Hay Festival To Pollinate Ideas In Hungary

  • 26 Apr 2012 11:01 AM
Hay Festival To Pollinate Ideas In Hungary
Famously described as the Woodstock of the mind by Bill Clinton, the Hay Festival is one of the world's most prestigious literature and arts festivals. Hay Budapest will feature an exciting mix of Hungarian, Central European, British and Spanish authors and thinkers. Bob Geldof, Jung Chang, Ben Okri, Hanif Kureishi, and György Dragomán are some of the distinguished guests at the first Hay Festival in Hungary. <a href="http://www.xpatloop.com/news/hay_festival_budapest_event_highlights_4_may" target="blank">Held between 4-5 May</a>, Hay Budapest promises to be full of ideas, laughter and music - goals of the event are to inspire and entertain.

Adventure In Hungarian Literature

Peter Florence (pictured), founder of the first Hay-on-Wye Festival, told XpatLoop.com, "We are amazed and really encouraged by the response already. This seems a wonderful opportunity to start an adventure in Hungarian Literature - and writers always provide the most truthful and intimate portrayal of any culture." .

Organisers say they hope it will be the first of many Hay events in the inspiring Hungarian capital. Lyndy Cooke, managing director of Hay Festival International, explained their ethos of cross pollinating ideas. Authors travel to various country with Hay, they share ideas and get feedback, stimulating their work and that of others. "These artists imagine the world and give us back a new understanding of our lives and the freedom to dream.".

Local event officials expressed gratitude to all supporters, and said they are thankful to the Hungarian government for funding some of the price tag attached to staging the non-profit initiative. Also proceeds from the Bob Geldof concert will be used to help finance the festival. Due to sponsors the ticket prices have been able to remain low and therefore accessible.

Irish Folk-Punk-Rock Hero In Hungary

It’s a showcase for ideas rather than an event for the international literati to schmooze and sell books. Hay Festival guests are ready to engage with the audience and natter about their notions of culture, and share stories; thoughts and the concepts behind their acclaimed work.

The diverse line-up on Friday the 4th and Saturday the 5th of May brings together the author of the global bestseller Wild Swans,
a Japanese architect, an essayist and art historian, a Booker Prize winning poet, an acclaimed playwright and film-maker, a famous Spanish journalist, a distinguished statesmen, not to mention the Irish folk-punk-rock hero. At this festival of imagination the link that holds everything together is of course creativity.

Organisers consider Budapest to be a great host city, very capable of creatively setting imaginations alight. Florence comments, "Hungary has a rich literary tradition and it seems a great place to explore the stories of Mitteleuropa. The focus of the festival will, as always, be on storytelling, on freedoms and love and death.".

Entertaining & Engaging Audiences

For 25 years the Hay Festival has brought together writers from around the world to debate and share stories at its festival in the beauty of the Welsh Borders. Hay celebrates great writing from poets and scientists, lyricists and comedians, novelists and environmentalists, and the power of great ideas to transform our way of thinking.

Hay now runs 15 festivals across five continents at which international writers and thinkers gathered together, entertaining and engaging audiences on topics that cross cultural and genre boundaries, to foster the exchange of understanding, mutual respect and ideas.

"I am more than happy that the first Budapest Hay Festival will provide an insight to non-Hungarians into the world of Hungarian letters.” János Csák, Hungarian Ambassador to the UK, recently told the Telegraph.co.uk. He also said,

“The one facet of Hungarian talent that has struggled to gain recognition outside its home is literature, for the obvious reason that Hungarian is a language spoken by, at most, 15 million people. Still, we have a lot to offer. Consider Imre Madách’s The Tragedy of Man (1862), which, according to The Economist, is “the best modern parable of progress.”.

Wild Social Whirl

With a progressive programme of events in place for this pilot event in Hungary, Hay Budapest's interactive celebration of literature and arts is set to be a real joy for festival-goers and all those involved.

"Our recces suggest that Budapest is a great venue for a party, with sensational food and drink and a generous welcome for visitors," Florence told Adrian Bridge in a separate Telegraph article about Hay in Hungary. "In addition to the formal festival events we envisage a wild social whirl.".

There are three official locations involved, Central European University, PeCsa Music Hall, and the main venue the Petöfi Literary Museum - named after Hungary’s national poet.

Events taking place at CEU are free of charge. Tickets for discussions are available at the ticket office of the Petöfi Literary Museum Adults: HUF 400/discussion, Pensioners/students: HUF 250 / discussion.

Hay Budapest event director Maria Sheila Cremaschi invites XpatLoop.com readers to attend, "Please come and join us for two days of conversation and stories and big ideas. You will be most welcome!".

Related links:

Hay Budapest Highlights: 4 May

Hay Budapest Highlights: 5 May

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