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Hay on Wye announces 2018 Independence Celebrations

Hay on Wye, Town of Books announces 2018 Independence Celebrations and  #BookstagramHay

On Saturday 1st April last year Hay celebrated 40 years of UDI – The Unilateral Declaration of Independence. The original creative act showed Richard Booth at his best; the idea of publicising Hay-on-Wye by declaring it to be an Independent Kingdom of Books in 1977 and himself the King was an example of pure genius. For many years it generated free and entertaining publicity for the town. Love him or hate him, the King has set some very high standards when it comes to making Hay the place for book lovers to visit throughout the year. Now that Richard is older and frailer it is up to the rest of the town to keep this creative spirit and sense of enterprise going for the next 40 years.

Following on from the enormous success of the 2017 celebrations the town has a week-long celebration of all things ‘Hay’ planned for this year.  The programme runs from Friday 30th March to Sunday 8th April inclusive.  

Anne Brichto, Addyman Books said: “People visit Hay because they love books and because they love that we do not have a chain store, betting shop or any big businesses of any kind in our centre. Based on the Booth philosophy Hay has managed to survive and thrive, the town still draws more tourists from all over the world than any other place in Wales. Come and see what all the fuss is about, you won’t be disappointed!”

Josh Green, Green Ink Booksellers said: “This will be an all-out celebration of the magic of Hay, the original book town and the ongoing story of The Independent kingdom”

Emma Balch, The Story of Books said: “Following the success of the inaugural Baskerville Wayzgoose, with more than 600 visitors, this year we are bringing the event into the heart of Hay-on-Wye. A wayzgoose is a traditional social gathering of printers and papermakers that dates back to medieval times and this year we’ll be at 20, Castle Street, Hay-on-Wye on Saturday 31st March, 10am-3pm, telling stories and making books, with demonstrations, activities, displays and stalls.”

Clare Fry, Chair of the Hay Chamber of Commerce commented, “The whole town has pulled out all the stops on this one… not to be missed!”

Programme highlights

  • Free activities and workshops for children of all ages at the Parish Hall all week.
  • An enormous line-up of speakers, workshops, artists, music and dancing around the town at bookshops, The Parish Hall and at The Globe @Hay.
  • The only Bookstagram meet-up in the WORLD to happen in a Book Town! This international social media group of artistic book-lovers choose the one and only Town of Books for an annual get-together with Booths Bookshop and Addyman Books the epi-centre of their destination, travelling from all four corners of the Globe this network really integrate themselves into the community during their stay so look out for many Bookstagram themed events during the celebrations, there’s always room for a few more ‘Bookstagramers’ in the world so lots of opportunity to get involved and meet others who appreciate all aspects of the book world!
  • The Story of Books brings the Baskerville Wayzgoose to Hay on Saturday 31st March.
  • During the Easter weekend we welcome Jeff Towns ‘The Dylan Thomas Guy’. Jeff Towns is one of the world’s leading Dylan Thomas experts. An antiquarian bookdealer by trade, based in the poet’s home-town of Swansea, Jeff was originally known, both locally & globally, as ‘Jeff the Books’. He is now known simply, affectionately and professionally as ‘The Dylan Thomas Guy’.  Jeff will be bringing his ‘DYLANS MOBILE BOOKSTORE’ to Hay – “We are 27ft of fully shelved, fully loaded, wall to wall anachronistic, anarchistic, existentialist, surrealist bliss. We offer books to eat in or take away. We are a timeless and timely tide against the death of the high street, the loss of the libraries, the rise of the right and the curse of the Kindle. Our ‘Bus moves with what Gerald Manly Hopkins might’ve called a ‘sprung rhythm’. You can’t inscape us. We’ll be coming your way soon, and as Frank Zappa once told you Don’t make a fuss, just get on the Bus. And remember these two things: Let the BookBus come to you. And Let the Good Times Roll.”

Speakers/Events include:
Jeff Towns ‘The Dylan Thomas Guy’, Meet the Author – Bruce Johns at Eighteen Rabbit, Bangor University History of the Book, Desert Island Picks with Tom Bullough, The Story of Books brings the Baskerville Wayzgoose to Hay,  Hay Tours present the Bookshop Tour, The Hay Bookshop Treasure Hunt, Hay Theatre Company present the Happy Gleester Variety Show, Jally Kebba Susso, Myth Monday & Thriller Thursday at The Globe, Welsh Poetry Day at The Poetry Bookshop, Bookstagram brunches, meet-ups and prize-giving, Open Mic Night, Film Club, Late Night Book-shopping, Guided River Tours by open-canoe with the Admiral of the Hay Navy, Independence special editions including ale, fudge and more. . .  and FREE workshops and activities for children all week in the Parish Hall . . .

PLUS more still to be announced!

Also this year in Hay on Wye:

  • 24th May – 3rd June – Hay Festival
  • 4th – 5th August – World War I Commemoration Weekend
  • 11th August Llanigon Show
  • 12th August Three Cocks Vintage Society Rally, Boatside Farm
  • 22nd – 25th November – Hay Winter Weekend, The Big Switch On, Hay Does Vintage, Hay Food Festival

Learn more about Hay on Wye