Category Archives: 2011 Festival


Phew!  What a year.  We had an incredibly jolly time and we hope you all did too.  Thank you for making Hay Fever so much fun.  There are sooooo many highlights, so we did a little survey around the office (and the surrounding pavement) to see which bits stood out for everyone:

  • The Duchess of Cornwall meeting two girls styling out a more feline look.
  • Chris Evans shouting ‘Hay! Hay! Hay!’ from the little Elmley Theatre to 9m listeners across the nation. The finalists of the 500 Words competition were all fantastic – you can see all the pics and stories here.
  • Hannah Shaw drawing on The Hexagon, yes on the actual tent!
  • Treasure hunting, pirate style, round the site for Tom’s Gift.
  • Making video postcards with HKKP – we still have our (now slightly deflated) red balloon.
  • Creating wooden animals with the National Trust and willow wands with Lorraine Weeks.
  • Picking Christopher Lloyd’s pockets.  The Giant Wallbook will be at the Natural History Museum next.
  • Watching Popty Ping (yes, that is the Welsh for microwave) – an impromptu spoken word medley in the garden by The Beacons Project and Arthur Smith.

And now for the pictures (courtesy of the awesome Finn Beales & Michaela Rogers):

The new children's laureate storytelling at Hay Fever

Cartwheeling in the garden

Jason Bradbury whizzing about in our electric powered car on site.

The What on Earth? Giant Wallbook in the Hay Fever Courtyard

Activities in Wiggly Wigglers Garden.

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Reading People, Writing Character by Western Mysteries author Caroline Lawrence

Are you the sort of person who can run sprints of academic brilliance but endures cringing marathons of social ineptitude? Can you remember facts, figures and dates if they relate to your particular obsession, while frequently forgetting your colleagues names? Do you introduce yourself to people youve already met several times before, as you secretly conquer imaginary worlds in your head?

I am! And I am continually fascinated by people or characters who are slightly dysfunctional nerds like me, only more so.
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There’s Adventures with Vegetables to be had in the Wiggly Wigglers Garden this Saturday & Sunday. David & Amy of the Secret Seed Society will be reading, for the first time ever, in the world, the latest book in the Seed City Series, ‘A Frisbee to Fly, starring Rio Rocket’. Be there to get a sneak preview, be early to avoid disappointment!


Saturday 28th May 11.30-12.15

Saturday 28th May 16.30-17.15

Sunday 29th May 11.30-12.15

Sunday 29th May 16.30-17.15

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Brainstorming for the Big Screen!

The Eureka! project: putting kids in the Picture.

The story starts here – literally! – as theStoryBoard and Young Film Academy light the fuse on the Eureka! project.

On Wednesday 1st June we’ll be launching the search for a story, a story that will start here at Hay and end up on a cinema screen near you. A major motion picture made for kids, by kids…

So bring your imagination, bring your wildest dreams. We’re going to be working out which ingredients make a story go BANG! – and everyone can throw their ideas into the mix.

Event Details: Wednesday 1st June, 10.00-11.15am at the Elmley Stage

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Celebrate with RSPB Cymru

This year is RSPB Cymru’s 100th Birthday and we’re asking everyone to join us to celebrate 100 years of working in Wales. RSPB Cymru’s 100th birthday is a historic milestone as it allows us to reflect on the achievements of the past 100 years, where we have worked to restore the fortunes of some of Wales’ most iconic birds and protect our varied landscapes and habitats. Come along and meet us at the Hay Festival and show your support by wearing one of our limited edition pin badges available at the Hay Festival, all featuring the special RSPB Cymru 100 logo.

Do your children want to explore nature?

Come to the RSPB tent to book your children (Ages 7 – 11) onto our Nature Trail Outdoor Learning Experience, where they can have a go at Pond Dipping, Bug Hunting, Rainbow Spotting and Bird Watching. Send your children on a lifelong learning experience that allows them to take a hands on approach to exploring our natural world.

From Monday 30th May to Friday 3rd June,
There will be 2 trails per day:

Morning: 10:00 – 12:00
Afternoon: 1:00 – 3:00

There is no charge, but you must book your child’s space on the trail at the RSPB Cymru stand prior to the event and meet at the stand 10 minutes before your chosen trail time departure.

