How The Light Gets In Philosophy and Music Festival

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Country and Region United KingdomEngland
Type of Festival Comedy, Music
Location of Festival Hay on Wye, Hereford, England, UK
Festival Contact Information

Institute of Arts and Ideas
The Globe at Hay
Hay on Wye
Hereford HR3 5BG
England UK
Email form:

Festival Description

HowTheLightGetsIn the world’s largest philosophy and music festival, is back. With more than two-hundred of the world’s leading philosophers, musicians, writers and scientists joining us to investigate this year’s theme of ‘Error, Lies and Adventure’, we’ll be getting to the heart of the best and brightest new ideas in contemporary culture.

Some of the world’s cutting-edge thinkers and leading decision makers will be engaged over ten days with inspirational and thought-provoking debates. Alongside this you can look forward to a packed programme of live performances in our unique and intimate setting. The diverse programming includes talks, cabaret, comedy and world-class musicians sure to keep you dancing into the small hours.

The festival offers two camping locations — Riverside Festival Camping & Hilltop Festival Camping. Options include pitching your own tent, or make it easy on yourself and order a deluxe pre-pitched yurt, campervans and more… See Practical information below for details.

Festival Dates May 23 - June 2, 2013
Festival Links

Festival Events:

Weekend I: May 24-27, 2013:
  • Globe Stages
    • Electric Swing Circus
    • Utah Saints
    • Zen Hussies
    • King Charles
    • The Correspondents
    • Mums Old Vinyl
    • Orlando Seal and the Swell
    • Man Like Me
    • Cocos Lovers
    • Chris Pattermore
    • Dazee
    • James Welsh
    • Jamie Anderson
  • International Stage
    • Jeffrey Lewis
    • Nerina Pallot
    • Serafina Steer
    • Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly
    • Phildel
    • Sean Taylor
    • The Beau Bow Belles
  • Globe Field Stage
    • Nick Mulvey
    • Alessi’s Ark
    • Julia Biel
    • The Boxettes
    • Sweet Baboo
    • The Melodic
    • Tomos Lewis
  • Comedy in the Ring
    • Nish Kumar
    • Aisling Bea
    • Helen Arney
    • Alfie Brown
    • Phil Wang
    • John Kearns
    • Thom Tuck
    • John Robins
    • Ian Smith
Midweek: Tuesday May 28-30, 2013
  • Ellen and the Escapades
  • Richard Walters
  • Emily Barker
  • The Hut People
  • Monster Ceildh Band
  • Roving Crows
  • Ana Silvera
  • Lori Campbell
  • Daniel Simonsen
  • Jessie and the Brackish Breeze
  • Southgate & Leigh
  • Iszi Lawrence
  • Will Franken
  • JP
  • Cedric Maison
  • Young Husband
  • Sheeps
  • Liam Williams
  • Thrilogy
Weekend II: May 31 - June 2, 2013
  • Baka Beyond
  • Stealing Sheep
  • Sheelanagig
  • Waylayers
  • Andrew Weatherall
  • Sam Lee
  • Moulettes
  • Blaenavon Male Voice Choir
  • Marques Toliver
  • David Trent
  • Mike Wozniak
  • Mark Stephenson
  • Catriona Knox
  • Joe Volk
  • Miss Maud’s Folly
  • Woodpecker Wooliams
  • Chloe Foy
  • Pat Cahill
  • Tom Rosenthal
  • Gabby Young Trio
  • Ivo Graham
  • Angela Barnes
  • Deepgrove
  • Joyce the Librarian
Debates 2013:
  • The first debate information has been released and tickets are now on sale at
    • In The World’s Edge novelists Terry Pratchett and AS Byatt and literary critic Terry Eagleton debate the nature of myths and fantasies.
    • In Mind, Madness and Power psychologist and broadcaster Oliver James, outspoken sociologist Frank Furedi, and clinical psychologist Richard Bentall challenge therapy culture.
    • And in Death of the Hero, American moral philosopher and Einstein Forum director Susan Neiman, former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Ian Blair, and classical philosopher Angie Hobbs question whether we need new forms of heroism to inspire the modern world.
A taste of programming 2013:
  • Sexuality After Genetics
    • Conflict rages between those who believe that gender is socially constructed and those who argue that it is biologically determined. But now geneticists propose that we can change our sexual characteristics through lifestyle choices. Is this misguided hype, or the promise of a brave new world? Biologist and author of Identically Different: Why You Can Change Your Genes Tim Spector, Darwinist philosopher Helena Cronin and feminist writer Julie Bindel assess the science of sexuality.
  • Why the World Exists
    • From the size of an electron’s charge to the cosmological constant, the universe appears to be mysteriously fine-tuned to support life. Can dark matter or infinite parallel universes explain why the world exists, or are such questions fundamentally insoluble? Templeton Prize-winning cosmologist George Ellis, theoretical physicist Laura Mersini-Houghton and Oxford philosopher David Wallace dispute the origins of existence.
  • Andrew Weatherall
    • There is arguably no dance music pioneer who has had a greater impact on popular music than Andrew Weatherall. As well as residing in the pantheon of the greatest Djs of all time, he also produced Primal Scream’s seminal Screamadelica and has remixed pretty much everybody. With truly catholic musical tastes, from rock to techno, the Lower Gallery hosts a one-of-a-kind session here.
  • Error, Lies, and Adventure
    • For politicians and journalists, church leaders and chief executives, errors are something to be covered up, ignored or denied. But is this a mistake? Could it be that errors are the source of our inspiration and of future advances - the very stuff of adventure? Director of the Einstein Forum Susan Neiman, SDP founder and former leader David Owen, and TS Eliot prize-winning poet and musician Don Paterson seek adventure in error.
  • Entering the Soul Niche
    • Psychologist Nicholas Humphrey argues belief in the soul has been the main driver of human evolution for a hundred thousand years. “As elegant, and hypnotic, as cool…
  • Utah Saints
    • The history of dance music would not be complete without the Utah Saints. KLF legend Bill Drummond described them as “the world’s first stadium house band” - correc…


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Social networks:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter!/htlgifestival
  • MixCloud
  • YouTube


Practical Info:

Camping 2012:
  • There are two festival campsites
    • Riverside Festival Camping
    • Hilltop Festival Camping
  • They offer something for everyone. From deluxe pre-pitched yurts on the banks of the River Wye to spacious tent and campervan plots with panoramic views of the Black Mountains. Not to mention parking just minutes away from all the action.
  • Snap up a space while the earlybird prices still apply and stay tuned for the next lot of line-up announcements!


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