Hay Festival Winter Weekend closed yesterday after festivalgoers enjoyed 52 full-capacity events in and around the booktown of Hay-on-Wye.

5,000 tickets were sold for the event and there were 511,000 content engagements online and counting.

Audience Hay Festival Winter Weekend
Audiences took part in lively discussion throughout the weekend (Billie Charity)

Launching the best new fiction and non-fiction, while engaging with some of the biggest issues of our time, the event spread festive joy with conversations, candle-lit storytelling, film screenings, comedy, music, workshops and the annual Christmas lights switch on.

Now in its 23rd year, in-person events took place in Hay Castle’s Great Hall and Clore Learning Space, alongside spaces throughout Hay-on-Wye, including St Mary’s Church, The Poetry Bookshop and Richard Booth’s Bookshop Cinema.

Hay Festival Winter Weekend
Hay Castle was decorated for Christmas by a talented team (Billie Charity)

More than 70 writers and performers took part. Bestselling books over the weekend included:

The Golden Mole by Katherine Rundell

War Horse (40th anniversary edition) by Michael Morpurgo

Closer to the Edge by Leo Houlding

• Invasion by Luke Harding

Best of Friends by Kamila Shamsie

Do Not Call the Tortoise by Gareth Howell-Jones

She’s In CTRL by Anne-Marie Imafidon

Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes

How to be a Politician by Vince Cable

brother. do. you. love. me. by Manni and Reuben Coe

A selection of events were livestreamed to open access to Festival content globally over the weekend, generating 511,000 content engagements online and counting.

Catch all the highlights from events on Hay Player from tomorrow (Tuesday, November 29) at www.hayfestival.com/hayplayer.

Julie Finch at Hay Festival Winter Weekend 2022
Hay Festival CEO Julie Finch at this year's event (Billie Charity)

Hay Festival CEO Julie Finch said: “We close this year’s Hay Festival Winter Weekend after four days of sold-out events to inspire, examine and entertain. We marked the season’s change and year’s end with a celebration of community and bold visions to carry us into 2023 with hope.

“Thanks to our community of writers, readers, performers and friends, this Festival was not just possible, but essential. Audiences supported our charity through attending in person and online. Culture and the arts are more important than ever and the success of this weekend’s gathering and the resulting conversations is another example of its impact and social value.”

Hay Festival Winter Weekend is supported by lead sponsors Visit Wales and Baillie Gifford.