Hay Festival Winter Weekend 2019

Deck the halls! 

Your Hay Festival Winter Weekend programme is on general sale NOW hayfestival.org/wwe. Fill your baskets, Haymakers. (And thanks to Henny Beaumont for this beautiful illustration)

The Hay Festival Winter Weekend will run from Thursday 28 November to Sunday 1 December 2019. 

Hay Festival Winter Weekend transforms “the town of books” into a festival wonderland of ideas with literary conversation, candle-lit storytelling, comedy, music, and family workshops. Celebrating its 20th year, events will take place in the charming town centre, with venues including the 500-seater Baillie Gifford Tent in the Cattle Market, The School Hall and St Mary’s Church. 


An intimate, fireside version of the Festival’s summer edition, the town’s independent bookshops, cafés and markets welcome festivalgoers within the stunning surrounds of the Brecon Beacons National Park.


Added sparkle comes from the iconic Market Square as a special Festival guest turns on the town’s Christmas lights, Friday 29 November, in a now annual weekend highlight, while Hay Winter Food Festival takes place on Saturday and Hay Artisan Market takes over on Sunday. 


Speakers this year include Booker Prize 2019 winner Bernardine Evaristo; artist Jackie Morris; poets Mererid Hopwood and Owen Sheers; BBC broadcasters Emma Barnett and Cerys Matthews; Extinction Rebellion’s Rupert Read; the Science Museum’s Tilly Blyth; historians Tom Holland, Sarah Churchwell, Max Hastings, Thomas Waters and Mike Pitts; writer Laura Cumming; cameraman Lindsay McCrae journalist Afua Hirsch; and illustrator Henny Beaumont. Plus, there’s late night music, comedy and cabaret from Chainska Brassika, Fr Richard Williams, Fiona Evans and the Hay Festival Choir, Jason Byrne, Russell Kane, Sarah-Louise Young, Mid Wales Opera, a surprise all-star Shakespeare performance; and a special tribute to the late ‘King of Hay’, Richard Booth.
Explore more at hayfestival.org/wwe.

WHERE IS THE FESTIVAL?

In Hay-on-Wye, on the edge of the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park. We’re between Hereford and Brecon just off the A438 – see travel. The venues for the Winter Weekend are all within a few minutes’ walking distance of each other in the centre of Hay.

The Winter Weekend, which has been running for nearly twenty years, is a smaller version of the main festival with events taking place in venues in the town. The 2018 Festival was our biggest and most high-profile yet.

The town’s atmospheric market square is a focus of festivities: On the Friday, the Hay Christmas lights are  turned on, transforming the town into a winter wonderland brimming with festive cheer, accompanied by carol singing, readings and evening entertainment.

On the Saturday, Hay Food Festival celebrates all that’s good about winter cooking, with over 50 stalls showcasing the very best of local produce, from savoury to sweet.

On the Sunday Hay Market Square is transformed into a festive outdoor artisan market with a wide range of traders offering a diverse collection of local arts and crafts. Get ahead with your Christmas shopping here.

WHERE IS THE FESTIVAL?

In Hay-on-Wye, on the edge of the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park. We’re between Hereford and Brecon just off the A438 – see travel. The venues for the Winter Weekend are all within a few minutes’ walking distance of each other in the centre of Hay.

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