News | March 14, 2023

Hay Festival 2023 Programme Announced

Billie Charity/Hay Festival

At Hay Festival, 2022

Hay Festival has unveiled the full programme for its 36th spring edition in Hay-on-Wye, with more than 500 in-person events over 11 days, from May 25 - 4 June 4, 2023. One of the world’s leading festivals of ideas, it brings readers and writers together in sustainable events on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park in the UK.

This year’s programme launches the best new fiction and non-fiction books, while offering insights and debate around significant global issues. Awardwinning writers, policy makers, pioneers and innovators take part from around the world, offering big thinking and bold ideas.

Hay Festival expands its global collaboration with Ukraine’s biggest book festival, Lviv BookForum, with the support of the Open Society Foundations, presenting five co-curated events throughout the Festival to spotlight great Ukrainian storytelling and explore the state of Ukraine today.

“This Hay Festival edition is a beacon, an international symbol of hope for the collective, creative imagination and a better future," said Hay Festival CEO Julie Finch. "During the day our conversations will grapple and engage with the world around us, seeking solutions to some of the biggest challenges of our times while inspiring the next generation of world-changers. And in the evening we’ll laugh, dance and exchange stories in a place like nowhere else. Join us.”

Events will take place across eight stages in the free-to-enter Festival village at Dairy Meadows - which also offers a range of spaces for audiences to explore and enjoy, including the Festival Bookshop - as well as in and around Hay-on-Wye.

There is obviously a vast number of events and speakers. Marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio, anthologist Allie Esiri returns to Hay Festival to celebrate Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year, with an all-star cast including Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Goodman-Hill, Jessica Raine, Tony Robinson, Simon Schama, Jordan Stephens and Samuel West.

Other highlights include:

• Exclusive Hay Festival conversations celebrating the soon-to-be-announced winners of the Dylan Thomas Prize and International Booker Prize

* Novelists Margaret Atwood, Elif Shafak and Douglas Stuart joining forces to mark the launch of Salman Rushdie’s new Victory City

* Alexander McCall Smith marks 25 years of his No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series

* Novelists Anya Bergman, Juno Dawson, and Emilia Hart talk witcherature

* Crime writers Stig Abell, Elly Griffiths, Mick Herron, and SJ Parris give an insight into how they create convincing crimes

The impact of literature will also be explored at Hay as a Publishing Wales panel asks what publishing from Wales can do for the world. Elsewhere, writers Elif Shafak and Kit de Waal join journalist Mariella Frostrup and founder member and executive director of Disaster Action Pamela Dix in a BookAid International discussion on the power of books to provide shelter, solace, connection and hope in times of upheaval. UK Children’s Laureates Cressida Cowell and Connor Allen will lead a National Literacy Trust discussion on how books can change lives and Hay Pride presents a spotlight on LGBTQI+ storytelling with Travis Alabanza.

Public booking opens at noon March 17 at where you can also find full details of all events.