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HowTheLightGetsIn Hay 2024

HowTheLightGetsIn has grown exponentially over the past 14 years since its inception. With a growth of over 15% in attendees at the 2023 festival, and Early bird tickets for 2024 selling in record numbers, HowTheLightGetsIn Hay 2024 is set to be the busiest festival yet.

The upcoming festival’s first line up announcement boasts Nobel Laureates and global thought-leaders, including mathematician and Hawking collaborator Roger Penrose, “the most dangerous philosopher in the West” Slavoj Zizek, pioneering philosopher of morality Peter Singer, former director of the CIA David Petraeus, award winning film director Martha Fiennes, and influential pro-Palestinian historian Ilan Pappe. With physicists sparing with cultural critics and AI experts musing alongside feminist philosophers against the backdrop of music and comedy, HowTheLightGetsIn is without parallel on the UK festival scene.

This year’s theme Dangers, Desires, and Destiny will allow festival goers to interrogate the existential threats of our era and potential paths forward. With panels bringing together thinkers across political divides and fields, guests can escape internet polarisation and engage in-person with speakers to reach the crux the issues. Debate topics include ‘The Riddle of the Beginning’, ‘Beyond Biological Boundaies’ and ‘Faster Than Light’, with hosts pushing speakers to not just speak around the issue but rather provide tangible and radical ideas for change.

As put by philosopher and editorial director of the festival Hilary Lawson, “We look not only to philosophers, but to scientists, novelists, and artist. The big questions are present in every field, and new philosophical ideas are as likely to appear in literature, history or science as they are in philosophy.”

HowTheLightGetIn proudly brings together the UK’s most vibrant and forward thinking artists. This year is set to be no different, with disco-house legends Crazy P, iconic DJ duo The Orb, Mercury nominees Sea Power, electronic music pioneer James Holden, and chart toppers Herculese and Love Affair (DJ) topping the lineup. They feature alongside promising up-and-comers Mandrake Handshake, experimental jazz outfit Tara Clerkin Trio and a collaboration with BBC Hereford and Worcester amongst others. On the comedy front headliners are Live at the Apollo and panel show regulars Lous Sanders and Shaparak Khorsandi , with a rich array of salacious cabaret and Fringe favourites flooding the bill.

Tickets are currently on sale and students and under 25s get a 30% discount on tickets.

For details please visit

As partners of the festival, Eat Sleep Live Herefordshire are thrilled to offer an exclusive 20% off tickets with the code ESL24. Don’t miss out on your discounted tickets here. Get your discounted tickets here.