Bernie Sanders joins 30th Hay Festival line-up

Bernie Sanders joins 30th Hay Festival line-up

US senator Bernie Sanders, Man Booker Prize winner Paul Beatty, veteran director Ken Loach and actress Charlotte Rampling are among the famous names on the line-up for the 30th Hay Festival. Stellar children's authors will include Judith Kerr, Julia Donaldson and Chris Riddell, and novelists will include Jeanette Winterson, Colm Toíbín, Elif Shafak and Neil Gaiman. 

Eight hundred events are planned from 25th May to 4th June in Hay-on-Wye. Tickets go on sale on Thursday (6th April). 

Prize-winners speaking at the festival will include Costa Book of the Year winner Sebastian Barry, former Man Booker winner Howard Jacobson, 2016's Baileys and Desmond Elliott prize-winner Lisa McInerney, 2016 Baillie Gifford prize-winner Philippe Sands, and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout.

Also on the bill are also authors Ian Rankin, Eimear McBride, Helen Fielding, Paula Hawkins, Ahdaf Soueif, Rose Tremain, David Mitchell, Madeleine Thien, John Boyne, Meg Rosoff, Jonathan Safran Foer, Hanif Kureishi, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Otessa Moshfegh, Jake Arnott, Hari Kunzru, Victoria Hislop, Cynan Jones, Tony Parsons, Laura McVeigh, Cory Doctorow and Richard Russo.

The starry line-up features TV personalities including Graham Norton, who last year published his debut Holding with Hodder, and comedian Eddie Izzard. Also from stage and screen will be conversations with Charlotte Rampling, Sheila Hancock, Sandi Toksvig, Stephen Fry and Sir Tony Robinson, while Loach delivers the annual Raymond Williams Lecture and actor and director Michael Sheen speaks in the Aneurin Bevan Lecture.

Hinging on the idea of "30 reformations" for Hay Festival's 30th year - a nod to the 500 years since Martin Luther’s Theses - neurologist author Suzanne O’Sullivan will speak about the NHS and Gillian Tett on corporations, iwhile there will be ruminations from authors Winterson, Sands and Shafak on marriage, citizenship and honour, respectively.

Sanders will be involved in one of a number of sessions bringing global affairs and politics, from Brexit to Trump, to the fore. Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson, Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov, Labour MP Jess Philips, new trade minister Mark Price, and former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón, will appear, as will economists Dame Nemat Talaat Shafik, deputy governer of the Bank of England, and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis. Challenging the status quo, Everyday Sexism Project's Laura Bates, mental health campaigner Bryony Gordon and Pussy Riot co-founder Nadezhda Tolokonnikova are also on the bill.

Ideas in art, science, technology, history and health will be investigated too in conversations with artist Tracey Emin, historian Lucy Worsley, theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli, neuroscientist Henry Marsh, forsensic cyber psychologist Mary Aiken, philosopher Raymond Tallis, academic Germaine Greer, and historian and broadcaster Simon Schama.

​Late-night entertainment includes performances from Brian May, Will Young, Amy Macdonald, James Rhodes, Kobo Town and Fat Freddy’s Drop; comedy from Izzard, Mark Watson, Marcus Brigstocke, Ken Dodd, Ava Vidal and Shappi Khorsandi.

The Haydays line-up promises to be "the biggest ever", according to Hay Festival, featuring authors such as Patrick Ness and Sarah Crossan. 

The full list of conversations, performances and celebrations is available at

Peter Florence, director of Hay Festival, commented: “For 30 years Hay Festival has brought readers and writers together to share stories and ideas, to imagine the world – to tell our truths and renew our lives. We’ve seen the world move from paper to the digital realm, we’ve witnessed boundaries and languages shift, and vast migrations of people and money. We trust writers and the authority of the published word. We love stories and we love to throw a party.”