Ideas festival: Great minds think and drink alike

From The Telegraph:

Ruth Most people go to Hay-on-Wye for the annual literary festival – not to ponder profound existential questions. But this year, more than 7,000 visitors will arrive for the world's largest philosophy festival. HowTheLightGetsIn was founded in 2009 by the philosopher Hilary Lawson, whose aim is create a festival-like atmosphere, in which to discuss issues that make us tick. The festival is named after lyrics found in a Leonard Cohen song, “Anthem”; (“There is a crack in everything/ That's how the light gets in”). Philosophical debates, this year including Philip Pullman discussing the role of fantasy in his novels and life, are combined with live bands, film screenings, comedy and all-night parties.

“I'm not a geek, interested in intellectual puzzles,” Lawson says. “I'm interested in philosophy because it's about understanding the world and our lives. When we started the festival three years ago, philosophy was more likely to appear in Monty Python. It was a laughable matter, it was technical and analytical – not about our lives. Our aim is to overturn the current intellectually conservative environment, where ideas and philosophy are not valued or taken seriously. Our goal is to create an open, vibrant, intellectual culture which combines innovative thought with rich experience.”

More here.