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Hay Festival Hay-on-Wye 2024 programme revealed

Headline artists include authors Amor Towles, Ayọ̀ bámi Adébáyọ̀ , Colm Tóibín, Cressida Cowell, David Mitchell, Jeff Kinney, Jhumpa Lahiri, David Nicholls, Elif Shafak, Holly Jackson, Alex Wharton, Jacqueline Wilson, Sunjeev Sahota, Manon Steffan Ros, Marian Keyes, Michael Morpurgo and Oliver Jeffers; historians Alice Roberts, Greg Jenner and Tom Holland; politicians Theresa May, Andy Burnham, Julia Gillard and Rory Stewart; musicians Bonnie Tyler, Charlotte Church, Geri Halliwell-Horner, James Blunt, Jools Holland, Robert Macfarlane and Johnny Flynn; journalists James O’Brien, Caitlin Moran and Elizabeth Day; footballer and broadcaster Gary Lineker; actors Dame Judi Dench, Miriam Margolyes, Stephen Fry, Sir Lenny Henry and Toby Jones; artist Es Devlin; poets Hanan Issa, Simon Armitage, Jackie Kay, Lemn Sissay, Hollie McNish, Michael Rosen and Joseph Coelho; comedians Jon Richardson, Nish Kumar, Julian Clary, Ruby Wax and Sara Pascoe; Nobel Prize-winning activist Maria Ressa; and many more…

Hay Festival Global has unveiled the full programme for its 37th spring edition in Hay-on- Wye, with more than 600 in-person events over 11 days, 23 May–2 June 2024.

Tickets are on sale now to Hay Festival Members, Patrons and Benefactors at hayfestival.org/hay-on-wye. General sale begins at noon this Friday 15 March.

Launching the best new fiction and non-fiction, while offering insights and debate around significant global issues, the programme sees writers, policy makers, pioneers and innovators take part from around the world, offering big thinking and bold ideas.

Events offer something for all, beginning with the free schools programme, 23–24 May, and including a vibrant strand for families throughout.

New projects woven across the Festival include The Platform for new creatives, the daily News Review offering analysis of the latest events, the first-ever Hay Festival Sports Day, and Hay Festival Green, prompting innovative solutions to the climate crisis.

Late nights at the Festival are given over to great music, comedy and entertainment, while a host of free pop-up activities and performances around the site keeps audience entertained between sessions.

Events will take place across eight stages in the redesigned free-to-enter Festival site at Dairy Meadows – which also offers a range of spaces for audiences to explore and enjoy, including the Bookshop, Wild Garden, Make & Take Tent, a host of exhibitors and market stalls, cafés and restaurants, and the new Family Garden where young readers can kick- start their creative journeys – as well as in and around Hay-on-Wye, including performances all week at St Mary’s Church.

Hay Festival Global CEO Julie Finch said:

“In a year when more voters than ever in history will head to the polls, as at least 64 countries hold their elections, we present a programme to bring people together, respectfully exploring different perspectives and the power of storytelling to unite us. With

For more information, contact Christopher Bone on [email protected]

new venues on our free-to-enter Festival site and diverse new projects throughout the programme, this is a festival for everyone. Join us in a world of different ideas.”

Hay Festival Hay-on-Wye 2024 is supported by lead sponsors Baillie Gifford, Welsh Government, Arts Council England and Arts Council Wales, lead media partner the BBC and digital media partner TikTok.

Pioneering new projects tackle big thinking, encouraging threads of curiosity throughout the Festival, while annual favourites will keep crowds returning for more:

  • The Platform – A new space for young, emerging artists to share their work with Hay Festival audiences. The Platform aims to elevate and develop outstanding creative artists at the start of their careers, with submissions open now.
  • The News Review – In this election year, each morning of the Festival journalists, commentators, and world leaders take stock of the latest news live on stage.
  • Debut Discoveries – Daily events showcase emerging writers alongside established names, offering opportunities for fresh talent to take part for the first time.
  • Hay Festival Green – Events and workshops explore dynamic solutions to regenerate the planet.
  • South to South – Conversations, co-curated by Hay Festival teams in Mexico, Colombia and Peru, spotlight the shared issues and solutions facing the Global South.
  • Sports Day – To mark this Olympic year, the first-ever Hay Festival Sports Day takes place Wednesday 29 May as leading thinkers join sports stars for a showcase of creative talent, an exploration of the Olympic spirit and interactive free activities.
  • Thinkers in Residence – Ruby Wax, Alex Wheatle and Caroline Lucas gather together artists and innovators to explore issues facing the world today and develop new solutions.
  • (Un)scripted – Exploring storytelling beyond the page, daily events showcase artists innovating in film, TV and on stage.
  • Wales today – The country’s cultural impact is championed in events with Welsh National Opera, BBC Wales, Aberystwyth University, Swansea University, Cardiff University and Literature Wales’ Welsh Book of the Year.
  • Lviv BookForum – Ukraine’s biggest book festival comes to Wales, co-curating events throughout to highlight great Ukrainian storytelling.
  • Food demos – For the first time, a series of events bring the flavours off the page for audiences in demonstrations and tastings throughout the Festival.
  • Hay-on-Wye – The Festival’s creative community is championed in events with Hay Castle, Hay Writers’ Circle, Hay Community Choir, Hay Shantymen, Hay Music, Rural Media and Hereford College of Arts.
  • On air – The BBC Marquee brings leading BBC programmes to the Festival site in free events, while additional partners TikTok, JUNO, and The TLS share content.
  • University series – rigour and intellect are celebrated in lectures from six leading universities, showcasing the latest research in the arts and sciences.
  • Hay Festival Medals 2024 – Awarded annually since Britain’s Olympic year (2012), this year’s Medals will be awarded live on site to recipients yet to be announced.
  • Inclusive collaborations – Adult Learning Wales, Black British Book Festival, Pen to Print, The Queen’s Reading Room, Living Knowledge Network and The Family Place make this one of the most accessible Festival editions yet.
  • And the Festival continues online with a selection of sessions streamed live throughout the 2024 event, continuing the Festival’s commitment to digital accessibility.