About     Contact   


  1. Hay Festival Wales small 0
  2. Hay Festival Wales small 1
  3. Hay Festival Wales small 2
  1. Hay Festival Wales image 0
  2. Hay Festival Wales image 1
  3. Hay Festival Wales image 2
  4. Hay Festival Wales image 3
  5. Hay Festival Wales image 4
  6. Hay Festival Wales image 5
  7. Hay Festival Wales image 6
  8. Hay Festival Wales image 7
  9. Hay Festival Wales image 8
Hay Festival Wales thumb 0
Hay Festival Wales thumb 1
Hay Festival Wales thumb 2
Hay Festival Wales thumb 3
Hay Festival Wales thumb 4
Hay Festival Wales thumb 5
Hay Festival Wales thumb 6
Hay Festival Wales thumb 7
Hay Festival Wales thumb 8
Hay Festival Wales thumb 0
Hay Festival Wales thumb 1
Hay Festival Wales thumb 2
Hay Festival Wales thumb 3
Hay Festival Wales thumb 4
Hay Festival Wales thumb 5
Hay Festival Wales thumb 6
Hay Festival Wales thumb 7
Hay Festival Wales thumb 8

Photos by: Visit Britain, Peter, Eleanor, A. Baxevanis, R. Burdock, LynnTheOwl (Creative Commons)
Hay Festival Wales Hay on Wye, UK - 25 May 2017


Getting There

Getting There

nearest bus station:
Hereford Coach Station | Worcester Crowngate Bus Station (National Express Coach from London, etc.)

shuttle bus:
Hay Festival Shuttles: Hereford to Hay | Worcester to Hay

special festival bus:
Hay Festival Buses: to/from stations + Hay pick-up at Oxford Road Car Park

nearest airport:
Gloucestershire (GLO) | Birmingham (BHX) | Bristol (BRS)

nearest train station:
Hereford Station: Take Hay Festival shuttle from Hereford

Getting to Hay Festival Wales



Free events, Pay per event, VIP options, Low-income tickets
change currency
Prices in the table are quoted in GBP
Adult19Hay Festival ticket for top events including music & comedy features.
Adult5Hay Festival ticket for events including talks, lectures & shows. (Prices start at £5)
Hay Festival Tickets
  • Entrance to the main Hay Festival grounds is FREE.
  • Walking, talking, thinking & browsing exhibits is FREE.
  • Many talks, lectures, workshops & signings are FREE.
  • Most events are FREE for students, but require tickets.
  • FREE events with “limited space” need “reserve tickets”. 
Hay Ticketed Events
  • Buy tickets only to specific “ticketed” events of interest.
  • Most ticketed Hay Festival events cost between £5 and £19.
  • Children/Youth events are “ticketed” but prices are nominal.
  • Children under 12 must be with an adult. Each needs a ticket.
Hay Programme
  • The 10-day schedule is massive requiring a 100-page booklet.
  • There are over 50 categories from Adventure to World Affairs.
Booking Hay Tickets
  • There are 3 ways to book tickets:
  • Tickets by Phone
  • Hay Festival Box office: +44 1497 822 629
  • Tickets In Person
  • Box Office Address: The Drill Hall, 25 Lion Street
  • Tickets On-site
  • Festival on-site Box Office: Dairy Meadows on Brecon Rd.

Hay Festival Wales

Hay Festival Wales

Hay Festival Wales icon

Hay on Wye, UK

Dairy Meadows - Brecon Beacons
52.067983, -3.137156
type of festival
literary, poetry, writers, political, art
other events
film: shorts; music: acoustic & instrumental; art: creative, visual arts & installations, multimedia; culture: world-class multigenre, arts & crafts; science: technology, physics, astronomy
start Thu, 25 May 2017
end Sun, 04 June 2017

Hay Festival Wales: Woodstock for Minds

Hay Festival Wales, titled ‘The Woodstock of the mind’ by Bill Clinton, with poets, lyricists, comedians, novelist, scientist and environmentalists such as Carol Ann Duffy, Stephen Fry, Martin Rees, Nicholas Stern, Dara Ó Briain, David Frost, Martin Amis, Ian Rankin, Salman Rushdie and Boris Johnson coming together for conversations, lectures, readings, book signings and the amalgamation of great ideas. Started in 1988 in a place already known as ‘The Town of Books’ for its volume of bookshops, and expanding to include Hay Fever: a kids version, and HAYYA: for young adults, + pop-up bookshops, Lobster + Crab Shack, fish & chips, acoustic stars, & lots of bunting, teetering on the edge of the Brecon Beacons in Dairy Meadow at Hay on Wye, UK.


Hay Festival Wales: Woodstock for Minds

Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts Wales is one of 12 Hay festivals, ranging from Ireland to Peru and a couple of Shakespeare specials thrown in too – all of which have expanded from a single kitchen table in 1987. What separates Hay from other book bashes is its focus on, and celebration of, ideas within the community; bringing authors in from an eclectic mix of fields and muddling their ideas up together.

