The Hinterland festival began life as the Hay/Kells Festival in 2013, in collaboration with the Hay (Wales) Literary Festival. In 2017 we evolved into Hinterland and have now run numerous events under this name. Since 2013 our guests have included all the leading Irish fiction writers (Colm Tóibín, Sebastian Barry, Roddy Doyle, Anne Enright, Joseph O’Connor, John Boyne, Liz Nugent) 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).
Since 2013 we have secured funding for the festival from, among others, 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.
In addition to our annual Hinterland Festival, which takes place over the last weekend in June each year, we were responsible for the national Gallipoli100 commemorative event in 2015 (funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and box office revenue). In December 2018 we launched a two-day sports writing festival, Tailteann, with the assistance of Creative Ireland. We are also responsible for a number of lecture series on subjects as diverse as a history of the American West, the music of the Beatles, and a survey of investigative journalism and ‘fake news’.
Locally, Hinterland regularly collaborates with the Kells-based Guth Gafa documentary film festival (by scheduling a number of documentary films of a literary nature on our programme) and with the annual Kells Type Trail. We have also worked with the award-winning animation company Cartoon Saloon over three of the six years of the festival so far. Since the inception of the festival we have had an ongoing relationship with RTÉ under the ‘RTÉ Supporting the Arts’ scheme.
Internationally we already work with the Litquake Festival in San Francisco. We are affiliated to their Lit Crawl franchise (www.litquake.org) and have staged Ireland’s two Lit Crawl events, so far, in 2017 and 2018.
In November we will also 'go global' with our first sister festival, Hinterland: West to be staged in the Mechanics' Institute in San Francisco on 9/10 November 2020.