Hay Festival has today announced the programme for its 31st edition, taking place 24 May to 3 June in Hay-on-Wye, Wales.
Featuring over 600 of the world’s greatest writers, global policy makers, pioneers and innovators in 800 events across 11 days, the festival showcases the latest ideas in the arts, sciences and current affairs, alongside a rich schedule of music, comedy and entertainment for all ages.
A galaxy of literary stars launch new work, while the biggest ever HAYDAYS and #HAYYA programmes give young readers the opportunity to meet their heroes and get creative.
The Festival site is free to enter, with ticketed events in 10 tented venues, plus a range of areas to explore, including the Festival Bookshop; the HAYDAYS courtyard; the Hay Festival Wild Garden; creative workshops in the Make and Take Tent, the Scribblers Hut, The Cube and the Mess Tent; and market stalls, cafés and restaurants.
The Festival runs a wide programme of education work supporting coming generations of writers and culturally hungry audiences of all ages – Hay Festival Wales opens with two free Schools Days of programming, the Beacons Project gives students aged 16-18 the chance to learn from internationally acclaimed writers, students in tertiary education can get free tickets, and Hay Compass is a special space on site to learn and discover, with free access to inspiring speakers.
PROGRAMME IN BRIEF…
Award-winning novelists discuss their work, including Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan, Alexander McCall Smith, Asne Seierstad, Anuradha Roy, Colm Tóibín, Jilly Cooper, Andre Aciman, Maggie O’Farrell, Rose Tremain, Deborah Levy, Salman Rushdie, Marian Keyes, Lionel Shriver, Kamila Shamsie, Alan Hollinghurst, Jojo Moyes, Rachel Cusk, Jack Zipes, Philip Pullman, Gail Honeyman, Ruth Jones, Simon Mayo, Juan Gabriel Vasquez and Javier Cercas. Poets Tishani Doshi, Owen Sheers and Mererid Hopwood join Margaret Atwood in a special commemoration of Armistice 100.
Conversations around internationalism, democracy and peacekeeping feature world leaders, policy makers and award-winning journalists, including: political strategist Donna Brazile, General Secretary of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maurice Gourdault Montagne, Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff, Sarah Churchwell, A. C. Grayling, Gordon Brown, David Milliband, the British Army’s Adrian Bradshaw, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Shashi Tharoor and peace builder Scilla Elworthy.
Gender equality and race dominate conversations on Britain today that include Akala, Afua Hirsch, Rose McGowan, James O’Brien, Laura Bates, Helen Pankhurst, Germaine Greer and Robert Webb.
The past is reimagined by leading historians including Anthony Beevor, Helen Rappaport, Sujit Sivasundaram, Alison Weir, Melvyn Bragg, David Olusoga, Simon Schama, Bettany Hughes, Emily Wilson and Amy Lamé. Meanwhile, education is interrogated as Amanda Spielman discusses Ofsted and the future of education.
Health and wellbeing take centre stage in sessions with Ruby Wax, Suzanne O’Sullivan, Johann Hari, Edmund de Waal, Daniel Davis, Alzheimer’s Society ambassador Wendy Mitchell and Bryony Gordon.
Meanwhile, Nigel Shadbolt, Ella McPherson, Philip Ball, Akram Khan, Marcus du Sautoy, Richard Dawkins, Elisa Passini and Anne-Marie Imafidon showcase the latest ideas in STEM with talks.
Hay on Earth looks at innovations in sustainability and the future of farming, with Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Michael Gove and Google’s sustainability lead Kate Brandt.
Meanwhile, nature and travel writers take audiences around the world, including Monty Don, Horatio Clare, Patrick Barkham, and adventurers Bear Grylls, Ursula Martin, Andy Kirkpartick and Chris Bonnington.
Stars of stage and screen appear including Andrew Davies (Les Miserables), actors Jim Broadbent, Simon Russell Beale and an all-star Letters Live cast.
There’s comedy from Russell Kane, Shazia Mirza, David Baddiel, Dara O’Briain and Bridget Christie, with music from Jake Bugg, Laura Mvula, Les Amazones d’Afrique and Gabrielle Aplin, while Goldie presents his memoir All Things Remembered.
HAYDAYS and #HAYYA events feature Ed Vere, Michael Morpurgo, Judith Kerr, David Walliams, Beverley Naidoo, Jacqueline Wilson, Cressida Cowell, Lucy Worsley, Lauren Child, Katherine Rundell, Juno Dawson, Holly Bourne, Patrick Ness, Patrice Lawrence and Alex Wheatle.
Workshops blend creative writing, illustration, textiles, coding, dance, drumming and animation, while RSPB Cymru and Rooted Forest School take young people into the great outdoors.