Hay Festival 2023: Dates and line-up with Dua Lipa, Stormzy, Helena Bonham Carter and more

The Hay Festival in Wales is an annual celebration of literature   (Ryan Phillips / PA)
The Hay Festival in Wales is an annual celebration of literature (Ryan Phillips / PA)

Stormzy and Dua Lipa have both confirmed that they will be attending this year’s world-renowned Hay Festival of Literature and Arts.

The festival is set to host more than 500 in-person events this year under the slogan “11 days of different”.

The festival’s CEO, Julie Finch, said the event would be a space “where great minds won’t always think alike, and where imaginations are free to roam”.

The annual gathering at Hay-on-Wye in Powys, Wales, involves literature and music lovers enjoying several conversations, panels, performances, comedy nights, debates, and film screenings.

But what is the history of the festival, when will it take place this year, and what famous faces are set to attend?

What is the Hay Festival?

The Hay Festival was founded in 1988 by Peter Florence and his parents Rhoda and Norman. Hay-on-Wye was famed for its array of bookshops, making it a suitable site for a literature festival.

Over the years, it has expanded to include film previews and musical performances, with the children’s festival Hay Fever running alongside the main festival.

There are also international Hay literary festivals in places such as Colombia and Peru.

The 2023 line-up will no doubt thrill visitors, as it includes a Booker Prize winner, a Grammy Award winner and a poet.

Who will be at the festival this year?

Best known for her book The Handmaid’s Tale, Booker Prize winner Margaret Atwood will be among the big names at the festival. The Canadian author will be discussing her short story collection Old Babes in the Wood.

Musicians Dua Lipa and Stormzy will be performing, as will rock duo the Proclaimers and poet laureate Simon Armitage.

Stormzy will take part in a special event celebrating five years of the rapper’s publishing imprint #Merky Books. Dua Lipa will take part in a live recording of her podcast At Your Service.

Other notable guests include novelist Caleb Azumah Nelson; historian Simon Schama; journalist Gary Younge; Guardian columnist Marina Hyde; broadcaster Jon Snow; author and TV personality Richard Osman; and travel writer Isabella Tree.

Sir Michael Parkinson will also be there to discuss his book My Sporting Life: Memories, Moments and Declarations.

Atwood, Elif Shafak, and Douglas Stuart will host a special event focused on Salman Rushdie’s new novel Victory City. Rushdie is recovering from an attack that left him blind in one eye last year.

Helena Bonham Carter and Sir Tony Robinson will perform Shakespeare For Every Day Of The Year, marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio.

When is it and how can you get tickets?

The Hay Festival will take place from May 25 to June 4, 2023.

You can buy tickets for any of the 500 individual events, each with its own price, via the Hay Festival programme.