27 - 30 June 2024

About Hinterland Festival

The Hinterland festival began life as the Hay/Kells Festival in 2013, in collaboration with the Hay Literary Festival in Wales. In 2017 it evolved into Hinterland and has now run numerous events under this name.

Hinterland is an annual multi-disciplinary arts festival based in the spiritual home of the Book of Kells in Co. Meath. The festival was conceived as a way of bringing people to our beautiful heritage town to walk in the footsteps of pilgrims past, bringing visitors on an illuminating journey of debate, discussion, reflection and imagination on the world as it is, and how it might be.

We’ve welcomed an array of stellar guests to Kells, including all the leading Irish fiction writers (Colm Tóibín, Sebastian Barry, Roddy Doyle, Anne Enright, Joseph O’Connor, John Boyne, John Banville, Liz Nugent, Marion Keyes) and a number of major UK writers and artists (Germaine Greer, Jung Chang, Jeremy Paxman, Brian Eno, Ben Okri, Hanif Kureishi, Jeannette Winterson, Louis de Bernières). We’ve welcomed many more wonderful participants, crossing all genres such as Luke O’Neill, Catriona Crowe, Diarmaid Ferriter, Peter Frankopan, Nick Davies, Frank McGuiness, Gerry Adams, Tom Dunne, Liam Ó Maonlaí, Mary O’Rourke, Joe Duffy, Francis Brennan, Ryan Tubridy, the list goes on...

In November 2019, Hinterland 'went global' with its first sister festival, the highly successful Hinterland: West, staged in the Mechanics' Institute in San Francisco with the assistance of Culture Ireland.

The Festival team would like to acknowledge the support of funders - past and present – for their support of the festival; The Leader Fund, Creative Ireland, Meath County Council, the Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (2015), the Community Employment Scheme, as well as local sponsorship sources.

Hinterland bunting hanging in the street