Against all the odds, the magical Hay Festival is actually taking place this weekend in Segovia – though sadly I can’t be there this year.
Given the circs, it is going to be a smaller affair with all the required safety measures in place, but there are still more than 50 events going on, many in outdoor venues. As it is so tricky for people to travel, there is more of a focus on Spanish writers, but looking at how many events are sold out, this is a really good move.
Joaquín Araújo is discussing his new book Los árboles que nos enseñarán a ver el bosque with Miquel Molina, assistant editor of La Vanguardia and Rosa Montero is talking about her latest novel, La Buena Suerte. On Sunday, Javier Cercas will be in the Zuloaga Garden alongside the San Juan de Caballeros church, which is a pretty spectacular setting.
The British Council is playing an important part in the festival as usual. One of their most popular events is always the readings and performances that take place in the Romeral de San Marcos, a private garden carved into an escarpment close to the Eresma river. The British Ambassador, Hugh Elliott, will be reading some of his favourite poems, as will Caroline Michel, one of the most respected figures in British publishing and chair of Hay Festivals.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who is sad not to be there this weekend, but the good news is that some of the events are being streamed, so we won’t be missing out entirely. Just have a look at the Hay Festival Segovia programme to see which ones can be viewed online.