Hinterland 2019 is coming … 27-30 June

This is just some of what you can expect this year.

Fifty years of Horslips, Abbey Road and Woodstock …

Twelve years to sort out the planet …

The man who turned Che Guevara into an icon …

Snooping on the big beasts of the Celtic Tiger

Brexit, Trump and how we got ourselves into this mess …

A world première …

And lots more to be announced, including all our many UK guests—Brexit permitting!

Irish Celtic rock band Horslips

Lined up so far for the last weekend in June are novelists John Boyne (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas), Hugo Hamilton (The Speckled People), Olivia Kiernan (Too Close to Breathe) and Jane Casey (Cruel Acts).

Former Irish Times Environment Correspondent Frank McDonald will be talking about his autobiographical Truly Frank: A Dublin Memoir, former RTÉ Political Correspondent Martina Fitzgerald (Madam Politician) will celebrate women in public life, Fintan O’Toole (Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain) will offer his take on a mess not of our own making, RTÉ’s David McCullagh (De Valera: Rule 1932-1975) offers the second part of his biography of one of Ireland’s most controversial and enigmatic leaders. Former British Army surveillance operative ‘Sean Hartnett’ (not his real name) will return to blow the lid on the paranoia of the latter years of the Celtic Tiger in his new book Corporate Confidential and tell us how he made his living spying on some of the big beasts of the 2008 ‘bust’.

We are also honoured to host the legendary artist Jim Fitzpatrick, the man who produced that iconic portrait of the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara and who, later in his career, launched a thousand album covers.

With twelve years left to get to grips with climate change we’ve asked the country’s best-loved scientist Luke O’Neill to remind us that ‘we are in the middle of an extinction event’ and RTÉs Philip Boucher Hayes to explain why the media is so bad at handling the most important issue facing humanity.

Musically speaking Jim Lockhart and Barry Devlin of the great Irish Celtic rock band Horslips will reminisce about half a century of rocking and rolling, Today FMs Tom Dunne will reflect on two seminal musical events of 1969, the release of the great Beatles’ album Abbey Road and the joy and mayhem that was the Woodstock festival. Poet Peter Fallon will be joined by Saramai and Oisin Leech (The Lost Brothers) for the latest excursion by the Hinterland ‘house band’.

Oh yes … the World Première! That will be a reading of our Writer in Residence, Matt Spangler’s (The Kite Runner) adaptation of Mary Manning’s account of the 1984 Dunne’s Stores Anti-Apartheid boycott Striking Back. We put Matt and Mary together for an event last year and now look what’s happened!

We’ll update you in a few weeks on some of the exciting UK guests who will be joining us this year.

Video: Meath Daily

Video: Noel Shine

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‘I loved every single second … I truly did. It was all so beautifully organised, one lovely person after another.’ Ally Bunbury
‘Thank you for hosting me with such charm and generosity.’ Peter Frankopan
‘In a short time you’ve put on a very prestigious festival.’ Danny Morrison
‘It was a superbly organised event with a wonderful atmosphere - a total pleasure for us to be there. We were so warmly welcomed from the moment we arrived and felt very looked after.’ Mary-Elaine Tynan
‘It was a real pleasure to be in Kells for the festival and there really was an amazing buzz about the place.’ Dermot Bulger
‘The @HinterlandKells festival was great. Loved my own event. Wanted to hang around longer. Met great authors. How a festival should be.’ Shane Hegarty on Twitter
What kind and friendly folk the people of Kells are. I was invited to do an event at the Hinterland Festival and the lovely Helen and I were treated like royalty from the moment we arrived at 'The Green Room' at the BookMarket, Kells. Such a gorgeous café and book shop. A big thanks to Jess, Trish, Penny and Annie. There was a great turnout for me in Kells Theatre where I was interviewed by the delightful Georgina Godwin. Then a terrific signing organised by the indefatigable Antonia from Antonia’s Bookstore in Trim. I met an old friend, Fiona Halton who introduced me to her lovely mother, Kitty and her brother, Cathal, who wouldn't let me leave their amazing shop and off-licence, McEntee’s Off Licence, without the gift of a scrumptious home-made coffee cake and rhubarb tart. (I shared with Helen). Patricia Scanlan on Facebook