HowTheLightGetsIn: A festival for right-thinking people

By Johnny Langer
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The Independent Culture

As the lead singer in Man Like Me, I'm more likely to be found at Glastonbury or Secret Garden Party than a philosophy festival in a field in Hay-on-Wye. But HowTheLightGetsIn, the world's largest philosophy and music festival, has become one of my favourite places to play.

The festival has a strange, warm buzz about it that I haven't experienced anywhere else. The site looks like a quirky medieval village with tents and yurts, and everyone seems happy just chilling out. People here really talk to each other, and it's not the sort of mashed- up chat you get at some other festivals. That's not to say that they don't know how to party. I woke up in a random house 10 miles away from my designated accommodation, with the rest of the band in tow. No idea how we got there.

Key to the success of my trip was discovering the Oxford philosopher Peter Hacker. Lately, I've been asking questions about who I am and what I'm up to. His talk, "On Having a Mind, Having a Body, and Being a Person" helped me to piece together the jigsaw puzzle that is my life.

On the music side of things there were plenty of great bands, especially Gwilym Gold. The crowd is lively and the speakers – even the really, really old ones – get involved in the shenanigans.

Various venues, Hay-on-Wye ( to Sunday