Blackburn launches first Festival of Making

Published Tuesday 25 August 2015 at 13:53


With the motto, Arte et Labore (By Skill and Hard Work), Blackburn is the natural place to launch Britain’s first National Festival of Making.

The event, which will take place in October next year, will celebrate the wealth of talented creatives and makers in and around Blackburn from major players like Graham & Brown to individual crafters.

It will be dedicated to the art of making, from making music to 3D printing, cooking up delicious treats to sewing, all building on the manufacturing heritage of the town.

To give festival-goers a taste of what’s in store there will be a taster day for the Festival of Making next month on Saturday, September 12.

Coinciding with Blackburn Heritage Festival it will see visitors invited to take part in workshops, activities and events across the town centre.

On Museum Street there will be a pop up Festival Pavilion that will house the Fixperts who’ll be running a series of workshops following on from their highly successful event at the V&A Museum in London.

Fixperts is a global movement that sees designers who enjoy inventing ingenious ways solving everyday problems for example, adapting disability aids to make life easier for the people that use them.

Other highlights include upcycling workshops which will be run by the behind Blackburn artist collective Gypsy Carrot who will also create a huge interactive art installation from scaffolding and found materials.

There will be a café with a conscience called Disco Soupe organised by Blackburn social enterprise Food Lab which will run a workshop turning food that would otherwise have gone to waste into a shared meal, all to the sounds of a DJ set.

Local menders and makers from the HackBurn group will collaborate with artist Hwa Young Jung (an award winning multidisciplinary designer) to run digital art workshops for young people.

And the town centre will come alive to the sound of music as Blackburn’s buskers are given specially designed ‘Busking Stations’ and up and coming musicians are also invited to perform.

Tim Bradley 05.12.2013 Blackburn with Darwen Council Arts Party Night at Pop up shops Town Hall Square. Samantha Campbell in the Fashion Workshop window.

The event is being driven by Blackburn is Open which was set up by Blackburn with Darwen Council as a creative regeneration scheme to help support the creative industries in Blackburn.

Executive member for Regeneration at Blackburn with Darwen Council, Councillor Phil Riley, said: “Throughout our history, making things has been at the heart of life in Blackburn and Darwen and this festival will be an exciting event for our Borough.

“We have some world class manufacturers in Blackburn with Darwen of which we are fiercely proud as well as many smaller firms that we want to help give the recognition they deserve.

“I’d like to encourage people to come down and enjoy the taster day and see how they can get involved in ensuring next years’ event is a massive success.”

Creative director of Blackburn is Open, Wayne Hemingway MBE, said: “Making and manufacturing is in the people of Blackburn’s blood. With twice the national average of people working in making and manufacturing and a wealth of artists, craftspeople and creatives in the area the town is rightly laying claim  to being at the centre of Britain’s manufacturing revival and  will host the annual National Festival of Making.

“Over the next few years we will put the best of making on show at the festival and get people talking about celebrating the skills that we have in this country.

“And get people thinking  how we can get more young people involved in making, which not only gives them pride and satisfaction but can also lead to a fulfilling career.”

The event will start at 10am and run until 8pm.

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