The Hay Festival at Kells is a bright new chapter in the life of the Co Meath town
When word began to spread about something called “the Hay festival” – planned for the Co Meath town of Kells this weekend – there were those who thought it was some kind of agricultural celebration. Something to do with the summer solstice, perhaps? Farmers, bales, maybe even a bit of burning?
Not so. The Hay in question is not the straw-like substance beloved of horses, but the small town of Hay-on-Wye in Wales. This tiny place hosts an annual literary festival that, from modest beginnings in 1988, has evolved into one of the best-known events on the UK summer circuit. In recent years, Hay has gone international, hitching its wagon to festivals in places as far-flung as Bogota and Budapest, Mexico and the Maldives. And, this year, Kells.