Monthly Archives: April 2011


Happy Easter! The print programmes have dropped onto doormats and the box office bodies are busy packing up tickets, so we thought now would be a good time to take a tour of all the free activities at Hay Fever this year.  We promise, there’s enough free bits and bobs to do this fest to keep even the most determined of half-term thumb twiddlers busy.

Hannah and Elle will be creating and crafting in the Make and Take tent between 10am and 5pm every day. Plenty of wet wipes will be on hand as sticky fingers make Tulgy Wood creatures, wishing lines and  space adventurers.  Plus this year we’ve got some very special takeover craft days from Concern Universal (for a global twist) and The Tom Grahame Trust (for treasure maps and pirate adventures).  Our giant bean bags will be back, as will the giant Connect 4 and a giant golden egg (all will be revealed!)

If that wasn’t enough over-sized goodness Science writer extraordinaire Christopher Lloyd is bringing his What On Earth? Giant Wallbook (pictured here) to the Hay Fever Courtyard. He’ll be at the wall every day (yes, everyday!) at 12pm and 3pm in his coat of many pockets for a free talk tracing the history and science of the planet.

We adore experiments, so we’ve invited Physics in the Field back for the first weekend to get science busking with everyone. It was a blast (quite literally!) last year so come and have a go.

Artists and genius illustrators from We Are Words + Pictures will also be on hand across the first weekend with all their pens and pencils to make comic strips, before the Haiti Kids Kino Project round off the festival on Sunday 5 June to show off the amazing power of cinema. Watch this space for blog posts from both these brilliant groups.

RSPB Cymru are celebrating their centenary with us and what better way to cheer all the work they do than join one of their many family nature trails.  Just pop by their stand on site, or ask for more info in the Hay Fever Courtyard.  They’ll be a perfect opportunity to discover the hidden nooks of Hay, in and around the Wye, just don’t forget to come back and tell us about all your adventures!

Oh, and the word on the meadow is that Eat Natural will be giving out tasters of their yummy bars and Cafedirect will be handing out baby cups of coffee, so our energy will be totally boosted for all these plans. How lucky are we?!

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CU getting ready for Hay

Along with my Concern Universal colleague Rachael, and some very welcome volunteers, I’m happily making plans for this year’s Hay Festival. We always look forward to it – and the chance to see our local supporters and meet those of you who don’t know and love us yet. This year, we’ve got loads of great stuff planned particularly for young Hay Fever goers. Hampton Dene School, who have been providing tremendous support for the last three years, are super happy about having the chance to perform their Carnival Spectacular at Hay Fever. Inspired by the stories of children we work with alongside our local partner CPD in Brazil, the musical tells the story of a child worker who is a budding musician, and his participation in the annual carnival. Our fab volunteers Emily and Jess are busy with rehearsals at the school and we think that the performance promises to be the most uplifting and joyous hour that £2 can buy!

This week, I’m visiting 5 local schools with Angela Brightling, who leads the Concern Universal team in Brazil. It’s been a real pleasure to hear young people’s thoughts and responses to our workshops on human rights in Latin America. When asked what impressions they would take, one group of young people wrote “Things are moving on, people coming together – (they are) making a difference”. We’ll be taking these workshops to Hay on Thursday 26th and Friday 27th May. I’m looking forward to hearing what young visitors to Hay think about the how we can encourage greater respect for children’s rights across the world.

I’ve given my colleague James in the Programme team the task of bring back some good examples of African ingenuity from his trip to Ghana this week. We’re taking over the ‘Make and Take’ area of Hay Fever on June 1 & 2 with the theme – ‘Don’t refuse, re-use’ so I’m priming everyone for ideas. It’s been really fascinating hearing from other countries where we work, about how people are re-using everyday objects for a more sustainable world.


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Blog Trotting

An awesome April 5 to you all.

This past week all kinds of madness has been taking place in the office, as the programme opened to Friends. We’re thrilled to finally get the Hay Fever programme out there and hear what you all think.  So, we thought we’d celebrate (seriously, any excuse) with a little adventure around a few of the blogs from artists appearing this year.

If you know of anymore point us in the right direction…

The Etherington Brothers (pictured here) – boy, oh boy do these lads have some energy?! But what would you expect from a team who have created comic material for Transformers, Star Wars, Wallace and Gromit, Terminator Salvation, Dreamworks’ Monsters Vs Aliens, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar? Btw, the list goes on.

Meg Rosoff – a window into Meg’s world.  A real treat to see not only what she’s working on currently, but also to sample snatches of cover artwork and extracts.  She’s on the Carnegie shortlist this year, so definitely check out the snippet of There Is No Dog posted.  She’ll be chatting to The Telegraph’s Gaby Wood about it come May.

Candy Gourlay – one of Hay Fever’s fresh new voices for 2011.  We can’t wait to see her pics from Hay when she visits on Monday 30 May.

Geraldine McCaughrean – such a wealth of knowledge about children’s books and a shared joy from random finds on eBay.  She’ll be chatting with Candy and Sarah McIntyre on Monday 30 May.

Patrick Ness – wonderfully he updates regularly with news.  We seriously don’t know how we would survive without knowing what was coming next, and we’re so not alone!  He’ll be sitting down with David Almond on Saturday 28 May.

Hannah Shaw – Weasels Measles!  We love this blog for it’s name alone (though her awesome preview sketches help too!) Plus we might be a little bias with Hannah being our oh-so-cool illustrator this year an’ all.  Hannah will be with us across the first weekend, so make sure you say hello.

Caroline Lawrence – a brand new blog for her brand new Western Mysteries series.  There’s no tumbleweed here!  Polish your spurs for Wednesday 1 June.

Lauren St. John – a wonderful sneak peek behind the scenes of Blue Peter in her last post, as she joined Barney and Andy to celebrate winning BP’s 2011 Book of the Year Award.  We’ll be hearing all about Laura Marlin on Wednesday 1 June.

Sarah McIntyre – one of the most prolific bloggers we know.  Stop by and see all her adventures.  Our fave atm are the sketches of the awesome project (Monsterville) she’s working on for the Discover Centre.  She’s in Hay on Tuesday 31 May, peeps, get it in the diary.

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