1. Bring your wellies.
It doesn’t rain every year and it ain’t Glastonbury but if you do get a downpour, the walkways around the site can get wet (and a bit soapy!) The sections in between get muddy quickly, no good for your gladiator sandals or cuban heels.
2. Locate the box office
Get there early to avoid the queues and ask about returns for sold out tickets. They quite often have them.
3. Don’t dither on booking
One of the classic Hay experiences is to deliberate too long about a particular event and then when you have decided to go you find it has sold out. As they always say book early to avoid disappointment.
4. Cover your options clothing wise
This is the time of year when it can feel like winter or summer and that’s exacerbated because you’ll be outside or close to the elements for a lot of the time. The weather can turn on a six pence in May and June so take a bigger bag and pack for every outcome.
5. Park and ride
Park in one of the car parks in or on the outskirts of the town. You avoid traffic close to the site and there are shuttle buses that take you to the site. On foot its a nice stroll and only takes about 10 minutes.
6. Make time for the town
Hay-on-Wye is world-famous for its secondhand and antiquarian bookshops. There are about thirty major bookshops in the town. There are also several cafes, other interesting shops and some great ice cream.
7. Reset your body clock
At least with regard to meal times and if you want to eat on site. Avoid eating at lunch time as it is incredibly busy especially at the weekends. It’s a little pricey too so make it a mid-week treat if you can.
Listen to what people are saying in the bars an on the walk ways. You can find out which events are ‘hot’ and get hints and ideas about who to see.
9. Keep your eyes peeled.
One of the real beauties about the Hay Festival is that the writers, artists, politicians et al wander round the site. You might just see Jerry Hall gliding past Ed Miliband.
10. Buy a Book at Pembertons
Whether you are into signed copies or not buy something from the on site bookshop, find a deck chair and read it on site. There is nothing quite like looking up from text to see the author striding past.