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.


Workshops and talks

Fun, supportive and inspiring events in the company of professional makers that give visitors of any background and age the chance to discover their own making flair. Check out our Participate section for details of how to get involved.


Exhibitions and Demonstrations

From adventurous and innovative makers whose passion for design and invention has evolved innovative products, to the latest STEM demonstrations – the National Festival of Making has cutting edge design and technology at its heart. To get involved, head over to our participate page.


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 – click here to find out how to get involved.


Fantastic Food Traders

Eat, Drink and Discover, irresistible street food traders who shake up your taste buds as you sample their goods. If you’d like to bring your street food to the festival then click here.


Live Music and 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.

We’d love you to get involved!

12th - 13th May 2018 | 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