2024 Festival Dates: 6 & 7 July


House of Hemingway has grown to include the multi-disciplinary and award winning HemingwayDesign, HemingwayDigital and Hemingway-directed events, such as The Vintage FestivalClassic Car Boot Sale and The Urban Village Fete. All of this is led by two generations of the Hemingway family and a pool of talented designers. Our work takes us across interiors, landscape planning and housing regeneration, to exhibitions, event planning, products and fashion – and we do it all with a community-focused conscience.

Deco Publique is a creative practice based by the sea in Morecambe. Our work is about place and experience – we consider the cultural possibilities across festivals, events and projects in coastal spaces and Northern towns, producing work that resonates with audiences and has a tangible impact on place and location. We work with people creatively and operationally to produce beautiful cultural festivals and projects. Deco Publique are the Lead Producers for The National Festival of Making.



Established in 2001 we are a design company that are focused on ideas and collaboration. A husband and wife partnership with a great in-house team who believe in building wonderful and long term relationships with our clients. Small, but we feel, perfectly formed, we combine our multi-disciplinary skills with other talented local companies to deliver design solutions that are engaging and relevant.

Perspective Communications/Content, based in the North West of England, has provided organisations including BMG Records, Bristol New Music, British Paraorchestra, Quays Culture, Wales Millennium Centre, James Cropper Paper, The Lowry, Cardiff Contemporary and The National Festival of Making with successful communications support for over half a decade. Led by freelance Communications Specialist, Rob Allen, the consultancy offers clients across creative sectors access to a changing digital and traditional media relations and multi-stakeholder, interdisciplinary communications practices, drawn from wide-ranging experience from major outdoor events to commercial product launches and complex organisational change programmes.



Super Slow Way is part of Arts Council England’s Creative People & Places programme, designed to empower communities in Pennine Lancashire to take the lead in shaping local arts provision. Super Slow Way is working with communities along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal from Blackburn to Pendle, bringing art and artists to a space where time slows down, to look afresh at how people live their fast-paced lives and how they relate to their environment, neighbourhoods and to each other.

Community-led commissions will allow people to invite artists to work with them, to help them extend their current activity, experiment with new ideas and create new opportunities, some of which will happen on the waterway itself. Super Slow Way encourages people to bring their ideas, however small and unformed, and develop a brief for an artist to work with them, be they a mums and toddlers group, a manufacturing company, a cricket team or a choir.

Festival of Making Community Interest Company (CIC) was formed to oversee the development and delivery of The National Festival of Making concept. The Festival of Making is supported by designer, Wayne Hemingway MBE, who started his world-famous fashion label, Red or Dead, in Blackburn in 1983. Joining together with successful festival and creative project producers Deco Publique, The Community Interest Company will devise works and opportunities that create a positive making narrative for Blackburn and the UK through an annual festival platform.


Events like this show me that there is cohesion in the community. The festival proves that all communities are working together to make Blackburn a great place to live. I am proud to be part of such a diverse community with a strong industrial heritage.

Visitor Survey

The sheer diversity of the activities on offer and the grand scale of it all. Awesome!

Visitor Survey

The festival felt like Blackburn had become a destination!

Visitor Survey

The Makers Market had a great atmosphere and a stupendous variety of quirky art and artefacts.

Festival Visitor

Great to see so many families from different communities coming together and enjoying the event. The enthusiasm of the people involved came across and the way they got the children interested and engaged in learning about new skills made it a really fun experience for them. It was very well organised and there was lots to see and do for all age groups.

Festival Visitor

I loved the variety of hands-on workshops, the fact that you couldn’t remain spectator, everything around you was full of life and joy. I also loved the yellow line drawn so you couldn’t miss anything.

Visitor Survey

Well I didn’t think the National Festival of Making could get any better this year but I was wrong! We’ve had a fantastic day and will be back again tomorrow. You definitely need two days to even see half of it ?

Katrina Shepherd | Facebook

It was great. I love the way that Blackburn tells the story of its making heritage too in a very 21 century way. You should go!

