#ImagineTheWorld – Virtually Here
by Emma van Woerkom
Looking back on the heady days of Hay Festival 2019, it’s truly difficult to imagine what a difference 12 months can make. Could we have guessed the words ‘pandemic’, ‘social isolation’ and ‘lockdown’ would find their way into our daily vocabulary? Who would have envisaged highstreets shut, playgrounds deserted and festival sites mothballed.
But being an adaptable species not everything has been cancelled. Welcome to Hay Festival Digital, 22-31 May, 2020. One hundred free online events streamed through the Crowdcast platform. As Hay Festival’s publicity director, Christopher Bone stated in his recent Evening Standard interview, “speakers can answer audience questions and festivalgoers can watch… we’re hopeful for a bumper fortnight of conversation, laughter and togetherness”.
Currently 360k people have registered to revel in this creative online experience. Why not join the throng engaging virtually with the likes of Hilary Mantel, Ali Smith, Hallie Rubenhold, Simon Armitage, Stephen Fry, Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Pryce and Vanessa Redgrave etc., leaving next year to dream, dust off our wellies, apply the sun cream and head back to Hay-on-Wye.
Hay Festival Digital is free to attend and runs to 31 May, register at www.hayfestival.com/wales/home