In May this year, the Hay Festival, like much of the entertainment industry was forced to change the way the work and move to digital events due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions. Now, the Hay Festival are launching another line up of events in their digital winter weekend.
The events will be held from 26th – 29th November and will stream online so that you can watch them from the comfort and safety of your own home. The digital festival will cater to audiences of all ages and will include; literary conversations, cosy, candlelit storytelling, performances, comedy and music.
The festival will be streamed live from the bookshop town of Hay-on-Wye, kicking of the festive season with a truly star-studded line up. Well-known names from the worlds of literature, music and sport will join forces in this brilliant programme of events.
The digital winter weekend will feature appearances from novelists including; Dawn French, Lee Child, Irenosen Okojie, Joanne Harris, Carys Bray, Ruth Jones, William Boyd, Sarah Moss, John Lanchester and John Banville. While the musicians lined up to perform include; Elton John, Skin, and Gary Numan.
What’s more, there will be events with children’s writers and artists, Ed Vere, Nick Sharratt and Benjamin Zephaniah. Comedians Marcus Brigstocke, Fern Brady and Neil Delamere are on the full programme bill alongside journalists and writers such as Elizabeth Day, Bryony Gordon, Jonathan Freedland, David Olusoga, Katya Adler, Kate Summerscale, Susie Dent and James O’Brien.
Literary lovers tuning in to the Hay Festival winter events will also find this year’s soon to be announced Booker Prize and Baillie Gifford Prize winners; and Hay Festival President Stephen Fry, on the bill.
A Hay Festival spokesperson Christopher Bone said: “This has been an exceptionally challenging year and the support we have received has been humbling. Our free Digital Winter Weekend is in honour of this, a gift to our Haymakers without whom we wouldn’t be here. We invite you to join us by virtual candlelight to share stories, hopes and ideas, to laugh and to dance with us, and to reimagine the world alongside a galaxy of literary stars and inspiring thinkers.”
While Dafydd Elis-Thomas MS, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism added: “The depth of this year’s programme is a true testament to Hay Festival’s global appeal and I know it will provide light, inspiration and optimism for the future to people across the world. As we approach the end of a year like no other, I once again applaud the continued resilience and endeavour of our friends across the rich cultural and artistic landscapes who are adapting to this challenging time in innovative ways to showcase Wales to global audiences.”
The Hay Festival Digital Winter Weekend is supported by the Festival’s lead sponsors Visit Wales and Baillie Gifford and it builds on the success of recent digital Hay Festival editions in the UK, Mexico, Peru and Croatia, following the year’s earlier iterations in Colombia and Spain.
All session will be free to attend and you can view the full programme and register for free on their website. The Hay Festival will, however, be accepting donations if you have the ability to support in this way. Plus, the Festival’s online shop has a range of gifts for every book lover, including an exclusive limited-edition range of prints from an artwork generously donated by Jackie Morris in the spring. Visit hayfestival.org/shop.