"There is a crack in everything...that's how the light gets in". So goes the Leonard Cohen song from which our festival gets its name. And HowTheLightGetsIn brings its own special form of magic to everyone. There is no other place on the planet where you can spend your days meeting the world's leading thinkers and discovering the most cutting-edge ideas, before partying and dancing late into the night.
After delighting audiences in Hay-on-Wye for many years, HowTheLightGetsIn came to London in 2018, bringing wonder to the sumptuous gardens of Kenwood House in Hampstead Heath. We're back at the Heath on September 23rd and 24th, ready to spread curiosity and joy once again.
At HowTheLightGetsIn London 2023 you can join a debate about the nature of the universe with the world's top scientists, laugh until your sides hurt with the UK's best comedians, dance at our famous disco tent to the finest beats or dine with our speakers at Inner Circle events.
HowTheLightGetsIn is not just another festival. There's something special in the air. It's alive with ideas in every field of endeavour. The programme has many names you will recognise but HowTheLightGetsIn is not about status or celebrity. We are about ideas and wonder and creating a space where everyone's imagination can flourish. Find the bands you've never heard of, discover ground-breaking ideas that have yet to make their mark, contribute yourself and your thoughts, and magic will come your way.
Debate is the beating heart of HowTheLightGetsIn London 2023. Ideas are alive and evolving. There is rarely consensus at the frontiers of knowledge.
HowTheLightGetsIn gathers the leading thinkers in every field to interrogate the issues of our time and find new ways of understanding the world. The conversations you'll hear will help shape the intellectual landscape of the country for years to come.
Our world-class line up of musicians and performers is the jewel in the crown of our programme, and what makes HowTheLightGetsIn a festival unlike any other.
"The art and soul of the party" - Harper's Bazaar
"Brilliant...the setting and the atmosphere is perfect" - Badly Drawn Boy
"The music lineup would shame the average summer festival" - The Independent
Presale tickets are available now!
Set in the majestic, leafy grounds of Kenwood House on the crest of Hampstead Heath, HowTheLightGetsIn London 2023 has the intimate feel of our world-renowned festival in Hay-on-Wye, an oasis in the buzzing centre of London.
We've grown since we started. But we've kept our intimate scale. Our venues are small enough to encourage real conversation, electric enough to make the dancing spin.
You may come for our debates, talks and music, but HowTheLightGetsIn London will have so much more to try.
Our Inner Circle events are a unique opportunity to dine and discuss ideas with the world's leading thinkers. Beginning with an introduction from one of our speakers, you'll get the chance to have your say on the day's ideas. If there's a question you've always wanted to ask them, or if you think they got it wrong in a debate, now's the opportunity.You might not get one anywhere else!
Soak up award-winning international documentaries in the cinema tent courtesy of our partners at DOKBOX
With scandalous cabaret and vintage fairground rides to boot, the festival is a wonderland for the imagination.
A UK First. Back To Big Thinking