From 30 global reformations to #HAY30BOOKS
Plus: free Schools Days programme announced
Hay Festival has unveiled four ambitious new projects to mark its 30th festival in Hay-on- Wye (25 May – 4 June), including an international call to select #Hay30Books – a crowd-sourced library of 30 “essential” books from the last 30 years.
Founded in 1987 around a kitchen table in Wales, the nonprofit brings readers and writers together to share stories and ideas in sustainable events around the world – over the last 30 years there have been 120 festivals globally, attracting over 250,000 to Hay Festival Wales annually.
In addition to the 30th festival in Wales, projects will be delivered digitally and through its festivals around the world in Spain, Mexico, Peru, Denmark and Colombia. They include:
30 REFORMATIONS – 500 years after Martin Luther sparked a theological revolution with his 95 Theses, Hay Festival will spark 30 global reformations in 2017, inviting a series of world leading writers and thinkers to imagine a better world in conversations, lectures and essays. These reformations will be delivered at the festival in Wales and in events around the world.
30 ACRES – a new partnership between the festival and the Woodland Trust will see 30 schools plat trees on 30 acres of land across Wales to mark the festival’s anniversary and continued commitment to sustainability.
SOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, a new venue, joins the Hay Festival Wales programme to offer DJ sets and live performances, culminating in a 30th birthday party.
And #HAY30BOOKS – an international call to select 30 “essential” books from the last 30 years that deserve more attention. These will be celebrated digitally and at Hay Festival events around the world. The project offers a chance to reevaluate, rediscover, and share essential works of fiction and non-fiction for any age.
From Simon Armitage’s 1992 collection Kid to Mona Eltahawy’s 2015 release Headscarves and Hymens, the festival has chosen 15 as a starting point, but submissions for the remaining 15 can be made online by posting to Hay Festival’s Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram pages with 30 words to explain why your selection is essential using #Hay30Books. For more information visit: www.hayfestival.com/hay30books.
“For 30 years Hay Festival has brought readers and writers together to share stories and ideas, to imagine the world - to tell our truths and renew our lives. We’ve seen the world move from paper to the digital realm, we’ve witnessed boundaries and languages shift, and vast migrations of people and money. We trust writers and the authority of the published word. We love stories and we love to throw a party. Today we announce the first of our 30th anniversary projects - 30 Reformations, 30 Acres and #Hay30books. Please join us.”
Kid by Simon Armitage (1992)
Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation by Olivia Judson (2002) Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series by Michelle Paver (2004) Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2006) Finding Violet Park by Jenny Valentine (2007)
A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam (2007)
The Road Home by Rose Tremain (2007)
Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman (2009)
Oblivion: A Memoir by Héctor Abad (2010)
How To Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell (2010)
The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Robert Macfarlane (2012)
Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon (2012)
Pink Mist by Owen Sheers (2013)
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2015)Headscarves and Hymens by Mona Eltahawy (2015)
Meanwhile, the programme for the festival’s free SCHOOLS DAYS has been announced today, with priority booking open online from Wednesday 8 March.
On Thursday 25 May (KS 2) and Friday 26 May (KS 3 and 4), Hay Festival Wales will welcome thousands of pupils on site to enjoy a carefully curated programme of talks and performances, and a chance to meet scientists, explorers, historians and award-winning novelists. Speakers include: Holly Bourne, Alwyn Hamilton, Melinda Salisbury, Tanya Landman, Kim Slater, Katherine Webber, Daniel Morden, Teri Terry, Phil Earle, Pete Kalu, Jenny Valentine, Jim Smith, Steve Mould, Maz Evans, Philip Ardagh, Steve Cole, Nicola Davies, Gary Northfield, Ali Sparkes, Guy Bass, John Dougherty, Shane Hegarty, Emma Carroll, plus there will be pop-up activity from the Science Museum’s new Robotics exhibition and a special event with the Hay Festival Aarhus 39 writers.
Priority booking opens for Welsh state schools on Wednesday 8 March, before spaces go on wide release from Monday 20 March. For booking forms and further information, visit www.hayfestival.com.
Hay Festival SCHOOLS DAYS, first launched in 2010, form a central pillar to the festival’s commitment to young people that also includes HAY COMPASS, HAY ACADEMY, THE BEACONS PROJECT, HAY LEVELS and free tickets for students.