The other very special factor for bibliophiles is the volume of books for sale; the town alone was once known as ‘The Town of Books’ for its many bookshops, with Richard Booth, the ‘King of Hay’ opening up his first bookshop there in 1962 and turning Hay-on-Wye into a second-hand book utopia – and the event only heightens this – with books laid out on stalls, pop-up bookshops and books to be bought and signed by authors, fans will be leaving with plenty to be getting on with.

Former Guests

There are a range of big names and interesting folk doing talks, lectures, readings and book signings every year, but some of the most notable in the past have been essayist and YouTube philosopher Alain de Botton, former PM Gordon Brown, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, comedians Bill Bailey, Rob Brydon, Jack Dee and Dylan Moran and one of The Times 50 Greatest Writers Since 1945 Martin Amis.

Hay Fever & HAYYA

Over the years this Welsh take has grown in popularity and has made sure to keep it interesting for all ages, with the Hay Fever, the kids version, having its own site within the bigger site, and its own tents like The Mess Tent, Make & Take and the highlight, Shepherd’s Ice Cream, and HAYYA catering for the YA teen crowd, with their own lectures and events from YA authors and a showcase of The Bookseller YA Prize nominees.

Hay Festival Wales is an explosion of books & ideas in a Welsh country Dairy Meadow!

contributor: Ashley Lampard
published: 30 June 2016
updated: 24 August 2016
Age: Family, an adult oriented event, but minors may attend if accompanied by a parent or guardian
hay festival of literature and the arts, hay festival of literature, hay festival of literature & the arts, wales hay festival, hay-on-wye festival, hay on wye festival wales, the hay festival, the hay, the hay festival wales, the hay wales



General: award-winning, biggest in the world, best in the world
Ambiance: outdoor, indoor, urban
Features: self-expression, self-discovery, live music & shows, talks & debates, ideas & technology, readings & authors, conference, workshops & labs, screenings

Hay Festival of Literature & Arts Details

  • There’s more to Hay than what happens at Dairy Meadow.
  • The literary nature of hay is entwined with Hay-on-Wye’s bookish history.
  • Many off-site events take place in town at the square and elsewhere.

Fair on the Square

  • Music & street party
  • Marquee tent
  • Eats & drinks
  • Vintage pop-ups
  • produce & craft stalls

Market at Hay Castle

  • Garden + tables + canopies
  • Eats & street treats


  • Hay Ho! Start by bus, walk back to Hay
  • Guided history walks in & out of town
  • Armstrong Murder Trail walk
  • Real working farm walk-talks
  • Cider orchard tasting walks & talks
  • Synergy of bees & apple trees talks
  • Dairy farm + milking parlour walks
  • Cheese tastings & cheesemaker talks
  • Lamb shearing + wool spinning walk-talks


Rate & Review

What do you think?

Thank you!

Beds & Eats


Hay Festival Camping
  • Hay is not a camping event but many Hay-goers camp at the numerous campgrounds & caravan sites that dedicate themselves to Hay guests during the festival season.
Other Places to Stay at Hay


Eats & Drinks: no
Fresh & Clean: no
Cash & Shops: no
Zone In & Out: no
Accessibility: yes
Hay Festival On-site Amenities
  • Hay may be held in a Dairy Meadow, but the site is everytning and then a bit of meadow.
  • The Hay grounds is a fully equipped town replete with food hall, shops, exhibition areas, tents, stages, a BBC Radio Hub, gardens, covered walkways, WCs, restaurants, cafes, bars and at least one bookshop.
Eats, Drinks & Treats
  • Friends Café: for the 1st cup of morning coffee
  • HAYDAYS Coffee: for the 2nd cup, this time  organic
  • Graze: for Welsh treats + champagne & wine
  • Main Restaurant: may change name but has everything
  • Shepherds: “World’s Best Local Ice-Cream Shops”
  • Festival Food Hall: eats all by local folks
  • The Bridge Inn: specialties like Escleyside beef + ale pies
  • Café Môr: winner of Best UK Street Food
  • Festival Bar: with Welsh Cask & local ales
Around Hay Town
  • Hay Town changes annually but usually has a fair, eats, global market, crafts, art, books & exhibits to stimulate minds.



start Thu, 25 May 2017
end Sun, 04 June 2017
 Wales Hay Festival Dates
  • Hay Festival, at its namesake Hay On Wye, is held in May/June.
  • It usually unfolds over the course of 10 days.
  • It’s been going strong since 1988.

Season & Weather

Season: Spring
Temperature: 7 to 17 °C

Hay on Wye weather in May, being at the edge of the Brecon Beacons region in southern Wales, is sunny with mild maritime temperatures and very little chance of rain, or as Hay-star comedian Dylan Moran might say, "it’s fierce mild!" That being true, fierce-mild and not-cold are not the same things, so although it may not pour rain or change from hot to cold in a second, Hay can be chilly in May, so hay-goers who plan on camping should prepare with woolly socks, comfy footwear, snugly jackets, cosy sleeping bags and nice warm blankets.



Tel: +44 1497 822 620


Hay Festival of Literature & the Arts Ltd.: The Drill Hall, 25 Lion Street, Hay on Wye.

hay festival wales handler