Hay Festival gets Serious for new Reading Room

Hay Festival and Serious Readers will join forces to create a new space for book lovers at Hay Festival 2019 (23 May-2 June) - the Serious Reading Room - in a new partnership announced today.

The Serious Reading Room will be a reading hub for festivalgoers, offering a comfortable space for contemplation between events, as well as surprise, free readings and performances from star festival speakers.

A specialist reading light maker, Serious Readers was founded over 35 years ago. Used on board Global Ballooning Attempts, RNLI Lifeboats and Spaceships, their lights are designed to make reading time more comfortable, less tiring and altogether more enjoyable.

They join an illustrious list of partners to support Hay Festival. Research from QRS Research shows that 57% of audience members surveyed felt more positive to companies that sponsor Hay Festival, while one in four said they learnt more about the sponsors as a result of their participation. Partners enjoyed up to 90% brand awareness and 15% direct engagement.

Alex Pratt, founder of Serious Readers, said: "We love working with the Hay Festival team. Our focus is using light to help serious readers see better, feel better and as a result be better versions of themselves, aims that resonate strongly with everything that the Hay Festival stands for."

Maggie Kerr, development director of Hay Festival, said: "The Serious Reading Room at Hay Festival is an exciting new development for 2019. It will give wider access to the wonderful writers on our stages, while providing festivalgoers with a new space to relax between events. We’re looking forward to working with Serious Readers to make it a space to remember, full of new ideas to inspire."

Earlybird events for Hay Festival 2019 are on sale now here, including sessions featuring Jimmy Carr, Stacey Dooley, Jared Diamond, Venki Ramakrishnan, Robert Macfarlane, Horatio Clare, Leila Slimani, Anna Burns, Markus Zusak, Julia Donaldson, Michael Rosen, Sandi Toksvig; performances from The Waterboys, The Gipsy Kings, The Lost Words – Spell Songs; and all-star performances of Diaries Live and Speeches Live.

The full Hay Festival 2019 programme will be announced on Tuesday 26 March 2019. Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear.