12 & 13 May 2018

The Festival

The first National Festival of Making took place in Blackburn, Lancashire in 2017. Our unique festival ideal – to celebrate our brilliant UK making industry, from kitchen table makers to master manufacturers – brought people from around the country to Pennine Lancashire for a wonderful explosion of making activities.

We’re pleased to announce that the festival will return in 2018 with an even more ambitious programme of making and digital technologies, hands-on maker workshops, innovative art installations and a full festival programme of activity.


Blackburn – and Pennine Lancashire – are rich in heritage and thrive with industrious makers and manufacturers. We’re proud that the town and its people have welcomed the festival back to showcase their skills and spirit and to welcome the nation’s best and most innovative makers and shakers.


The 12th and 13th of May will see a town-wide takeover of Blackburn centre, with hundreds of things to make, see, hear and do, from the Town Hall to the Cathedral. We’re currently putting together our programme of music, markets, street food, art, performance, tours, talks and workshops and would love to hear from you if you’d like to be involved – see below for information.



With a line up featuring 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, our FREE and low-cost workshops have something for everyone.




Supporting entrepreneurs and creatives who take their hobbies to the next level, our Makers Market is curated by the wonderful Hopeful & Glorious. King George’s Hall will display the very best in British making as you browse handmade items from our favourite art, design and crafts people.

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

Zainab Bilal



Eat, Drink and Discover – our irresistible food traders (the food isn’t bad either) will line the streets of Blackburn with uniquely styled vehicles and stalls, shaking up your taste buds with the finest the UK has to offer. If you want to get into the community spirit, learn about food and eat for free at the festival, then check out our project with Cracking Good Food.



Spain’s acclaimed Vaiven Circo Danza perform their construction-meets-circus show Do Not Disturb, Urban Arts Experience pull up in a mobile recording studio to take budding musicians and dancers to the next level. An orchestra of 40 young musicians make themselves heard with a new performance celebrating Lancashire life and much, much more!

Sign up!



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

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