Hay Festival…of Music

The Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts has been quietly downgrading its full title over the years in favour of the shorter form – The Guardian or latterly Telegraph Hay Festival.  Whilst literature is at the core of the ten-day event, comedy and music are also high on the agenda.  A year ago festival founder Peter Florence said that Wales lacked a rock festival to rival Glastonbury, Leeds and Reading.  It seems that with the Hay Festival he is quietly plugging that gap.  Hot Chip, PJ Harvey, Jools Holland, Buena Vista Social Club, Beth Orton, Toumani Diabate and Nicky Wire are just a few on the artists that have taken the stage in recent years.

This years musical line-up promises to be as compelling as ever. The line up so-far is:

  • Afro Celt Sound System
  • Bob Geldof
  • Cerys Matthews
  • Eliza Carthy
  • Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo
  • Monarchy
  • Natalie Clein
  • Ojos de Brujo

Afro Celt Sound System

The celebrated masters of fusion open the festival this year  mixing modern techno rhythms with traditional Irish and West African music.

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is a 9-piece, Chicago-based brass group eight of whom are brothers and the sons of jazz musician Kelan Phil Cohran on horns.  They started as a street band before beginning a recording career in 2004 and appeared on the third Gorillaz album, Plastic Beach.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

An acapella male choral group from South Africa they take their name from their home town of Ladysmith in the province of Kwazulu Natal.  They gained initial fame after working with Paul Simon on his album, Graceland.  They are one of South Africa’s most enduring artists.


Ra Black and Andrew Armstrong together are Monarchy – a British synthpop outfit based in London but hailing originally from Australia. The  are also produces and remixers who have worked with Penguin Prison and Fyfe Dangerfield, the founder member of the Guillemots.

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