The Tote bags have come free with newspapers have been a long standing tradition at the Hay Festival. There are a ubiquitous sight at the site. I have no idea when they first appeared, but I acquired quite a collection of Guardian bags over the years.
Amongst the reactions to the change in sponsor last year was a desire amongst some aficionados of The Guardian not to promote The Telegraph by carrying their bags. Frances Ham commented on this blog “Loyal Guardian readers will be washing, starching and ironing their treasured but shabby collections of free-with-the-Guardian bags. They will then carry these around defiantly at this year’s Festival.”
The Telegraph has broken new ground this year with a designer bag. They invited Sir Paul Smith to exclusively design the book bag for this year’s Hay Festival. As ever the bag is free with copies of The Telegraph – you need to buy the paper. Perhaps the Guardinistas that are also fashionistas may be persuaded to slip one over their right shoulder.