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Hay Festival-Free Online Extravaganza at Hay Festival


Dairy Meadows
Brecon Road
Hay on Wye

Contact Details

Tel: 01497 822629
Hay Festival 2021 kicks off Wednesday evening 26 May with a free opening gala – A Night of Hope – sharing inspiring works of literature, theatre and poetry from contributions including actors Jessica Raine, Stephen Fry, Charly Arrowsmith, Richard Eyre and Louise Brearley; comedians Sindhu Vee and Rob Brydon; writers Elif Shafak, Juno Dawson, Clemency Burton-Hill, Simon Schama, Rufus Mufasa, Hafsa Zayyan, Margaret Busby, poets Hollie McNish and Karl Nova; scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock; and host Natalie Haynes.

Running to Sunday 6 June 2021, Hay Festival brings writers and readers together with a free digital programme, offering an inspiring array of conversations, debates, workshops, and performances. More than 300 acclaimed writers, global policy makers, historians, poets, pioneers and innovators take part, launching the best new fiction and non-fiction and interrogating some of the biggest issues of our time.

Events will be broadcast live from temporary studios in Richard Booth’s Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye, to Registered users will have the opportunity to interact with fellow audience members online and pose their questions to speakers. All events will be closed captioned and available to watch free for 24 hours after the live broadcast.

While events won’t have live audiences in person, the booktown of Hay-on-Wye is still getting into the Festival spirit, with a free WiFi network running throughout the town centre to provide unlimited event streaming for visitors.

The Festival is part of a global series of digital initiatives to connect, inspire and entertain book lovers and home educators throughout the year. These include the Hay Festival Podcast, a monthly book club, and release of the free Programme for Schools archive and Beacons Project workshops, while Hay Player continues to offer access to the full Hay Festival audio-video archive.

Keep up to date with Hay Festival news by signing up to the newsletter or follow on:
Twitter: @hayfestival / @hayfestival_esp
Facebook: hayfestival / hayfestivalimaginaelmundo
Instagram: @hayfestival

Sessions in English and Spanish can be rediscovered anywhere in the world on Hay Player, a subscription service offering the world’s greatest writers on film and audio for £15/€15 per year. For further information visit:


By Train: Trains to Hereford from North, Midlands and South are met by festival buses.

By Car: Car parking can be pre-booked for the Car Park at Hay in aid of Macmillan, which is the closest parking available to the festival site. Disabled car parking on site can also be pre-booked. There will be additional Park & Ride Car Parking available at Clyro Court (Baskerville Hall Hotel), HR3 5LE