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5 Festivals to Attend in May in Britain and Ireland


Spring is finally coming and with it too many amazing festivals all around the United Kingdom and Ireland. We would like to list the 5 most interesting events to attend in May:



Motto: “Where the pen is bloodier than the sword.”

If crime fiction is your passion, this is one of the best festivals that you could attend in Europe. One of the biggest events of this genre, CrimeFest gives voice to many crime novelists, enthusiasts, editors and publishers from various countries. It is an internationally acclaimed hangout for fanatics.  

This year, among other interesting things to do there, there is Crime Writing Day: a cycle of meetings and workshops for aspiring writers. The purpose is to help future authors to write and publish their stories. There will be possibilities to participate in many meetings and interviews with guest authors, including Ian Rankin. On Saturday 21st May, there will be a gala awards dinner for the holders of the CrimeFest Pass. 


Motto: “You complete the story”


Dublin Writers Festival is the most important literary event in Ireland. Some of the best writers in the world will be together to provoke and regale guests, discussing with the audience.

There will be readings, debates and workshops, as well as performances and screenings about all types of literature: poems, fiction and non-fiction novels, lyrics, plays and screenplays. The exciting programme includes discussion with ex-Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, conversation with social critic Naomi Klein and a talk by Jacqueline Wilson. Events are priced individually and not to be missed.


Giant and prestigious, Hay Festival was founded in 1987 and it is one of the most important and largest literature festivals in the world. It attracts, in the small Welsh village of Hay-on-Wye, very fascinating writers, filmmakers, humourists, politicians and musicians to entertain the massive audience that every year rally in this little town. 

In previous years, you could have found guests like Bill Clinton, Benedict Cumberbatch and Judi Dench. Every year, Children's Festival Hay Fever runs in conjunction with it. Check out their website to explore the extensive programme.


The Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival is the only festival in the United Kingdom dedicated to the entire Asian literature. This year, the festival celebrates 20 years, but the past editions have hosted important names of Asian literature and emergent writers from over 25 Asian countries. The majority of events will be at the Asia House’s London headquarters; a number of pre and post-festival events will take place throughout April and May.

  • When: 4-18 May 2016
  • Where: Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London, W1G 7LP, UK
  • Tickets: http://asiahouse.org



Even if it is smaller than the previous festivals described in this article, Greenwich Book Festival is in this list of big events because it is dedicated to making visible diverse local entities, a sort of showcase for local authors and University of Greenwich students. Furthermore, it is a chance for emerging writers to show their work to a panel of editors. This year, the programme has a strong creative writing element and numerous free creative and writing workshops. 


Written by Alessandro Volpino

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