The National Festival of Making – RETURNS!

Published Thursday 1 March 2018 at 15:25

The National Festival of Making returns on May 12-13 after last year welcoming 30,000 people to Blackburn.

Supported again by co-founder and influential designer, Wayne Hemingway, the festival aims to inspire people to find their making potential through an unrivalled range of hands-on experiences for all ages, with craftspeople, artists and manufacturers

Culture and industry will combine again with the trailblazing ‘Art In Manufacturing’ programme, accompanied by food markets, hands-on workshops and more.

The FREE to attend, two-day festival flooded the town with visitors from far and wide in 2017, drawing curious beginners, experienced makers and inquisitive families into 48 hours of making inspiration and promises yet more moments of inspiration in its second year.

It saw people take part in over 100 making experiences spanning food, technology, major manufacturing, engineering and crafts, alongside indoor and outdoor markets, street performance, art installations, film screenings and celebrity cookery demonstrations.

Wayne Hemingway said

People told us that they’d never seen Blackburn fill up and feel as vitally vibrant as it did over the two days of The National Festival of Making in 2017, proving that bringing everyone together can change not only perceptions of what making can be, but of the town itself. Anyone that missed out has another chance to join us and it’s an opportunity not to be missed.

The range of events and projects announced to take place, with many more to be announced, is:

  • Art in Manufacturing: Forging connections between some of the country’s most talented artists and the manufacturers of Pennine Lancashire.
  • Making Activities: A broad range of activities on offer for all ages with many completely FREE.
  • Food & Drink Makers: Fusion Asia-meets-Lancashire pies and the unmissable, ale-dispensing double-decker bus gave visitors flavours to savour last year and 2018 will be no different, welcoming both local and international food producers and their wares.
  • Makers Markets: Textiles, ceramics, paintings and prints from some of the most imaginative and dedicated makers from around the UK gathered in Blackburn in 2017, each warmly invited for the quality of their products. More of the same is planned this time around.

Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive member for Regeneration, Councillor Phil Riley, said:

Blackburn and Darwen had good reason to be confident that The National Festival of Making would be exciting, inspiring and provide a focal point for pride in our making heritage, yet it was clear on the very first day that it had gone beyond that promise. The town filled with people and both residents and visitors saw the vitality of the town and region’s making and manufacturing expertise, enthusiasm and diversity. Our support for the festival in its second year comes with the same sense of confidence from the first and we’re looking forward to welcoming residents and visitors, including those that missed out last year, to enjoy another programme of stimulating events.

Organised by Deco Publique  the festival is backed by Blackburn with Darwen Council, Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Super Slow Way.

Sponsors for the 2018 festival include BAE Systems, University of Central Lancashire, The Mall, PM & M Accountants, Blackburn BID and Blackburn College.

For more information visit or follow the festival on Twitter: Facebook: Instagram:



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