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HowTheLightGetsIn Hay

Starts: 22nd May 2020

The world's largest philosophy and music festival returns to an idyllic spot by the River Wye on the Welsh border for a magical four-day extravaganza of debates and talks featuring the world's leading thinkers, alongside headline music and stand-up comedy.


Start Date

22nd May 2020

End Date

25th May 2020


Off Newport St, Hay-on-Wye, Hereford HR3 5BG



The world's largest philosophy and music festival, HowTheLightGetsIn, returns to a gorgeous spot by the River Wye for its 11th annual instalment, featuring over 100 debates and talks and 200 music and performance events plus comedy, cabaret, documentary screenings, a dedicated children's programme, and much more.

On the edge of the Black Mountains, nestled in Hay-on-Wye near the Welsh border, you'll find the world's leading thinkers across philosophy, art, politics and science debating the most fascinating and urgent topics of our time. Taking a cue from the festival’s official theme, Uncharted Territory, we’ll be asking big questions about everything from the ethics of lab-grown babies and the renaissance of political populism to colonial guilt and the theory of supersymmetry.

Speakers announced thus far include Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon, award-winning columnist Polly Toynbee, philosopher of ethics Simon Blackburn, leading Brexiteer Penny Mordaunt, artistic director of the Young Vic, Kwame Kwei-Armah, and Momentum founder Jon Lansman.
Confirmed music acts include legendary composer Nitin Sawhney, soulful singer and cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson, electroswing outfit The Correspondents, and a DJ set courtesy of Richard and Chris from beloved Scottish indie poppers Belle and Sebastian.

HowTheLightGetsIn Hay 2020 is fun for all the family, with a dedicated Children and Young Adults’ Programme including a specially curated programme of talks for younger minds, interactive workshops, games and fairground rides, the IAI Academy, and the IAI School specially geared towards sixth form students looking to hone their university applications.

There are many more announcements still to come...

Disabled Facilities

Disabled access to the festival site itself and one disabled toilet


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