The British Council is thrilled to announce that we’re supporting a specially selected programme of events from 22–25 May at the Hay Festival Digital.

Hay Festival Digital will feature performances, discussions, and interactive Q&As with over 100 of the world’s greatest writers and thinkers. It will stream online from 22–31 May 2020.

The opening gala, produced by Hay Festivals in association with the British Council, and AHRC, celebrates the life and work of William and Dorothy Wordsworth, and features cultural luminaries including UK Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, author Margaret Atwood, actors Stephen Fry, Benedict Cumberbatch, Vanessa Redgrave, Tom Hollander, Toby Jones, Helen McCrory, Jonathan Pryce and the beloved gardener, broadcaster and author Monty Don.

Other events supported by the British Council offer a truly eclectic mix of contemporary writers and thinkers from the UK and around the world, including Afua Hirsch on the future of journalism, Inua Ellams on his experience of immigration, James Shapiro on the relevance of Shakespeare to contemporary American politics and culture, Lan Yan and Philippe Sands on a fascinating family history set in a time of upheaval, and an exclusive film-essay by Ali Smith and filmmaker Sarah Wood.

How to watch 

The events are available to watch live free of charge on the Hay Festival’s streaming platform, Crowdcast, and can be viewed for free for 24 hours after the live event. 

Audiences can register for an event in advance to receive updates.

For some events there will be a Q&A session and audience members will have the chance to submit questions.

All times are UK time (BST / UTC+1). For the full list of events see here