Hay Festival Winter Weekend (23-26 November, 2017) enjoyed its most successful year to date, with thousands joining a four-day community celebration that blended literary conversation, immersive performances and interactive workshops, with the best of the town’s seasonal shopping and a chance to explore the famed natural surroundings in all their autumnal splendour. Highlights of the 18th Winter Weekend included prize-winning novelists and poets, global policy makers, industry leaders and guardians of the natural world, alongside stars of theatre, TV and film, sports leaders, children’s heroes, acclaimed musicians and much-loved comedians.
Peter Florence, Director of Hay Festival, said: “Thank you to everyone who joined us for our biggest-ever Hay Festival Winter Weekend, rich with inspiration and festive cheer. We proved once more to the world’s greatest thinkers and writers that Hay offers the best audience for new ideas and conversations.”
Novelist Jeanette Winterson said: “It’s the time of year we need some internal sunshine and that’s what this is. It’s a place where there’s light and there’s warmth and a lot of fun. Being here in the bustle of The Swan, you have to meet people, so for anyone who comes who might feel a bit isolated, or lonely, or unsure, this is instant family.”
Author of Islander Patrick Barkham said: “It felt like I’d stumbled into a secret, snuggling up in The Swan, talking about books with an audience in close-up. It was conspiratorial and intimate.”
Poet Gillian Clarke said: “Making Hay in winter, feeling the love of so many poetry friends, has been gratifying. May the company of words build a bridge, not a wall, between us and the world.”
Visit HERE to explore video highlights from the weekend.