About The Festival

The first National Festival of Making will take place in Blackburn, Lancashire on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 May, 2017. This is an opportunity to see, make and do for residents and visitors to Blackburn town centre as The Festival of Making takes over the streets with music, markets, street food, art, performance, tours, talks and above all, an eclectic mix of making experiences for everyone.

Deliberately set in the producing heartland of Blackburn, the festival will explore and celebrate the present day diversity in the range, scale and skills of UK-based making.

Manufacturers large and small will collaborate with artists on a series of new commissions, interlacing often traditional techniques and materials with challenging, contemporary ideas, each to be revealed as part of the final two day, town centre festival.

The National Festival of Making focuses on 8 festival themes and promises to entertain you with:


Art In Manufacturing

The results of this series of remarkable collaborations will be discovered in unusual locations as we unite artists and local industrial manufacturers in a creative embrace.
View project


Fantastic Food Traders

Eat, Drink and Discover, irresistible street food traders who shake up your taste buds as you sample their goods.


Makers Market

Supporting entrepreneurs and creatives who take their hobbies to the next level, take home the best in British making as you browse handmade items from our favourite art, design and crafts people.


Front Room Factories – on film:

Premiering at The National Festival of Making, a series of specially commissioned films featuring the families who turn their homes into production lines.
View project


Workshops and Talks

Fun, supportive and revealing events in the company of professional makers that give visitors of any background and age the chance to discover their flair for making. This festival is hands-on!


Live music and street performance

An innovative and creative range of performers will mingle into the crowds or have you tapping your feet to the beat at unusual locations all weekend.


Exhibitions and demonstrations

From adventurous and innovative makers whose passion for design and invention has evolved innovative products.


With many more unique experiences to come! Keep up to date with the festival program as new announcements are made by signing up to our newsletter below.

6th - 7th May 2017 | Blackburn, Lancashire

The National Festival of Making Delivery Team


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