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Hay Festival 2023 Wales, UK

May 25 - June 4

Hay Festival

The Hay Festival in Wales is the leading book festival in the UK. Held in the beautiful Welsh town of Haye-in-Wye towards the end of May, the 2023 Hay Festival of literature will feature more than 600 writers and thinkers in conversations and debates.

Events are held at the free-to-enter Festival Village on Dairy Meadows, which includes the Festival Bookshop, market stalls, cafés and restaurants. There are also events in the town of Hay-on-Wye.

Hay Festival Programme

Alexander McCall Smith
Alexander McCall Smith is confirmed to appear at the 2023 Festival

The 2023 programme will include Margaret AtwoodAlexander McCall Smith; Eleanor CattonFflur Dafydd; and Caleb Azumah Nelson.

Grammy award-winning singer Dua Lipa will present a live recording of her podcast, At Your Service. Other events will feature Marina Hyde; Simon Schama; Isabella Tree; A C Grayling and Jon Snow. 

Hay is not just about literature. The Proclaimers will perform on the main stage, while poet Laureate Simon Armitage and Sir Michael Parkinson will also attend.

Fflur Dafydd - Credit Celf Calon
Fflur Dafydd, credit Celf Calon

There will be a serie of debates on the future of Europe with Misha Glenny, Ece Temelkuran and Zsuzsanna Szelényi. 

Some of the festival sessions will be streamed live online with digital passes on sale in May. The full programme can be found here.

Not all the events are literary as you can also explore the beautiful countryside during your stay.


Children’s entertainment will feature Jordan Stephens, Beth Suzanna, Connor Allen, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Julia Donaldson and Greg Jenner.

Hay Festival

Hay Medals

Winners of the 2023 Festival Medals will be announced on stage. Previous winners include John le Carré, Margaret Atwood, Ali Smith, Ahdaf Soueif  and George Monbiot.

History of Hay Festival

The festival originated in 1987 in Hay-on-Wye, Wales. Since then it has travelled to some 30 locations from Colombia to Peru, the US, Mexico and Spain. The festivals reach millions of people each year both through in person events, online and via its social media channels.

Other Hay Festivals

Hay organises other festivals in Jericho, Medellin and Cartagena in Colombia in January; Querétaro in Mexico  and Segovia Spain in September, as well as Arequipa, Peru in November.

Hay Festival, Catragena, credit Daniel Mordzinski
Hay Cartagena, credit Daniel Mordzinski

Hay Festival Dates

Thursday 25 May to Sunday 4 June, 2023.

Hay Festival Accommodation

Accommodation for the festval tends to fill up quickly, you can find the festival accommodation recommendations here. Or alternatively use the official accommodation service and booking agent for the festival.

Things To Do in the Area

One of the great aspects of attending the festival is its wonderful location. The Wye Valley is a lovely part of the country, and the nearby Brecon Beacons are spectacular. For further inspiration follow Mark Bibby Jackson as he walks along the Herefordshire trail to Ross-on-Wye just across the border in England. Alternatively yo can discover the Beacons and continue down toards the Pembrokeshire coastline.

Wayfaring walk with Patrick Barkham, Isabel Hardman, Rob Pickford - credit Ruby Ingleheart 2
Wayfaring walk with Patrick Barkham, Isabel Hardman, Rob Pickford – credit Ruby Ingleheart

Hay Festival Camping

A range of camping options from a Fred’s Yurts to Tangering Fields and Hay Glamping, can be booked here.

Hay Festival Parking

There is a car park at Hay close to the festival, costing £8 per day for Macmillan. Alternatively, the park & ride car park costs £5 and is located at Clyro Court (Baskerville Hall Hotel) HR3 5LE.

Hay Festival Tickets

You can book tickets for the festival here.

What is Hay Festival?

For more information on the leading UK literature festival, click here.

Main image: Day 4 at Hay Festival 2022, credit Adam Tatton Reid. All images kindly supplied by the organisers.


May 25
June 4
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Hay Festival
HAY-ON-WYE,WalesHR3 5PJUnited Kingdom
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