Marie Millward | Twitter

Brilliant to be @festofmaking & see so much creativity & unity. Heard two old ladies saying that they loved to see everyone joining in & the positive atmosphere in Blackburn. Dawinder Bansal’s South Asian Wedding installation is wonderfully provocative

Andrew Nicholas | Twitter

The Asian Wedding #themakingofasouthasianwedding installation was fab. Closet thing ill get to my parents mixed heritage wedding ? @festofmaking being a 1980s kid.

@Amyofthedean | Twitter

Fabulous day @festofmaking a celebration of art, creativity manufacturing and making. Blackburn you should be proud!

Jane Beardsworth | Twitter

@festofmaking this was yet again the most amazing day from clay to knitting rude words on a knitting machine – thank you to everyone who made it happen

@Bullette17 | Twitter

A must go to event!

The High Sheriff of Lancashire

We came down, it was a great day. Loved seeing the town full of people exploring the festival.

Plus, the street food was amazing!

Amy Young

Very glad I ignored my flu and went to @festofmaking today – amazing multilayered festival #thenorthcanbeproud

Johnny Bean

Great day out at #FestivalofMaking inspired by the creativity and passion of local people and entrepreneurs

Great Places

Fantastic activities @festofmaking – great to see hundreds of young people getting involved in making…& adults!! Promoting STEAM & amazing career opportunities

Lancashire Skills Hub

From formula one to copper art, lots to participate in at the Steam Pavilion. Engineering is really advancing at a pace – when young people see these processes it really develops an interest in advanced manufacturing.

Sayyed Osman | BwDBC

A very worthwhile visit to an inspired and inspiring event. The Festival was particularly interesting because of the links between artists and local manufacturers. It had very real relevance to the area and felt like a strong force for social and economic animation and regeneration. It was great to be a part of it.


Had such fun @festofmaking in Blackburn…..introduction to traditional leather work, Girls Girls Girls Suffragette workshop & printing on the 19th Century Columbian press!

Amy Benstead | Twitter

So much love for my home town today. Blackburn was resplendent for @festofmaking weekend. So much good stuff to see & do. And lots of trips down memory lane, especially in Tony’s Empress Ballroom where I used to buy mint aeros during breaks from dance lessons in the room above.

Amy Leach | Twitter

After a busy day @festofmaking my 4 year old lay in bed tonight and told me how happy he was

Megan Price | Twitter

Great atmosphere and feeling of unity. #workingtogether #supporting #Lancashire

North West Food & Drink

The hugely visionary & engaging @festofmaking was a huge multi organisation & agency #humdinger of bobby dazzling proportions! Huge thumbs up!

Sir Bill Taylor

Quality activites, something for all & no screens in sight! Great example for #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

@communikat | Twitter

Great day yesterday at the #festivalofmaking 🙂 Amongst the many the things the kids made they loved getting a go at dads trade!

PPS Painters

Such a creative festival bringing diverse communities together! Brilliant all round. Been buzzing from yesterday’s performance and up close interactive audience participation dances. An Blackburn THANK YOU – magnificent community!

Sohal Kailey

Such a boost for civic pride in Blackburn!

David Coggins

A brilliant achievement; great potential for putting the town on the UK map for an international audience.

Festival Visitor

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the town so alive. Very excited about the future and all the town’s emerging creative possibilities!



We absolutely loved it. It far exceeded my expectations and made me really proud to be part of Blackburn.

Festival Visitor

Heart warming, inspiring, interesting. What a fantastic thing for Blackburn and its people, for local and national making of all kinds.

Festival Visitor

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

Zainab Bilal

Everything about the festival was so brilliantly done, and I have heard nothing but enormous positivity from everyone who attended. You’ve all done a huge thing for this town.

Patrick Grant

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2019 Trusts & Foundations

The National Festival Of Making Delivery Team

National Festival of Making is supported by the Arts Council England, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Brian Mercer Trust and Foundations and Partners. This project is part-funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

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