Compass – Free Hay Festival Tickets for 16–25s

All you need to do to get free tickets is:

  1. Sign up to Hay Festival Compass if you haven't already
  2. View the full list of 2019 events that are free to attend with a Compass wristband (click here or see below)
  3. Collect your Compass wristband (available to 16–25-year-olds with photo ID) from the Information Desk in the main entrance to the Hay Festival site
  4. Take your wristband into the Box Office on site to claim your tickets to any of these events in person

We look forward to welcoming you to Hay!

Group of students at Hay Festival

If you are aged 16–25, you can join Hay Festival Compass online to access a host of free resources especially created for students including Hay Levels, short films for A level students, and free access to Hay Player, full of audio and film of the world’s great writers.

Hay Festival offers a packed programme of events and workshops for young adults and students at Hay Festival each summer, as well as a dedicated Compass student venue. You can also gain access to free tickets to Hay Festival events.

All you need to do for free access is create an online account with us...

Sign up to Hay Festival Compass


Hay Festival programme has dozens of #HayYA events. Hay's Compass venue is programmed specifically for young adults. Follow #HayYA for the daily Hay Festival Compass events curated with university partners and including strands on A level subjects and issues concerning students, from maths to mental health. Join the ‘How I Got Here’ in-conversation events with Hay Festival speakers, and sessions programmed and delivered by young people for young people. Hay Festival works with students from Hereford Sixth Form College and Hereford College of Arts as well as students from across Wales through the Beacons Project. #HayYA


Hay Festival Compass is a space for older teenagers and students to be inspired and discover new ideas. Sign up for all the latest news and access free tickets for the Festival programme and free online resources including Hay Levels and Hay Player. You will also hear about opportunities such as Hay Festival Beacons Project and the Hay Academy.


Students in full-time higher education come free! Book your student tickets for Hay Festival 2019 from the beginning of May. We are committed to increasing access to the Festival for students and those in full-time higher education. If you fall into this category you can come and enjoy educational events for free. We keep back a student allocation for all events. Find out more...


The Beacons Project is a residency during Hay Festival for 16–18-year-olds interested in creative writing and the communication of ideas, offering a unique opportunity for Welsh students to work with writers and journalists in a stimulating environment. There will be workshops, discussions and events exploring the strong links between environment and landscape, art and literature. Beacons Project students will be invited to join the Hay Festival Youth Council.


Hay Academy offers outstanding opportunities for students in photography, journalism, arts management, film, press and marketing to gain valuable work experience. Open to 18–25-year olds countrywide, you will work with a wide team of editors, film-makers and photographers, and receive specific training in each area. You will receive a certificate on completion of the programme and may then join a mentoring scheme where you can develop your career in the creative industries. Apply now for Hay Academy at Hay Festival 2019.

Hay Festival Compass is supported by Hay Festival Foundation

Student sketching at Hay Festival
Hay Levels students