Record 9,000 turn out for 'most ambitious yet' Hay Festival Winter Weekend

Record 9,000 turn out for 'most ambitious yet' Hay Festival Winter Weekend

This year's Hay Festival Winter Weekend, featuring writers such as Rose Tremain, Horatio Clare, and Jeanette Winterson, drew record ticket sales of over 9,000.

The line-up for the four-day festival, which closed on Sunday (25th November), also included campaigners Ziauddin Yousafzai and Gina Miller; space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock; “Queen of Shops” Mary Portas; journalists James O’Brien, Oliver Bullough and Mark Urban; historians Helen Parr, Andrew Roberts, Tracy Borman, Andrew Green and Simon Jenkins; and performers Marcus Brigstocke, Gwyneth Glyn, and Mid-Wales Opera.

Bestselling books during the festival were James O’Brien’s How to be Right; Horatio Clare’s Something of His Art; Gina Miller’s Rise; Ziauddin Yousafzai’s Let Her Fly and Simon Jenkins' A Short History of Europe. Inventing Ourselves by Sarah-Jayne Blakemore was named Hay Festival Book of the Year 2018 following a call-out for public nominations.

Peter Florence, director of Hay Festival, said: “What a fabulous weekend of thoughtful, optimistic happiness. And of people coming together and trading stories, dancing out of the Brexit shambles and celebrating humanity and friendship.”

Novelist Winterson added: “It’s the time of year we need some internal sunshine and that’s what this is. It’s a place where there’s light and there’s warmth and a lot of fun.”

Simon Jenkins, Jeannette Winterson, James O'Brien, Rosie Boycott at Hay Festival Winter Weekend 2018 (credit: Marsha Arnold)