Stormzy and Dua Lipa to make guest appearances at Hay Festival 2023

The Welsh literary event returns this May with an eclectic programme of speakers

Stormzy and Dua Lipa are set to make guest appearances at Hay Festival 2023.

The famed literary event’s 36th spring edition is due to take place in Hay-on-Wye in Powys, Wales between May 25 and June 4. It’ll boast over 500 in-person sessions over that 11-day period.

Per a press release, Hay “is the world’s leading festival of ideas, bringing readers and writers together in sustainable events to inspire, examine and entertain”.


This year’s programme will launch the best new fiction and non-fiction titles, while offering insight and debate around major global issues. Award-winning writers, policymakers, pioneers and innovators from around the world will participate, delivering “big thinking and bold ideas”.

Stormzy, who launched his #Merky Books publishing imprint in 2018, said: “It all started with books for me. As a kid in school, I fell in love with literature and it sparked a life-long journey with words and writing, which led into my career as a songwriter and a musician.

“I’m really excited to pass on this passion at Hay Festival, celebrate our incredible #Merky Books writers, and inspire the next generation of storytellers. Can’t wait to see you guys there!”

Lipa, meanwhile, will host a live recording of her At Your Service podcast at Hay Festival 2023.

“I have wanted to explore the bookshops of Hay and experience the literary atmosphere of the Hay Festival for such a long time,” the singer explained in a previous statement.

Dua Lipa. Credit: Michael Tullberg via Getty Images
Dua Lipa. CREDIT: Michael Tullberg via Getty Images


“So I’m thrilled that I will be there [this] year to share stories on stage and off with some of my favourite authors, and to soak up the inspiration alongside my fellow book lovers. I can’t wait to see you there!”

Other music acts on the programme include The Proclaimers and The Levellers. They join the likes of actors Helena Bonham Carter, Richard E. Grant, and comedians Tom Allen and Dara Ó Briain on the bill.

Additionally, there’ll be appearances from the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, journalist Alastair Campbell, food writer and broadcaster Mary Berry (The Great British Bakeoff) and many more.

Tickets are now on sale for Friends of Hay Festival – you can buy yours here. The general sale will go live at 12pm GMT this Friday (March 17). See detailed listings for the 2023 event here, and check out an overview of the line-up below.

Writers Margaret Atwood, Barbara Kingsolver, Eleanor Catton, Max Porter, Jonathan Coe, Leïla Slimani, Xiaolu Guo, Fflur Dafydd, Caleb Azumah Nelson, Alys Conran, Richard Ford, Jojo Moyes, Horatio Clare, Natalie Haynes, Richard Osman, Douglas Stuart, Elif Shafak, Victoria Belim, Katherine May; poets Simon Armitage, Owen Sheers, Carol Ann Duffy, Rufus Mufasa, Michael Rosen; YA star Alice Oseman; children’s heroes Cressida Cowell, Jacqueline Wilson, Julia Donaldson, Connor Allen; music icons Stormzy, Dua Lipa, The Proclaimers, the Levellers,  Judi Jackson, Baaba Maal, Zhadan and the Dogs; comedians Dara Ó Briain, Tom Allen, Jason Byrne, Kiri Pritchard-McLean, Josie Long, Isy Suttie; stars of stage and screen Helena Bonham Carter, Richard E. Grant; politicians and policy makers Sadiq Khan, chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance, Kate Bingham; journalists George Monbiot, Alastair Campbell, Marina Hyde, Gary Younge, Lyse Doucet, Jon Snow; mountaineer Ranulph Fiennes; activist Munroe Bergdorf; economist Mariana Mazzucato; historians Lucy Worsley, Simon Schama, Irene Vallejo; artist Tracey Emin; foodies Mary Berry, Jack Monroe, Ruth Rogers, Andi Oliver and Prue Leith; Thinkers in Residence Laura Bates, Will Gompertz, David Olusoga, Charlotte Williams; and many more…

Meanwhile, Stormzy’s #Merky Books is set to host a two-day literature festival in London next month.

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