New live gigs sure to be a 'hit' at the National Festival of Making!

Published 26th Jun 2024

If you’re looking for something to do over the weekend of July and 6th and 7th, this will be music to your ears!

Not only has the National Festival of Making got a packed programme of things to see and do running right across both days, but there’ll also be live music into the early evening.

New for 2024, there’ll be gigs at the Drummers Arms and Ribblesdale Tap in Blackburn town centre – meaning you can ‘make’ a day and evening of it too.

Run by local promoters Actual Music, there’ll be performances by the next generation of local and undiscovered talent, including Phil Johari, In Bloom, Jack Buckley and Kim McKenzie.

This adds to the already packed line-up of music and performances at the festival including some of our top picks:

  • DiscoBug DJ stage – From 11am through to 5pm visit the unique VW style DJ booth providing the perfect backdrop to your festival experience
  • Folk Dance Remixed – Step Hop House – think a May Pole dance to Hip Hop… this is not to be missed!
  • Suco Samba – a drumming group bringing funky beats and good vibes
  • Northern Dholis – a team of skilled Bhangra Dhol Players providing lively and energetic drumming performances
  • The Blackburn Festival of Light Band – vibrant performances by the community band right throughout the festival weekend
  • Blackburn & Darwen Junior Band – performing popular hits from pop, films, and folk music genres

Head over to now to check out the full programme, including a handy guide to the many live music and performances.

Elena Jackson, Co-Director of the National Festival of Making, said:

The National Festival of Making is the borough’s biggest event of the year with people travelling from far and wide to enjoy all there is on offer.

And the programme is packed with more than 75 things to see and do across more than 25 different venues in the town, including the many live music and performances, which are always a huge hit.

On top of this, new for this year, there’ll be live gigs at the Drummers Arms and the Ribblesdale Tap into the early evening too with some of the best of local and undiscovered talent performing.

We know that visitors will come for the full weekend, so this is a great addition along with the fabulous food offer in the town – including the many places to eat in and around the new Cultural Quarter and Cathedral Quarter.

And, for those who like to get involved and ‘make’ music, there’ll be lots of chances over the weekend including The Bureau’s popular Shared Sounds programme for young children, recycled instruments for pre-school children to try in Cathedral Gardens as well as the clatter of poet Beth Calverley’s vintage typewriter over at The Poetry Machine.

Head over to the Jingle Shed and you can even help make a radio jingle for Drift Radio – a mini community radio station floating onboard the Bill Hunt barge at Eanam Wharf.

The live music gigs are part of new investment for the town centre supported by funding secured by Blackburn with Darwen Council from the Government’s High Street Accelerator Fund.

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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