Make your plans - Blackburn’s biggest event of the year is back and not to be missed!

Published 24th Jun 2024

There’s less than two weeks to go until the National Festival of Making returns and takes over Blackburn town centre. And take over it will!

The huge event spreads across 25 different venues – everywhere from Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery to The Making Rooms, The Exchange, Tony’s Ballroom, The Mall, Blackburn Cathedral, Cathedral Square and more.

Tens of thousands of people travel from far and wide for the award-winning event – with much of what’s on offer being free to enjoy.

The team has been busy putting the finishing touches to the packed programme – promising something for everyone with more than 40 different listings for things to see and do over the weekend of July 6th and 7th.

Head over to now and you’ll see a full rundown of what’s on with handy guides for families, art-lovers, fashion fans and film fanatics as well as a rundown on the live music, popular performances, fabulous food offer and the makers market.

There’s a version ready for you to download too with useful maps – perfect for planning your festival weekend.

Trust us, one day is just not enough!

Lauren Zawadzki, Co-Director of the National Festival of Making, said: “The countdown is well and truly on to Blackburn with Darwen’s biggest event of the year.

“Organising a festival on this scale is definitely not for the fainthearted!

“We work hard to strike a really good balance between keeping what we know people love while adding in new, exciting things too and the feedback is always incredible.

“The Festival of Making is a fun celebration of all things ‘making’ – from the kitchen table to the factory floor, proudly showcasing the work of leading UK creative talents, alongside emerging and next generation artists.

“There’s also lots of opportunities for people to get involved and try their hand too at our many creative workshops while enjoying live performances, live music, and the fabulous food offer too.

“We want Blackburn to be seen far and wide as the natural home of making, both in the past – with the town’s rich links to the cotton industry – and looking to the future too, we have so much creative talent right here to celebrate.”

Over the last few months, artists have been working with large businesses across the borough and wider on the festival’s impressive Art in Manufacturing programme.

The specially commissioned art installations will go on show for the first time at the event and are always a huge draw.

One of those is a new installation by emerging artist Nehal Aamir drawing on the people and processes of Darwen Terracotta and Faience – where high-tech merges with master craftspeople.

Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery – which this month is celebrating its 150th birthday this year – has collaborated on Nehal’s works and will showcase it as part of the festival.

For more on the National Festival of Making – including the full programme – head over to:

You can also follow the festival on Facebook, Insta and X for daily updates.

Be sure to make a weekend of it too and explore all the town centre has to offer.

Blackburn BID will be sharing useful guides on what else there is to enjoy when you visit on its Facebook and Insta – give them a follow now.

The National Festival of Making is supported by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Arts Council England and the Brian Mercer Trust.

It also benefits from funding from the UK Government, including through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

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