Since my last post, things in the IAI office have been manic. Now in its fifth year, HowTheLightGetsIn has become the largest philosophy and music festival in the world. With 410 events, 6 stages, 165 speakers and 150 bands taking part in the 10 day extravaganza, the team have been furiously calling, emailing, drafting text and getting excited about what we hope will be our best festival yet.
The festival line-up will be released in the coming weeks, but here's a taste of what's to come. Independent scientist James Lovelock will be making a powerful case for freedom of scientific speech; feminist, philosopher and linguist Luce Irigaray outlines a vision for a new kind of cultural democracy to build on the legacy of the Enlightenment; world-leading cybernetics expert and cyborg Kevin Warwick, Cambridge Professor of mind and metaphysics, Tim Crane, journalist, author and BBC broadcaster Angela Saini, and Oxford philosopher of information, Luciano Floridi, will be questioning the ultimate destination of our technological progress, whilst controversial biologist and author of The Science Delusion, Rupert Sheldrake, physician, Telegraph columnist and historian of science James Le Fanu and Think editor Stephen Law will consider the limits of science. Elsewhere, we'll be welcoming radical lawyer and advocate Polly Higgins, eminent diplomat and government advisor Crispin Tickell, former Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson, one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People, Bjorn Lomborg, Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis, politician and broadcaster Diane Abbott, former Home Secretary David Blunkett, and artist Stella Vine.
HowTheLightGetsIn is not only cerebral. Every evening the festival hosts a themed party, from the Sunday Special to the Saturday Shindig. Each offers the hottest and latest bands along with cabaret, comedy, films and dancing until the early hours, combining the intellectual and the hedonistic in a radical new mix. The festival team are keen talent spotters- Laura Marling went on to win the BRIT Award for Best Female Artist and Ghostpoet was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize after performing in Hay. This year's hot line-up includes legendary chanteuse and Nancy Sinatra favourite Anne Pigalle, 'carnivalesque kings' Man Like Me, Shona Foster, widely heralded as the new Kate Bush, and band of the moment, Kites.
I'm looking forward to some glove's off debate, lots of new ideas, and of course, plenty of dancing.
Follow Hilary Lawson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@HTLGIFestival