Peter Florence, the Festival director, tells how it was born: "In August 1987, a bunch of us got together around my mother's kitchen table. My father had the idea of inviting friends and some people he really admired up for the weekend to talk, play and hang out. Flo's plan was that the gathering should be informal, international and great fun. He figured that we had two amazing advantages in trying to get this off the ground - the staggering beauty of the Brecon Beacons National Park where we live, and the people of Hay, whose generosity and imagination make this town so exciting". Twenty festivals on it's pretty much worked out how he envisioned it.
Hay Festival celebrates great writing in every medium in Britain and around the world and presents conversations and performances with writers, musicians, filmmakers and comedians.
This year, from 24th May to 3rd June, it is graced with four Nobel Laureates: Wole Soyinka, Orhan Pamuk, Derek Walcott and Wangari Maathai.
A personalised Moleskine of the event has been delivered to participants and it was part of the merchandising. The 3rd July 2007, for the second year straight, London hosted "The best of Hay Festival" at the Hospital in Covent Garden. A location strictly linked to the creative industry and that collaborates with some very interesting events, among others the Frieze Art Fair, the London Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Television Festival and the Mercury Prize.
Therefore a Festival able to boast different interesting ingredients: a happy intuition, an attractive location, an enthusiastic audience and, above of, the involvement of people described by Peter Florence as "all the writers, comedians and musicians appearing this year have the capacity to change our lives, to share new visions of the world, and to do that incredibly sexy thing - to renew our sense of wonder".
For further information: www.hayfestival.com.