Press Release: Philosophy and Music Festival

Announcing HowTheLightGetsIn, the world's largest philosophy festival, featuring thought-provoking debates, talks and courses to bring big thinking back into public life. Purchase early-bird tickets now!


Philosophy Programme Announced


‘Back to Big Thinking’ The Guardian

520 events, 6 stages, 180 speakers, 150 bands, 10 days.

HowTheLightGetsIn, the world's largest philosophy festival, is back with thought-provoking debates, talks and courses to bring big thinking back into public life.

Our theme this year is Heresy, Truth and the Future and we’ve just announced our full programme featuring over 500 events across ten days. We'll be joined by the world's leading philosophers including Bernard-Henri Levy and Hubert Dreyfus together with figures from the worlds of science, politics, philosophy and culture to debate everything from the science of consciousness to nature of matter and discover which of today’s heresies will become the truths of tomorrow.

Highlights are set to include:

Secrets of the Mind (24th May)

We have no explanation of consciousness. Yet from the origins of life to the workings of the atom, science has provided answers when none were thought possible. Might we crack consciousness as well? Or is this a fantasy?

Joanna Kavenna seeks answers from three eminent scientists - physicist Roger Penrose, psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist and psychologist Nicholas Humphrey.

It's An Immaterial World (31st May)

We think we understand what the world is made of. Atoms and, we are now told, bosons quarks and leptons. Yet our theory of matter does not explain thought. Do we need a radically new model to explain how material things and immaterial thought are connected?

American metaphysician John Heil, Biologist and author of The Science Delusion Rupert Sheldrake, and Australian philosopher of mind Daniel Stoljar think about thinking.

Who's Afraid of the Truth: Bernard-Henri Lévy in conversation with Rana Mitter (24th May)

France's most public intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy turns his sights on the hypocrisy and blindness of politicians and philosophers alike.

Known for fierce opposition to totalitarianism in all its forms, BHL personally persuaded Sarkozy to intervene in Libya and is a radical force in France's cultural life.

Ultimate Proof (31st May)

We think evidence decides the matter. Yet even suicide bombers think they have evidence to support their cause. Should we see independent evidence as an illusion? Would this lead to a chaotic world without foundations or constraint? Or open us to the richness of reality?

Laurie Taylor asks philosopher advisor Nancy Cartwright, Templeton Prize-winning cosmologist George Ellis and American anthropologist Daniel Everett to consider the evidence.

Notes to Editors:

Tackling the latest theories in everything from philosophy and art to science and politics - all set against a backdrop of live music and DJ sets from some of the UK’s most exciting talent – HowTheLightGetsIn is the world’s largest philosophy and music festival and runs from 22nd May – 1st June in Hay-on-Wye. Our full programme will be announced at the end of March. For more information see:

For media accreditation, images and interview requests, contact Bianca Brigitte Bonomi or Anna Southby at Bed PR.

E: / M: 07878194220


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