The National Festival of Making 2018

Blackburn Town Centre, Blackburn, North West, United Kingdom

Saturday, May 12, 2018 - 11:00 to Sunday, May 13, 2018 - 16:00

The National Festival of Making, one of the most remarkable and rapidly established fixtures in the UK’s festival calendar will return on Sat 12 and Sun 13 May 2018, taking place once again in ‘the UK’s home of manufacturing’, Blackburn, Lancashire. The FREE to attend, two-day festival flooded the town with visitors from far and wide in 2017, drawing curious beginners, experienced makers and inquisitive families into 48 hours of making inspiration and promises yet more moments of inspiration in its second year.

The promise of ‘a new kind of festival for a new age of making’ by co-founder, supporter and Lancashire-born designer, Wayne Hemingway, was fulfilled with 30,000 people taking part in over 100 making experiences, encountering 57 invited makers, spanning food, technology, major manufacturing, engineering and crafts, alongside indoor and outdoor markets, street performance, art installations, film screenings, celebrity cookery demonstrations and the opportunity to experience making with some of Pennine Lancashire and the UK’s most significant manufacturers.  

The range of events and projects announced to take place in 2018, with many more to be announced, includes: 

  • Art in Manufacturing: Forging connections between some of the country’s most talented artists and the manufacturers of Pennine Lancashire, Art In Manufacturing, a co-commission by Festival of Making and Super Slow Way, will return following 2017’s hugely successful commissions. With renewed support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, artists collaborate with manufacturers to make new and innovative art. Will this year reveal a troupe of dancing factory bakers or stirring, tissue paper-inspired choral performance, like those witnessed last year?
  • Making Activities: Taking over the streets of Blackburn for two days, last year’s festival took over vacant shops, Blackburn Museum and Cathedral Square for makers to meet the public. Visitors can expect more of the same in 2018, with a broad range of activities on offer for all ages with many completely FREE.
  • Food & Drink Makers: Fusion Asia-meets-Lancashire pies and the unmissable, ale-dispensing double-decker bus gave visitors flavours to savour last year and 2018 will be no different, welcoming both local and international food producers and their wares.
  • Makers Markets: Textiles, ceramics, paintings and prints from some of the most imaginative and dedicated makers from around the UK gathered in Blackburn in 2017, each warmly invited for the quality of their products. More of the same is planned this time around.

From textiles to terracotta, Blackburn and neighbouring Darwen are at the heart of making history in Britain, a place where the Industrial Revolution blossomed and where manufacturing and entrepreneurship still blooms. The National Festival of Making aims to extend the reach of making into the communities of Lancashire and beyond, raise national and international awareness of the benefits of making and inspire others to consider their own talents, aspirations and making potential.

For updates about the festival programme and information on how to get involved visit and sign up to the mailing list. News and opportunities will also be posted on social media at:




The National Festival of Making and Art in Manufacturing recently announced funding from Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund. These projects are made possible by money raised by National Lottery players

United Kingdom
North West
Blackburn Town Centre, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB3 1BQ