The Hinterland festival began life as the Hay/Kells Festival in 2013, in collaboration with the Hay (Wales) Literary Festival. In 2017 it evolved into Hinterland and has now run numerous events under this name. Since 2013 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 it has 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.
The Hinterland in person Festival 2020 had to be cancelled due to Covid 19. The ever resourceful committee reimagined and readapted the programme to an online festival which included talks, interviews and performances from amongst others Matt Spangler, Myles Dungan, Kellie Hughes, Nicola Pierce, Emer Martin, Tony Bucher, Oisin McGann, Liz Nugent and Deirdre Kinahan.
Please note that the details of events listed above are provided by the relevant Local Authorities.