2024 Festival Dates: 6 & 7 July

Open Call Opportunities for the National Festival of Making 2023

20th February 2023

The National Festival of Making is inviting artists, makers and creatives of all kinds to express their interest for newly released opportunities

The National Festival of Making weekend will return to Lancashire on the 8th & 9th of July 2023, filling the streets of Blackburn with free participatory making opportunities, workshops, performances, talks, exhibitions, markets and more.

We have now released open calls for two different types of opportunity:

  • Festival Workshops: Delivering a workshop as part of our 2023 Festival programme
  • Festival Commissions: Developing a project or piece of work that will be experienced or displayed at the Festival

Read on to learn more about the opportunities and find out how to apply.

Festival workshops

Our workshops programme is an important part of the Festival, offering our audience the opportunity to take part in high-quality, contemporary making experiences.

We are looking for imaginative and distinctive ideas that engage our multi-generational audiences with inspiring ‘making’ content.

Click below to download the pdf and see the full guidance for Festival Workshops

Deadline: 15th March 2023

Festival commissions

As part of the 2023 festival programme, we are releasing commission opportunities for artists/makers/collectives to develop new work or projects, the outcomes of which will be exhibited or experienced over the Festival weekend.

We are open to all ideas that connect to our Making Themes, including:

  • Visual art of any form
  • Combined art of any form
  • Creative concepts that demonstrate and reflect the diversity of society with an emphasis on ‘making’
  • Development of a festival structure / props / festival wayfinding
  • Participatory festival activity
  • Work that results in a festival exhibition
  • Performance and music experiences
  • STEAM focussed projects – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths
  • Sustainability-driven projects
  • Projects exploring making or manufacturing histories in a contemporary way
  • Outdoor installations for children

Click below to download the pdf and see the full guidance for Festival Commissions

Deadline: 15th March 2023

Important Information

During our programming process we are inviting artists/makers to send us proposals as well as delivering open calls.

If you would like the application information in a different format, or to discuss alternative ways to submit an application, please email daisy@decopublique.co.uk. We are open to many alternative ways to submit including video/audio recordings of workshop outlines.

Festival of Making CIC’s aim is that our workforce, contributors and partners are representative of the diverse society we live in and that each individual feels respected, supported and able to give their best. We encourage applications from all backgrounds and communities and welcome discussions about specific individual requirements. Please contact us by emailing Daisy on the details above, or email info@festivalofmaking.co.uk


Photography by Robin Zahler



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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