As the greatest minds of our time gather for a drink and a meal, take your seat alongside them for a truly unique experience. Converse with Nobel laureates, challenge the shadow cabinet, and explore the universe with particle physicists in open-ended encounters totally removed from the ivory tower.
Our luxurious long table banquets form the heart of the HowTheLightGetsIn experience. With the stunning River Wye as a backdrop to the festivities, sit down to a sumptuous four-course experience prepared with love by our incomparable chefs.
You'll be joined by fellow festival goers and HowTheLightGetsIn speakers alike, so there'll be no shortage of food for thought alongside the fare on the table.
All banquets include a Champagne reception and wine on the table. Gluten free and vegan options are available.
HowTheLightGetsIn is a feast for more than just the mind.
Whether you're after a quick snack between sessions, innovative street food, the hippest food trucks, local London craft beers or a slice of homemade cake, you'll find a whole range of exceptional eateries across our festival site.
You'll probably find yourself working up a thirst with all the day's debates, so step into one of our luxurious bars for the best drinking experience in Hay, with locally sourced beer and cider as well as champagne and gin.
You'll have fine food and finer conversation, accompanied by cabaret, dancing and performance all night. This is one festival you won't forget.
For budding space scientists, bookworms, fun-lovers, and thinkers alike, HowTheLightGetsIn has plenty on offer to keep children and young adults of all ages busy in our Mindcraft area, from tots right up to sixth formers.
There'll be craft and tech stalls plus sandpit and fairground rides, and the Hangout for older children. Young adults can learn from the world's leading thinkers at the IAI School and Academy.
Plus this year we're excited to be expanding our offering to include a whole Children and Young Adult's Programme, including talks, interactive sessions and learning experiences to pique the curiosity of 7-12 year olds. Stay tuned for more info.
We welcome under 12s to the festival free of charge when accompanied by an adult.
Tickets for 12-17 year olds will be available at a discounted rate.
Book tickets here.
Recline in the cosy, candle-lit hush of our boutique picturehouse and let us take you on a voyage of discovery. Whether you need a night off from dancing or wish to throw yourself into new and strange ideas, our cinema programme is the perfect complement to your festival experience.
Brought to you by DOKBOX - where you can find the world's best documentaries all in one place - DOKBOX showcases a whole host of fascinating documentaries, so that you'll never want for stimulation and intrigue between sessions. Settle in and enjoy the show...
When darkness descends on our festival things can get a little strange. It starts with a drumming and chanting emerging from the darkness, and before you know it, you've been whipped up into a frenzied procession of grotesques leading you into the heart of chaos and insanity that is Midnight Mayhem.
Join in the revels as each night we progress through the festival collecting lost souls to take part in our late-night anarchic Midnight Mayhem debates. We pair our comedians with some of our rowdier speakers to play host to the proceedings, in which anyone can take part. So, let the rhythm take over and step into the ring: you never know what awaits.
The Riverside Fayre boasts a host of stalls and vendors, with fine crafts, attractions, and a dazzling array of dining options, all enjoyed to the beat of one of our pop-up music stages. Explore the best and boldest street vendors and food stalls in the UK, or just stroll through the bustling market and wait for something to catch your eye.
With all the excitement going on at HowTheLightGetsIn, everyone needs a moment to pause. Gather your thoughts or simply let them drift away as you enter the serene haven of the spa, where our expert practitioners will ease your mind with meditation classes, reiki, yoga, massages and more, recoverting your strength so you can head back out and dance the night away.
A Truly Unique Offering