11th & 12th June 2022

The Festival

The National Festival of Making is a unique celebration of UK making, from the kitchen table to the factory floor. Presenting a programme of work that combines Art, Manufacturing, Making and Communities, we commission international and national artists to create world class works, a year round programme and a participatory FREE FAMILY festival for all to enjoy.

There has been no festival weekend during 2020 & 2021. Instead, we have developed a new programme of work to continue bringing cultural experiences to our audiences. Read more about the extended programme on the Project Pages and in News Items featured on the website.



Whether it’s during our festival weekend or as part of our year-round programme, our FREE and low cost workshops are guaranteed to get everyone MAKING. Past festival workshops include everything from traditional Asian wedding crafts to welding, leather-working to hand-embroidery, ancient mould-making to screen-printing your own retro packaging and everything in between. We also like to put a big spotlight on STEAM. For a taste of 2019’s festival workshops, click below.

Year-round Work


Our programmes run throughout the year, with something for everyone. Highlights include the giant poetry installation Of Earth and Sky involving painting Blackburn and Darwen with the words of its people, the 600 activity boxes jam-packed with art materials distributed to young people across Blackburn, and the online making activities to be enjoyed by children and adults alike. We have also been running online workshops with skilled artists and makers.



Art in Manufacturing is a commissioning programme at the heart of the festival. Placing the tools, materials and expertise of a diverse range of manufacturing companies into the hands of national and international artists, a series of residencies evolve on the factory floor. These result in ambitious new works of art in formats as diverse as sculpture to choreography and digital to site specific installations.

There was such a positive vibe and a beautiful diverse turnout that celebrated everything Lancashire is and was.

Zainab Bilal

Supporting Artists and Makers


Supporting artists and makers is extremely important to us. In our opinion, they MAKE the world go round (pardon the pun).  We do this by mentoring students and artists alike, commissioning graduate creatives, providing residencies for artists to create new, large-scale artworks, and supporting entrepreneurs and creatives through our Makers Market. This means we are always working with exciting new people, and because we value and nurture the relationships we have with past Festival of Making artists, you might see a few familiar faces too.



We fill the streets of Blackburn with a diverse offer of performances from local, national and international artists. We’ve hosted Spain’s acclaimed Vaiven Circo Danza, who performed their construction-meets-circus show Do Not Disturb. We’ve watched Urban Arts Experience pull up in a mobile recording studio to take budding musicians and dancers to the next level. We’ve listened to an orchestra of 40 young musicians make themselves heard with a performance celebrating Lancashire life. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We’re always excited about who we’ll see and hear next.

Festival of Making Films


We work with some incredible film makers, so if  you are still eager to find out more and see what we’re all about, why not watch some of our films ? We think they give you a pretty good idea of what we are passionate about.

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2019 Trusts & Foundations

The National Festival Of Making Delivery Team

The National Festival of Making is supported with funding from Arts Council England and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

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