Hay Festival Segovia, Sept. 26 – 29

Image taken from the festival website

The official website presents the program, participants, etc.

The festival went by without much (national) media attention, though there have been some remarkable exceptions: The Telegraph had this extensive introductory article, as well as additional day-by-day coverage here and here.

The Spanish daily El País summarized the festival as follows (excerpts): last night the 8th edition of the Hay Festival Segovia came to an end, after more than 70 events, with the union of music and the word, through a conversation between Antonio Muñoz Molina (writer, 2013 Prince of Asturias prize winner) and Josep Pons (music director of the Liceu opera house) centered on Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi, coinciding with the 200th anniverary of both of them. The talk was accompanied by the “Cuarteto Avanti” of the Castilla y Leon Orquestra that performed some of their most popular scores.

The festival director, Sheila Cremaschi, who calls it “a refuge for dreamers”, talks about a very positive outcome of this forum for reflection. As to the audience, a lot of the talks were booked out, more than 8,000 people visited an exhibition of Dutch floral art, and hundreds visited the gardens on the Eresma riverside, at the feet of the citadel, to see an exhibition by Agustín Ibarrola, one of the protagonist artists together with Eduardo Arroyo and the musician called Tomatito.

As to the visual arts, one of the pillars of this year’s Hay Festival centered on Chinese architecture…

Historical sites or the Juan Bravo theatre, with its statue of the poet Machado, saw appear best-selling authors of crime novels such as Val McDermid as well as the Israeli literary revelation Shani Boianjiu (Wikipedia article) as well as other popular authors (and recent laureates) such as Mario Vargas Llosa, Jorge Edwards, José Caballero Bonald and Lorenzo Silva. There took place public readings in honor of Roberto Bolaño who died ten years ago, as well as debates on Europe or on the future of journalism. Ian Gibson acted as the master of ceremony on a city tour tracing Antonio Machado (Wikipedia article). And the organizers had poems by St. John of the Cross rain down from an air balloon.





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