HTLGI festival will return to the banks of the River Wye this May
HTLGI festival will return to the banks of the River Wye this May bank holiday

HowTheLightGetsIn has now firmly established itself as the most exciting philosophy festival in Europe. Bringing together ground-breaking thinkers from various fields of expertise and walks of life, there are usually intellectual surprises instore – if you're lucky, maybe even a revelation or two. Hilary Lawson, who calls himself a post-postmodern philosopher, founded HTLGI in 2008 in order to bring "philosophy into British culture". Since then, it has developed into a delight for the mind – while not neglecting the pleasures of the body (and, of course, delving into the boundaries between mind and body, and questioning whether such boundaries really exist.) There is music and comedy, as well as talks and panel debates. And a Ferris wheel, in case you feel the need to gain a completely different perspective.

On 26-29 May, the last bank holiday of the month, the festival will return to Hay-on-Wye. The historic book town is just about in Wales – it gets its name from the River Wye, which for much of its length forms the border between England and Wales. The town is charming, and hosts, at the same time, the Hay Literary Festival, so if you're feeling exceptionally avid, it's possible to do both.

The festival has always dug into the big ideas. One of the many positive effects of bringing together scientists with politicians, activists, intellectuals and creative people of all stripes, is that the debates tend to push against boundaries. It's hard for an evolutionary biologist, for example, to get stuck on the particulars, when they're in conversation with a playwright or a moral philosopher. This year, however, they've made this natural tendency into an explicit theme, "Error and Renaissance".

As Lawson put it recently, the purpose is to "come together to try and identify the fundamental errors that we have made in our theories, the organisation of society and in world affairs – all while looking to new forms of thought and action to rebuild afresh.” Some of the big names already announced in the programme include philosopher Daniel Dennett, presidential advisor Fiona Hill, string-theorist Brian Greene and geneticist Güneş Taylor. Readers of New Humanist might also be interested in checking out Michael Shermer, who has spent his career popularising scepticism as a method to search for truth, or the prominent voice for Christian humanism, Nick Spencer. It's a chance to hear voices we both agree, and disagree with.

New Humanist is also sponsoring a debate, "The Best and Worst of All Possible Worlds", so if you do come to the festival, please stop and say hello. The panel will debate whether alternate worlds exist, and also whether the concept can be useful for thinking about our world, casting light on deep puzzles of language and reality. Philosopher of physics Paul Horwich, theoretical physicist Tasneem Zehra Husain and philosopher Ben Burgis will debate the continued attraction of many worlds theory, chaired by our Editor, Niki Seth-Smith.

As a festival partner, we are offering a 20 per cent discount on tickets to all of our readers, with the code NEWHUMANIST23. Don't miss out on tickets here. And for those of you who can't be with us in person, all the debates and talks from the festival will gradually be released online, on the Institute of Art and Ideas platform, IAI.TV.

We hope to see you there!