How The Light Gets In


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While Hay’s book festival garners headlines around the world, the town’s ‘other festival’, How The Light Gets In, adds a cheeky (and philosophical) twist for visitors to enjoy.

Running in parallel with the book festival, How The Light Gets In delivers a week of debate, music and wonder.

Drawing the world’s brightest minds to Wales, this year’s event will feature more than 240 debates and talks that explore the arts, philosophy, politics and the natural sciences. Prepare to have your assumptions about the world challenged, as the festival challenges ‘the known’ with the strange, with obscure facts and with theories that fly in the face of our preconceptions.

In The Weird and the Wonderful, environmentalist Alastair McIntosh, LSE sociologist Eileen Barker and comedian and Dawkins collaborator Ariane Sherine delve into the resurgence of interest in pagan festivals, from solstice rituals to ley lines. Should we dismiss this as empty fantasy? Or is there something essential within us that goes beyond science and monotheistic religion?

Gathered together in the Globe and Riverside sites, the festival is a fantastic opportunity to both learn from and engage with some of the brightest and most interesting minds. Through Open Platform events and Philosophy Salons, you can join the debate in intimate sessions with speakers over breakfast, tea and cake or wine and dinner.

Not a moment goes by that doesn’t hold the promise of discovery or exploration – but for those moments of respite there is the Riverside Kanga Spa, providing morning meditation sessions, afternoon yoga, Hula Hoop classes and yoga philosophy sessions on The Seven Chakras.

It’s not all about philosophy and relaxation though – by the Market Fayre, The People’s Front Room create a world of enchantment and fantasy with their interactive theatre, while Gypsy Disco bring a whirlwind of aerial displays and burlesque shows in the Spiegel Tent.

Days of philosophical thought lead to evenings of musical mayhem, as a string of the music industry’s biggest and newest names descend upon Hay. Worldwide music from DJ Gilles Peterson, brooding vocals from Mercury Prize nominees Ghostpoet, ESKA and C Duncan, and magical soul, rock and African blues from Sifaka are among the 370 acts set to entertain throughout the week. The festival will also present the finest Welsh talent on the BBC Horizons/Gorwelian stage, in association with Arts Council Wales.

The festival runs from the 26th May to the 5th June, with Festival Day Tickets available from £18.

Read more on the Festival's website

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