The National Festival of Making returns to Blackburn to celebrate a nation of makers

Britain’s revolution in hands-on creativity, contemporary manufacturing and tech-led making shows no sign of slowing and the festival that shouts loudest about the brilliance of the nation’s makers, The National Festival of Making, will return to Blackburn next June.

Attracting 40,000 people to Britain’s making and manufacturing heartland of Lancashire in 2018, visitors to the ambitious, town centre event can expect to encounter more makers in workshops for all ages and backgrounds, find the work of renowned artists in unusual locations and indulge in independent market shopping.

Over 10,000 individuals sat down to make, in over 100 workshop sessions during the festival weekend last year, introducing people to makers as diverse as leatherworkers, engineers, ceramicists, chefs, technologists and fashion designers. Now festival organisers are launching a call-out for ideas and new collaborations for next year's event.

"What has been achieved by The National Festival of Making in just two years is nothing short of remarkable," says festival founder Wayne Hemingway. "Blackburn hadn’t previously been renowned as a place of weekend festivals.

"Most importantly, The National Festival of Making is helping the region reclaim its status as Britain’s making and manufacturing hotbed. This is something that has always been in the ‘place DNA’ of the region and will stand in good stead for its future well-being."

From textiles to terracotta, Blackburn, neighbouring Darwen and Lancashire 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 raise national, if not international awareness of the benefits of making and inspire others to consider their own talents, aspirations and making potential.

"For two years the festival has created a living experience of making in Blackburn town centre with and for communities," says Lauren Zawadzki, Festival Director. "We continue to challenge ourselves to create an inclusive, meaningful and high-quality festival that provides making for everyone.

"Through hundreds of partnerships and extensive community engagement, Lancashire has taken the festival on as its own, but this is also a nationally relevant festival weekend and one that increasingly will attract culture visitors to Blackburn and Lancashire. If you’re interested in making of any kind, there is nowhere better to be this June than in Blackburn."

To document 2018’s eclectic programme of events and activities, The National Festival of Making worked with Ichikoo Films to capture the fun. Existing festival fans and future visitors can experience a snapshot of the weekend’s magic in a newly released video available at

For updates about next year's festival programme and information on how to get involved visit the website and sign up to the mailing list, or follow them on Twitter @festofmaking.


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