US love festival so much, they licensed it

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The Independent Online

The Hay Festival is to be exported to the United States next year, with a twin event being held in Vermont or Connecticut. Organisers in Hay-on-Wye, Powys, are expecting 50,000 visitors this year, a 25 per cent annual increase and a £3m injection into the local economy. They believe their "brand" will lose none of its original identity when it travels.

The Hay Festival is to be exported to the United States next year, with a twin event being held in Vermont or Connecticut. Organisers in Hay-on-Wye, Powys, are expecting 50,000 visitors this year, a 25 per cent annual increase and a £3m injection into the local economy. They believe their "brand" will lose none of its original identity when it travels.

The American literary event, for which media sponsors have already been secured, will carry Hay's name, becoming "The Hay Festival in Vermont/Connecticut". A spokeswoman said: "All the original identity will be transmitted; only the 'on-Wye' will be missing."

Peter Florence, the festival director, said the export would create an opportunity to explore American literature. "The intimacy of the festival is what makes the brand special. Listening to questions from the audience, it is clear a lot are from America. Most people visiting our website are in the States.

"We are also going to have an opportunity to promote Welsh writing abroad. There is an incredible bunch of contemporary writers in Wales."

The festival is in its 13th year and the idea of exporting it stemmed from a Wales Tourist Board initiative to bring 25 American journalists to Hay.

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