There is a maximum allowance of 20 children per nature trail where 2 of our brilliant field teachers will take them on a nature adventure.

The walk starts at the RSPB Cymru stand and moves on up to the old Golf Course, where is comes to an end back at the stand. The trail lasts approximately 2 hours. (Our stand will be displaying a map to identify the trail route).

Take our Nature Trail and explore nature together!

We’ve also got lots of fun activities on the RSPB Cymru stand which you can do as a family together. For instance, our self-guided Town Trail will let you explore the nooks and crannies of Hay, at your own pace, and in your own time. Don’t forget to come back and tell us your answers! Children also have a chance to compose their own piece of literature in our Wild Writing Competition where the winner’s entry will be published in our member’s newsletter!

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We love recommendations from friends about what book to read next, which movies to see (or not!), where best to eat etc.  So this post is a whisper in your ear about what to look out for on the Hay Fever programme, picking up on brand new names that we know will become your future favourites.  Enjoy.

Like: Jacqueline Wilson Love: Hilary Mckay

The Casson family has been taken to many people’s hearts for good reason – come and meet Hilary to find out why.

Like: Andy Stanton & Jeremy Strong Love: Tim Wesson & Nikalas Catlow

What could be better than helping to create the laughs in this new series of doodle fiction books? A brilliant idea, which will undoubtedly lead to a brilliant event.

Like: Robert Muchamore Love: Alex Scarrow and Mark Walden

Villains, time travel and more adventure than you can shake a stick at.

Like: Michael Morpurgo Love: Geraldine McCaughrean & Candy Gourlay

Charming storytelling, transporting you to places and people you can immediately connect to.

Like: Charlie Higson & Darren Shan Love: Chris Priestly

If you need another shot of scariness then this is for you.  Spooky tales that will keep the hairs on the back of your neck prickled.

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Say ‘Hey!’ at Hay to Harriet Houdini – Stunt Bunny!

Stunt Bunny: Tour Troubles Hello, Harriet Houdini here, star of the fabulous Stunt Bunny books and all-round superstar!

When my personal assistant, Tamsyn, told me we were going to Hay, I imagined a field of delicious dried grass for me to nibble on. So, I was pretty disappointed to find out that it’s a field of tents instead! But I like nothing better than meeting my fans and I’m really hoping that lots of you come and see me on Thursday 2nd June at 4.00pm on the Starlight Stage.

Tamsyn Murray

Tamsyn will be talking about what it’s like to work with Britain’s Best Loved Bunny and she’ll be signing copies of my memoirs, Showbiz Sensation and Tour Troubles. I’ve asked her not to dish any dirt on my private life but she might spill a secret or two. Promise you won’t tell the newspapers if she does?

Can’t wait to meet you!

Harriet xx

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A Mighty Greeting from the Etherington Brothers!

Greetings, greetings one and all!

Let’s kickstart this hijacked blog (which we’re hurriedly writing while the lovely folk at the Hay Festival have their backs turned) with a Dinosaur attack! AGH!

T-Rex attacks The Etherington Brothers

Phew. That was simply to demonstrate that there are worse things in life than having to go to school on a Monday morning.

Now that nonsense is out the way we would like to say how much we are looking forward to bringing our own brand of comic and cartoon tomfoolery to Hay. Ever since we were little boys we’ve always wanted to create stories that excite and entertain. Our love of picture books and passion for comics helped to shape our future career.

We Etherington Brothers believe that graphic novels are the future. We  also believe that it’s okay to abandon a mission and run away if you are being pursued by a large number of monsters. See below for details.

Sid and Rivet run away

Anyone with a ticket to our show will get to meet Sid and Rivet (the cowards seen above) and a host of other crazy characters as we chat about creating stories and drawing pictures and share all our secret hints and tips.

Oh, and if you’re really lucky, Robin may even give you his world-famous impression of a turtle. What an offer!

See you in a fortnight!

The Etherington Brothers

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Pssst! Come see me and other children’s authors at the Hay Festival!

Hello mini-Hay people!
Candy Gourlay, author of Tall Story;

Candy Gourlay, here! I’m a one of those annoying newby authors (BUY TALL STORY) desperate to meet her readers. I made a video to tell you all about the Hay Festival! If you can’t see it below, click here to watch it.

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