@MarDixon Passionate about culture internationally. Run remixing events, workshops, create solutions, and an international speaker. Over sharer and Mom who loses arguments to a teen. Projects created: @CultureThemes @lovetheatreday @AskaCurator @MuseumSelfieDay @TeensInMuseums @52museums
  • HayFestival 2011 @HayFestival

    June 15th, 2011mardixonLiteracy

    I know this post is a bit late, but better late than never. Pictures and some additional information can be found here:

    What HayFestival is All about.

    I was able to attend HayFestival again this year.  I know everyone talks about the feeling there but it is such an indescribable vibe about the festival and actually the whole town. 

    I attended MuseumNext this year, so arrived back at midnight on Friday but managed the 1 ½ hour drive to Hay Saturday morning to ensure I was there in time for the Sky Arts Book show.  I was so exciting about having tickets I didn’t care that I was tired, or my husband Michael was too ill to come but had to come anyway as I didn’t want to get lost.  And I was glad I did as seeing how the show is created was enlightening, as were the guests!

    On the Sunday, the whole family came to HayFestival.  I had tickets for the Sky Arts Book show again (this time it was Professor Brian Cox and Mark Logue – King’s Speech). I also was privileged to attend the Royal Society Lecture by the President of the Society Paul Nurse: DARWIN AND MILTON – TWO VIEWS OF CREATION.   I was a bit worried about attending this event as I’m not the strongest with the Royal Society items, but found this to be a thought-provoking, albeit a bit controversial discussion.  Paul took questions from the audience after, all of whom seem to want to debate his religion rather than discuss the topic but he was very eloquent in his replies.

    Then met up with Charlotte and Michael and we went to Peter Lord (from Aardman) & Gideon DefoeWhere they talked about the new movie The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists.  I love events like this where you get to get a feel for the work put in for movies/shows.  This was particularly interesting as Gideon spoke with passion on working with the animation.

    We then had  a very atmospheric walk into Hay for dinner and I managed to bump into Mark Logue at the circus.  We had a nice little chat before my family and I added off for dinner.


    Our final event of the day was to see Terry Jones, Gavin Pretor Pinney and Tibor Fischer join John Mitchinson: UNBOUND

    I’ve been in emailing contact (basically stalking mode) with Justin Pollard about another item when he mentioned he was going to be at Hay launching a new publishing project.  The event went very well, with all the panel describing what they were bringing to Unbound and how it was going to work.  I must admit, as I’m not a writer, I wasn’t too sure about some aspects of it but everyone was encouraged to speak to them during the festival at their shed.

    The following Sunday,  June 4th, I was back at Hay to see the lovely Tracy Corderoy as she had a sold out event for Beautiful Birds.  It was a bit strange at first as this event was for 3-5 years old and I was alone, but it was an honour to see Tracey at her first (of many I’m sure) HayFestival event. Tracy was able to interact and keep all the children entertained and waiting for the next story!

    Following the light and fun morning, I went straight to John Julius Norwich, The London Library Platform: The Popes.  This was a discussion on the controversial history of the papacy from St Peter to Benedict XVI today. It sounds a bit dry but it was actually a humorous, interesting and educational event for myself (as a Roman Catholic) and for the others.

    After a wonderful meet up with some Twitter friends.  That’s the lovely thing about HayFestival – you find new friends every year.

    I also took the time to have a great chat with Justin Pollard from Unbound.  Any doubts or questions I had about the new publishing endeavour were quickly squashed.  Unbound is a brilliant concept that I’m hoping everyone will have a look at http://www.unbound.co.uk/

    I then took a chance to see if I could attend the controversial Julian Assange from Wikileaks event. I was surprised and thrilled that I was able to get in at the last minute.  For this event, I managed to tweet throughout.  The tension is the room was very evident from the moment you sat down.  No one, I’m more, was quite sure what to expect.  Julian, I felt, talked honestly and openly although did managed to cause a bit of stirring by not answering specific questions.  There were a few shout outs from the audience, but the tension seemed to be more from the panel than from the audience. 

    I was sad not to be able to attend Hay on the Sunday but as we were going to London on the Monday/Tuesday for the Children’s Laureate announcement, it a book related excuse.

    I can not wait for HayFestival 2012.  The website says

    Next year’s festival will run from 31 May to 10 June 2012  See you there?

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