Imagine the world

Festive magic for all the family, 24–26 November 2017

We are currently writing the programme for this year's Festival so in the meantime, please read our review of last year's Festival:

Hay was decked in all its finery for the 17th Winter Weekend Festival, as thousands of people celebrated the start of the Christmas season in the town with concerts, conversations and comedy, the Vintage Fair and the Food Festival. The shops and inns of Hay entertained visitors from across Britain and reported roaring trade.

The Swan Hotel hosted sell-out crowds for writers Ben Fogle, Andy Hamilton, astro-physicist Sarah Cruddas, and poet Owen Sheers in one of the weekend’s most moving sessions commemorating Aberfan. Historian Gruffydd Aled Williams mesmerized his audience with his quest to locate the grave of Owain Glyndwr – who was almost certainly buried in Herefordshire. Queen Victoria screenwriter Daisy Goodwin headlined at St Mary’s Church alongside Ben Rawlence’s deeply inspiring session on refugees. The castle resounded to carols, Ben Baddoo’s Afrobeats, and the lyrical beauty of Nuala Honan’s songs. Medieval historian Janina Ramirez with her stories of Julian of Norwich and the hilarious comedy duo The Scummy Mummies topped the bill.

Hay Festival Winter Weekend
Main photo: Adam Tatton-Reid

Croeso i Benwythnos Gaeaf Gwyl y Gelli rhif 17 a chychwyn yr Adfent yn y Gelli. Pa un ai ydych chi’n ymweld am y tro cyntaf neu’n ymwelydd rheolaidd, estynnwn groeso cynnes i chi i benwythnos yn llawn hwyl, straeon, cerddoriaeth a chwmni da. Edrychwn ymlaen at eich gweld chi yma.

  • Meet Father Christmas

    Father Christmas

    Sledge your way over to Richard Booth’s Bookshop on Saturday 26 November, 12–3pm to meet Santa in his bookish Grotto sleigh.

  • christmas lights

    Hay Christmas Lights

    The magical lights will be turned on at 6.15pm on Friday 25 November. Local choirs will sing and there will be mulled wine and mince pies, and late opening for shops selling Christmas treats.

  • hay food festival

    Hay Food Festival

    On Saturday 26 November from 10am to 4pm, Hay Food Festival takes place in the Market Square, with more than 40 exhibitors, music, and a crafts fair in the Butter Market. There’s a feast of delicious local produce to taste and buy for Christmas presents.

  • Hay vintage wonder town

    Hay Does Vintage

    On Sunday 27 November, from 10.30 - 4pm, our clothing and costume treasures will be in town with their wonderful vintage fair. Visit the Market Square, Cheese Market and Butter Market for an abundance of vintage and retro stalls.


2016 highlights