Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Raining on Hay

Hay 2007: Champagne at The Guardian

Last year The Guardian, long-time title sponsors of the Hay Festival, kept pretty quiet about the recent 'corporatization' of the event, and as far as I remember the annual G2 Hay Special preserved its traditional celebratory tone. Today, however, G2 sends Stephen Moss to interview those running the breakaway fringe festival and (while telling us tongue-in-cheek that 'The Guardian, of course, sponsors the main event so won't hear a word against it') air their criticisms, while Patrick Barkham points out the laddish tone of many of the events so far, and John Harris notes the parochialization of the festival political concerns. Best of all, John Crace is let loose to satirize the whole 'free market' that the event has now become. Not that the Murdoch empire (broadcast sponsors to the festival, owners of a major publisher inevitably featuring large at the festival) is mentioned anywhere, as far as I can see...
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