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Hay Festival boost for Kells

Story by Tom Kelly

Wednesday, 20th February, 2013 5:23pm

Hay Festival boost for Kells

As many as 10,000 visitors could be in Kells for the June event.

Kells will receive a massive tourism boost in June when the world-renowned Hay Festival comes to town, bringing writers and book fans from all over the world.

Up to 10,000 visitors are expected to flock to the festival, and among the writers already confirmed are Booker Prize-winners, John Banville and DBC Pierre.

As reported in the Meath Chronicle last year, the home of the Book of Kells will host the three-day festival from 28th to 30th June.

The festival will bring together the best of Irish, English-speaking and international authors and thinkers to celebrate the sharing of stories and ideas.

Kells, which has a rich history and tradition in books, is the Hay Festival's newest destination. The Hay Festival is an international celebration of literature and the arts in the broadest sense. The original festival in Wales spans 11 full days annually over the Whit half-term holiday and last year attracted 220,000 visitors.

It incorporates over 700 different events including interviews and lectures, current affairs, debates, stand-up comedy, music, film, children's literature, exhibitions, artistic awards and culinary demonstrations.

Since 2003, there have been international Hay Festivals around the world, including in Spain, Latin America, Africa, Asia and Lebanon. These events typically attract around 7,000 to 10,000 visitors for the inaugural events.

While books, literature and story-telling are the main focus of the festival, film, children's literature, exhibitions, artistic awards and culinary demonstrations are also part of the celebrations.

The Kells event was formally announced last Saturday at a ceremony at Headfort House.

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