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This report is taken from PN Review 171, Volume 33 Number 1, September - October 2006.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams

 We learn from the media that the Hay Literary Festival was a huge success. Record numbers of visitors braved an unreliable train service and some notoriously narrow, winding roads to reach the new festival site, in a field about twenty minutes on foot from the centre of Hay. The move from the former primary school site has brought gains and losses. The festival is no longer constrained in terms of space, so that it does not need several supplementary venues around the town, and can, if it wishes, shed the shackles of summer half-term holiday (though the latter accounts for the presence of increasing numbers of parents with children as greater emphasis is given to children’s literature). But, notwithstanding a shuttlebus service, slipping into town between literary items for the multitude of shops selling second-hand books and prints, not to mention restaurants and bars, is no longer a simple matter. Once on the new site, only the daring and determined are pre-pared to quit it for the possibility of more interesting fare elsewhere. Being stuck in a field is not so bad if the weather is fine and there is ample provision of places to rest, relax, have a drink, enjoy a meal, but this is not yet the case. Newspaper coverage of events later in the festival made much of the glorious sunny days, which allowed those so inclined to be photographed lying on the grass reading or eating ice-cream. I wish Peter Florence had arranged for the ...


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