Hay Festival 2022 — What You Need To Know

Credit: Sam Hardwick

With just three short months to go until the Hay Festival begins, we’ve pulled together everything you need to know to make the best of this year’s event. From the line-up, to getting your hands on tickets, keep scrolling for a preview of what is sure to be a festival to remember.

Following two years of digital events thanks to the pandemic, the event is back in force with what is set to be a wonderful line-up. Hay Festival international director Cristina Fuentes La Roche said:

“Our 35th annual event in Wales, Hay Festival 2022 is going to be a return to remember and we look forward to welcoming friends – old and new – to our revamped Festival site this May. As we put the finishing touches to this year’s line-up, we’re excited to preview some of this year’s themes: a promise of spring and a spark of hope for the year ahead.”

When and where does the Hay Festival take place?

Hay Festival takes place in Hay-on-Wye at the end of May every year. This year the event will take place over 11 days from 26 May to 5 June.

The festival site is on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, just five-minute walk from the middle of Hay at Dairy Meadows (HR3 5PJ). That means you can easily dip into the famous town of books in-between events and shows at the festival.

The main Festival site will remain free to enter, with a range of pop-ups to explore, including the Festival Bookshop; HAYDAYS courtyard; Wild Garden; Make and Take Tent; a host of exhibitors, and market stalls, cafés and restaurants.

The whole of Hay comes alive for the event, with events planned for venues across the town including St Mary’s Church and a brand new Festival theatre in the grounds of the restored Hay Castle.

Credit: Adam Tatton-Reid

Who is on the Hay Festival line-up for 2022?

There will be a staggering 500 events taking place during the 2022 Hay Festival, and the full announcement will be coming at the start of April.

Hay Festival is the world’s leading festival of ideas and one of the top festivals in Wales. It’s famed for bringing readers and writers together in sustainable events to inspire, examine and entertain. As always, the festival programme will launch the best new fiction and non-fiction, while offering insights and debate around some of the biggest issues of our times in a programme of conversations featuring more than 600 award-winning writers, policymakers, pioneers and innovators.

BUT — hold the press — there are 22 early-bird events that are on-sale now, and the acts are more than a little bit exciting. They include:

  • Shakespeare’s Globe on Tour
  • Simon Amstell
  • Kate Rusby
  • Mariana Mazzucato
  • Reginald D Hunter
  • Julian Clary & David Roberts
  • Devi Sridhar
  • Stephen Fry
  • And more

Tickets to all of the above can be purchased now on the Hay Festival website. The remaining tickets will go on-sale from the start of April.

What’s on for kids at Hay Festival?

Hay Festival always offers a great selection of youth events and experiences – including many fantastic children’s authors, illustrators, entertainers, and more.

Credit: Sam Hardwick

HAYDAYS events for families give young readers the opportunity to meet their heroes and get creative throughout the Festival, while the Programme for Schools on Thursday 26 May (KS2) and Friday 27 May (KS3&4) gives teachers and pupils free access to Festival inspiration.

Stay tuned for the full line-up announcement for the full children’s programme.

Things to do in Hay

The town has plenty to enjoy. Check out our town guide here

Where to stay during the Festival?

Those who come for weekends, short getaways or longer holidays in our National Park, we have a wide range of accommodation for you to book. Find all our accommodation here

Where can I learn more about Hay Festival?

The Hay Festival website has lots of great information — and the opportunity to become a friend of the event, meaning you get early access to both the line-up and tickets.

You can also keep up to date with Hay Festival news by signing up to the newsletter or follow on:

Twitter: @hayfestival

Facebook: Hay Festival

Instagram: @hayfestival

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