In 2020, for the first time, Hay Festival has moved completely online and is free to access. 

Guest speakers featured this year include novelists Hilary Mantel, Anne Enright, Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, Elif Shafak, Roddy Doyle, Ingrid Persaud and Jessie Burton; poets Mererid Hopwood and Inua Ellams; economists Esther Duflo and Tim Harford; science and health experts Devi Sridhar, Sally Davies Paul Dolan, and James Peebles; lawyers Miriam Gonzalez Durantez and Philippe Sands; activists Lydia Cacho, Gloria Steinem, Christiana Figueres and Dara McAnulty; historians Simon Schama, Bettany Hughes and Greg Jenner; journalists Afua Hirsch and Kapka Kassabova; US diplomat Samantha Power; philosophers Roman Krznaric and AC Grayling; Colombian dancer Fernando Montaño; chef Yotam Ottolenghi; actors and comedians Stephen Fry, Sandi Toksvig, Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West; and children’s and YA stars Cressida Cowell, Michael Rosen, Jacqueline Wilson, Akala, Patrice Lawrence, Mohammad Khan, Lucy Worsley, Onjali Q Rauf, and Dean Atta.

Hay Festival Programme for Schools

The Hay Festival Programme for Schools is running during 18–22 May, and the festival will be uploading events onto Hay Player. Each day, from 8am onwards, you can see two primary authors introduced by Konnie Huq and two secondary authors, who are introduced by Jenny Valentine. These events are also available to watch again on Hay Player.

The events are aimed at inspiring creative reading, and the programme has events for children in both primary and secondary school. There are also Hay Festival learning resources to accompany the sessions.

Hay Festival Digital - Main Programme

The main Hay Festival programme for 2020 runs from 22–31 May. This features free live broadcasts and interactive events from more than 100 award-winning writers, global policy makers, historians, pioneers and innovators.

Hay Festival Digital  celebrates the best new fiction and non-fiction, as well as events that bring up interrogating some of the biggest issues of our time.

The festival will be hosted on the crowdcast platform, which enables questions and comments. Have a look at the one-minute How to Register video below for how to sign up. for events.

All events will remain on the crowdcast platform for 24 hours, and will then be available on Hay Player.

Hay Festival 2020 - how to register

Get involved with Hay Festival 2020:

Write a #PostcardFromHay

During the Hay Festival fortnight, festival-goers are invited to share their favourite festival memories and quotes, book recommendations, and messages of hope and solidarity.

To take part, simply write these up on a postcard or a bit of paper, take a photo and post it online using #PostcardFromHay. They will be asking our speakers and performers to join in and will share your contributions in a live gallery: #PostcardFromHay.

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