Hay Festival has revealed its Winter Weekend line-up ahead of the first in-person event for two years.

Among the list of appearances are Clare Balding, Bear Grylls, Josh Widdecombe and Oscar -winner Emerald Fennell.

Hay Festival Winter Weekend returns for its first ticketed, in person events in the UK for two years, brining writers and readers together from November 24 to November 28.

Over the five days, more than 80 acclaimed writers and performers will take part, launching the best new fiction and non-fiction, and spreading joy with conversations, candle-lit storytelling, comedy, music and family workshops.

Hay Festival Winter Weekend Line-up

Here are some of the famous faces who will be appearing at this year’s Winter Weekend.


  • Jeanette Winterson
  • Matt Haig
  • Siri Hustvedt
  • Sarah Moss
  • Sarah Hall
  • Elizabeth Day


  • Miriam Margoyles
  • Emerald Fennell


  • Anita Rani
  • Clare Balding
  • Fi Glover
  • Jane Garvey


  • Phil Wang
  • Josh Widdecombe


  • Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason
  • Bobby Gillespie
  • John Illsley

View the full line-up here.

Barry And District News: Credit: Sam HardwickCredit: Sam Hardwick

In-person events take place in a new Festival site in the centre of Hay-on-Wye against the stunning backdrop of the Brecon Beacons.

Comprised of the Wales Stage – Llwyfan Cymru located on the Cae Mawr field (at the base of the town’s Oxford Road Car Park) and the Baillie Gifford stage in the neighbouring Hay Primary School, the new site also includes the Festival bookshop, hosting regular in person signings, along with a food and drink court and exhibitors.

Events will also take place around the town more widely, in the Parish Hall, St Mary’s Church and the Cheese Market, while the booktown’s independent shops, cafés and markets open their doors with a warm welcome to Festivalgoers.

Barry And District News: Hay-on-Wye dressed up in bunting for the festival. Credit: Billie CharityHay-on-Wye dressed up in bunting for the festival. Credit: Billie Charity

New Covid guidelines will be in place for the festival.

Book your tickets for Hay Festival Winter Weekend.

Hay Festival international director Cristina Fuentes la Roche said: “We’re back for our first in-person events in the UK in two years with Hay Festival Winter Weekend 2021, a Festival of inspiration and optimism to entertain curious minds of all ages.

“With an ambitious programme filling an innovative new site, it marks both a return to celebrate and a fresh start. Join us in a safe space to imagine the world anew and share the closing days of 2021with music, laughter and friends.”