The festival of great ideas that seeks to circumvent the clichés of literary festivals


HowTheLightGetsIn Festival (HowTheLightGetsIn)

“There are a lot of divisions within society,” said Hilary Lawson, the founder of HowLightEnters party, tell The Independent. “We need to talk about the ideas behind these divisions rather than retreating into our different tribal identities.”

Lawson’s brainchild, which is the greatest philosophy and music festival in the world, is a sort of panacea for the average literary festival. This is because first, the festival has music, and second, the festival is centered around debates and discussions.

“We’re fundamentally different from literary festivals in so many ways, and that’s basically because we’re talking about cutting-edge ideas and ideas,” says Lawson, whose festival is to take place at Kenwood House in the north from London this weekend.

“It’s all about seeking to provide a framework outside of the literary celebrity game of providing authors with vehicles to promote their book and sell them.”

Lawson, director of Institute of Arts and Ideas, notes that the festival is dedicated to having “genuine conversations about where we are going as a culture and a society”, arguing that this is a different mission than many literary and cultural festivals. which pervades them. He notes that while, yes, you can buy speakers’ books, that’s by no means the driving force behind the festival.

But HowTheLightGetsIn has had its fair share of big names over the years – with previous speakers at the festival ranging from renowned academic Noam Chomsky to Brian Eno, the English musician, Ed Milliband, former Labor Party leader, Philip Pullman, top – selling author, to two authors both famous for having stirred up controversy, Richard Dawkins and Slavoj Zizek.

While the festival to be held on October 1 and 2 will feature novelist Esther Freud, Peter Singer, the “godfather of altruism”, as well as reality theorist Donald Hoffman, among others.

HowTheLightGetsIn Festival (HowTheLightGetsIn Festival)

HowTheLightGetsIn Festival (HowTheLightGetsIn Festival)

Lawson, a philosopher himself, notes that festival-goers could find themselves next to a “Nobel Prize winner in the cafe queue” because the event has no VIP area – adding that this changes the atmosphere of the festival.

“The festival is full of people talking about what they just heard,” says Lawson, famous for his closure theory. “Discussing everything from conscience and reality to equality and political issues about where we are going as a country. Everyone is really involved.”

The HowThe LightGetsIn festival is ultimately committed to liberating philosophy from the distant elitist ivory tower of academia and making life’s big ideas and perennial questions more accessible and exciting.

“Break the notion that we can’t talk about big ideas and we’ll let Paris taxi drivers talk about philosophy,” adds Lawson. “I think the music is an important element because it keeps it from being too status-driven.”

This year will see music from 2022 Mercury nominee Gwenno and 2012 Mercury nominee Django Django. The Independents Women’s Correspondent, will speak in a panel discussion, alongside others, titled No Forbidden Fruit, which focuses on how attitudes towards sex have changed in recent years.

“We are more open than ever about sex,” reads the festival text. “No subject too outrageous to discuss. No concern too personal to share. But are we making a mistake? Surveys show a marked decrease in the frequency of sex with a partner in all adults. regular sex among young people Does our very openness to sex make it less exciting, less transgressive and less desirable?

More details on HowTheLightGetsIn can be found here. As a festival partner, The Independent offers a 20% discount on tickets with the code INDY22. Don’t miss the tickets here.

But for those of you who cannot make it to the festival, fortunately all the debates and lectures will be put online as they come in the coming months via the online platform of the Institute of Arts and Ideas, IAI.TV.

“We want to address the underlying differences in how we think about and view the world,” Lawson said of the festival. “These differences have recently generated very deep divisions in society. Most of the time, the communication around these is simply based on people rejecting the counter-view and promoting their own. So there’s not a lot of listening.


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