We have taken the difficult decision to postpone the National Festival of Making, due to take place on Sat 6 – Sun 7 June 2020, due to the developing situation regarding COVID-19. We plan to re-imagine how we can bring a programme of work to Blackburn at a later stage in the year.
The National Festival of Making relies on people coming together to share in the experience of making, not only during the annual showcase festival weekend, but throughout the year in preparations that involve artists, makers, manufacturers, our communities and more. Issues beyond our control, the global COVID-19 pandemic itself and the sensible precautions we’re taking to help keep ourselves and others healthy, mean that none of those preparations are currently possible. It’s become clear that we won’t be able to deliver the festival as planned and must postpone the June event.
The festival team is in regular discussions with partners and funders about our next steps, how we ensure collective resilience and consider what happens next. Together we’ll be doing everything in our power to deliver a programme of work later this year and ensure everyone in our community of artists, makers, manufacturers and the public are able to play a part in future plans. A programme of work will be developed to provide positive making experiences at the right time and in response to the changes we are experiencing. As much as the decision saddens us, our priority at this stage is to not take risks with anyone’s health and to keep the lines of communication open with those likely to be affected by this difficult decision.
We are extremely grateful for the support received from our board and from partners, who each face their own challenges in these difficult times; our colleagues in the manufacturing industries; our funders; and our commissioned artists, whose work we will present at a later stage and are being consulted about this decision. Our team is now working at home, but are contactable should anyone like to talk through the changes we’ve enacted.
More than ever the National Festival of Making’s principle of MAKING Community, must come into play. We must collectively be there for one another and for the maker and artist community, consider our neighbours and the needs of others, and stay safe and well.
Elena Jackson & Lauren Zawadzki
Co-Founders and Directors, The National Festival of Making