Set for September 17 to 20, the Hay’s Segovia outing in its 15th year is to return to a format ‘in real life,’ not digital, but with venues at one-third of capacity and staggered scheduling.
Today’s (June 25) announcement from the Hay Festival leadership is that it will hold a physical festival in Segovia, September 17 to 20. Perhaps anticipating controversy, the news has been announced to the news media by the Hay’s founding director Peter Florence, himself, this morning.
And the Hay’s director of international festivals, Cristina Fuentes La Roche, tells Publishing Perspectives, “In this very difficult year–but also as special thanks to the Premio Princesa de Asturias Prize–we want to celebrate writers and audiences in the best way we can, face to face, following all the distancing and hygiene protocols. We are thrilled to present this rich and diverse program.”
What makes this especially interesting, of course, is that the Hay has stood as a model for digital alternatives among festivals, having announced on June 2 drawing 490,000 streams to its online evocation in May for which it raised £95,786 (US$118,941) with its GoFundMe campaign and just over £100,000 (US$124,169) offline. The online program replaced the annual flagship festival at Hay-on-Wye in Wales. Peter Florence
With Florence having spoken at the time of the online results being so gratifying that it seemed “like a moment of adventure and opportunity,” it may not have been foreseen by some that he’d go back to a physical rendition of one of the company’s international network of festivals in September.
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