The SCHOOLS DAYS programming is free for all state schools and funded by Hay Festival and the Welsh Government; last year saw 6,000 pupils take part.
Welsh Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams, said: “Hay Festival is a world famous event which I’m sure in no small part has inspired many a budding author, poet, playwright and wordsmith. I’m so very happy that the Welsh Government is able to help the festival build on what has proven to be a very successful schools programme. Some experiences are hard to shake, in the best way possible. They stick with you, and more importantly, stir imagination. It would be fantastic if, eventually, every school in Wales could get involved with or benefit from the buzz surrounding Hay.”
Julia Eccleshare, Hay Festival Children’s Director, said: “Giving local schools the chance to hear some of the best writers of today is a central ambition of Hay Festival. Inspiring talks about the imaginative powers needed to be a great storyteller or the craft of writing are proven to be transforming to young readers. Those who attend will go home enjoying reading more and understanding writing better.”
The full Hay Festival Wales 2017 programme will be announced on Monday 3 April, but a handful of early bird events are on sale now including: Tracey Emin, Garry Kasparov and Stephen Fry, Ken Dodd, Will Young, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Man Booker Prize winner Paul Beatty, and an all star Letters Live performance.
In an age increasingly characterized by abbreviated content and algorithmic recommendation, the festivals promote serendipitous discovery through the long-form, immersive experience, offering a platform for informed conversation and the chance for inspiration to take hold.
The site is free to enter, with ticketed events in 10 tented venues, plus a range of activities and sights to enjoy around the site, including the Hay Festival Bookshop, the HAYDAYS courtyard and a range of market stalls, cafes and restaurants.
A rich strand of programming for families and young people – HAYDAYS – includes talks from the best children’s and YA writers, plus a range of workshops and activities that promote creativity and discovery in the Make and Take and the Mess Tent.
From Nobel Prize-winners and global policy makers, to award winning novelists and transcendent entertainers; speakers and performers at festivals over the years have included: Arthur Miller, Maya Angelou, Bill Clinton, Toni Morrison, Jimmy Carter, Seamus Heaney, Zadie Smith, Tom Stoppard, Carrie Fisher, Nadine Gordimer, Martin Amis, Paul McCartney, Desmond Tutu, Jane Fonda, Bob Geldof, Salman Rushdie, Doris Lessing, Jacqueline Wilson, Judith Kerr, Julia Donaldson, William Golding, Jane Smiley, Penelope Fitzgerald, Ralph Fiennes, Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Harold Pinter, Stephen Hawking, Gore Vidal, Christopher Hitchens, Macy Gray, Philip Pullman, Edward Said, John Updike, Peter Carey, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Vanessa Redgrave, Jung Chang, Judi Dench, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jude Law, Kazuo Ishiguro, Germaine Greer, Sam Mendes and Al Gore.
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Hay Festival brings readers and writers together to share stories and ideas in sustainable events around the world. The festivals inspire, examine and entertain, inviting participants to imagine the world as it is and as it might be.
Nobel Prize-winners and novelists, scientists and politicians, historians and musicians talk with audiences in a dynamic exchange of ideas. The festival’s global conversation shares the latest thinking in the arts and sciences with curious audiences live, in print and digitally. Hay Festival also runs wide programmes of education work supporting coming generations of writers and culturally hungry audiences of all ages.
In 1987 the festival was dreamt up around a kitchen table in Hay. 30 years later, the unique marriage of exacting conversations and entertainment for all ages has travelled to editions in 30 locations, from the historic town of Cartagena to the heart of cities in Peru, Mexico, Spain and Denmark. The organisation now reaches a global audience of thousands every year and continues to grow and innovate, building partnerships and initiatives alongside some of the leading bodies in arts and the media, including global partners: the BBC, ACW, TATA, and the British Council; friends of Hay Festival: Visit Wales, Baillie Gifford, Oxfam, and Good Energy; and international partners: Wales Arts International and AC/E.
Acclaimed author, actor and writer Stephen Fry is President of the organisation; Peter Florence is Director; and Caroline Michel, CEO of leading literary and talent agency Peters Fraser and Dunlop, is Chair of the festival board.
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