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HowTheLightGetsIn festival

HowTheLightGetsIn, the world’s largest philosophy and music festival, returns to Hay-on-Wye in May with more ideas, music, magic and wonder than ever before

by Psychologies

Bridging the boundaries between art, culture and philosophy, HowTheLightGetsIn Festival brings together an array of thinkers, musicians, comedians and performers from all across the intellectual landscape to make sense of the contemporary condition.

In the creative realm, HotDocs’ new film Basquiat: Rage to Riches offers an insight into the artist’s life and work, investigating the late Brooklyn practitioner’s rise to fame. Furthermore, Patricia MacCormack’s The Art of Activism considers the margins between political protest and art, positing that creative production should always be socially-engaged. In a similar way, civil rights activist Kimberlé Crenshaw outlines the vital relevance of intersectionality, examining the everyday realities of race and gender to lay out a vision for social and political change.

The theme for this year’s festival is Darkness, Authority and Dreams, and the eponymous keynote debate looks like it will be a real landmark in British festival history. Legendary linguist and political theorist Noam Chomsky appears live via videolink from Arizona to debate with man of the moment Mark Lilla and libertarian economist Deirdre McCloskey on the role of authority in society and whether it can be surpassed.

Apart from the more cerebral stuff, the festival boasts a cornucopia of sights and sounds across twelve intimate, bespoke venues. This year’s music line-up is led by electronic pioneers Hot Chip and The Orb, while the comedy programme, curated by Edinburgh favourite Alex Kealy, combine old hands such as James Acaster and Sean McLoughlin and fresh-faced rising stars like Ahir Shah and Harriet Kemsley.

HowTheLightGetsIn is a unique and extraordinary festival, its mission statement and sense of intellectual urgency setting it so far apart from even the most eclectic and utopian of boutique festivals. Go now and catch a glimpse of the future.

As longstanding partners, Psychologies will be closely involved in several events at this year’s festival. We’re proud to be presenting two debates: Technology, Relationships and Freedom, a discussion on technology’s consequences for our emotional lives featuring Chi Onwurah, Kate Russell and James Ladyman, and At One With Ourselves, an examination of the real efficacy of meditation featuring Miguel Farias, Vishvapani Blomfield and Linda Woodhead. We’re also hosting a special Life Leap Club worskshop on the Saturday with Vanessa King.

Tickets are onsale now, with all details available on the official website.