THE biggest Hay Festival to date closed over the weekend after marking its 30th birthday with an illustrious programme featuring the world’s leading writers, scientists, musicians, comedians and thinkers.

A record year shuttered with founder and director Peter Florence announcing the donation of the festival’s entire audio-visual and print archives to the British Library – the largest contribution of literary recordings to date.

Featuring more than 500 speakers in over 800 ticketed events – the most ever – the programme included Bernie Sanders, Nemat Shafik, Tony Adams, Colm Toíbín, Dilma Rousseff, Peter Singer, Neil Gaiman, Elif Shafak, Tracey Emin, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, Brian May, Graham Norton, Elizabeth Strout, Eddie Izzard, Kimberley Wyatt, Chris Tarrant, Jeanette Winterson, Howard Jacobson, Yanis Varoufakis, Paul Beatty and Carlo Rovelli.

A new book, Myths & Legends of the Brecon Beacons, launched with a sell-out event at the Hay Literary Festival over the bank holiday weekend. An audience of more than 700 were captivated by award winning author Horatio Clare reading aloud from the book of short stories, which immediately shot to the top of the on-site best seller list, eventually placing third.

The Brecon Beacons National Park is home to many captivating myths and legends of which Horatio has taken 10 and re-told them each with a contemporary voice. Peter Florence the festival’s director, interviewed Horatio, who entertained the audience explaining how he had researched the project before reading The Wild Boar Chase, The Lady of the Lake and The Real Christmas Day Massacre to the audience.

Skilfully recited, the stories enraptured listeners who then thronged the Festival book shop, grabbing their own copies, and keeping Horatio busy with signings for an hour and a half after the event, propelling Myths & Legends of the Brecon Beacons to the top seller on site that day.

Hay Festival Conversations: Thirty conversations for thirty years, was the number one bestseller followed by Neil Gaiman, Horatio Clare, Philippe Sands, and Yanis Varoufakis. Sales of books, were up 11 per cent on the previous year.

30 REFORMATIONS formed the spine of the festival programme. 500 years after Martin Luther sparked a theological revolution with his 95 theses, Hay Festival invited a series of world-leading writers and thinkers to imagine a better world in conversations, lectures and essays.

Readers can catch up on the reformations at:

While the Hay Festival tents are dismantled, the discussion continues on line, with highlights available through BBC Arts online and the Hay Festival YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels.