650 events, 370 acts, 200 speakers, 11 days, 9 stages.


Hay is abuzz as HowTheLightGetsIn enters its third day. The ideas are flowing, the music is pulsing and the River Wye is glistening in the summer sun.

Join us to Think, Talk, Dance and Play with over 650 events, 370 acts, 200 speakers, 11 days and 9 stages.

In the wake of the UK general election, join Polly Toynbee, David Aaronovitch and John Sweeney in Killing the King to ask: are our leaders potent or incompetent? Afterwards, join Roger Penrose to find out what he thinks came before the world, and what will come after, in The Next Universe.

Plus don’t miss the Saturday Shindig where Patrick Wolf, Elder Island, The 2 Bears (Raf Daddy), and Ewan Pearson will be taking to the stage and decks.

And don't miss the chance to explore the brand new Riverside site throughout the 11 days of the festival - with the dazzling acrobatics of the Spiegel Circus, the restorative tranquility of the Spa, the fun of the fairground and the hustle and bustle of the Fayre.


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Join us for a magical evening of big ideas, legendary voices and musical marvels. Experience harp sensation Serafina Steer who did Jarvis Cocker's album of the year, Time Out  "Rising Stars" Tankus the Henge, BBC Wales Artist of the Week Siôn Russell Jones, as well as our opening debate Dreamland and the BAFTA-winning documentary All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry.


Get the all evening pass for full access to the debate, documentary and live sessions.


Festival Live - 11 Day Pass holders have access to this event.

002 Dreamland.so

Fulfil your dreams and make the most of your life! So advocate headmasters, moralists and revolutionaries. Yet poet John Betjeman's principal regret was that he did not have more sex. Is life not about goals and ambition but about the moment of being? Or is making our dreams real the only way to fulfilment?


Writer of the Guardian's 'This Column Will Change Your Life' Oliver Burkeman, author of A Life Inside Erwin James, and Absolutely Fabulous star Helen Lederer, debate the best way to live.


Thursday Trailblazer All Evening Pass tickets also provide access to this event.

004 All in the Best Possible Taste Grayson Perry

This BAFTA-winning documentary follows contemporary artist Grayson Perry in the first part of his series dissecting the impact of class and background on personal taste. Here Grayson goes in search of working class culture in Sunderland.


“Documentary of the Year” Independent

In association with TVF International.


First Weekend Pass, Festival Live - 11 Day Pass, and Thursday Trailblazer All Evening Pass tickets also provide access to this event.

Institute of art and ideas