Festival has brought together writers from around the world to debate and share stories at its festival in the staggering beauty of the Welsh Borders. Hay celebrates great writing from poets and scientists, lyricists and comedians, novelists and environmentalists, and the power of great ideas to transform our way of thinking. We believe the exchange of views and meeting of minds that our festivals create inspire revelations personal, political and educational. Hay is, in Bill Clinton’s phrase, ‘The Woodstock of the mind’.
Hay on Wye Wales will take place again next year 26 May – 5 June (2016). For more information please click here.
Hay Festival is taking place all around the world. For more information please click here.