The National Festival of Making 2018

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor
The National Festival of Making, Blackburn
GS Visuals

The National Festival of Making 2018 at Blackburn Town Hall, Blackburn 12 — 13 May 2018 Entrance is free

Blackburn is a place of serious entrepreneurialism and innovation. It was a centre for textile production from the 13th century onwards – way before the Industrial Revolution had even kicked in (when the northern ‘boomtown’ became one of the first to be industrialised in the world). And is now back on its feet again after years of decline brought about by globalisation in the 1960s onwards. Indeed, it was named the ‘best place in Britain to make a living’ in 2015, with a larger than average proportion of the local population involved in manufacturing.

So, what better a location for the UK’s National Festival of Making? Dubbed ‘a new kind of festival for a new age of making’ by its co-founder and Lancashire-born fashion powerhouse Wayne Hemingway, the two-day event returns for the second year, flooding the streets of Blackburn with an impressive array of free workshops, talks, hands-on activities, performances, film screenings, art, celebrity cookery demonstrations, music, markets and more, spread throughout the town.

Among the 2018 festival’s multiple strands, Art in Manufacturing (commissioned in partnership with Super Slow Way) will see artists collaborate with manufacturers – last year resulting in a tissue paper-inspired choral performance and troupe of dancing factory bakers. Making activities will offer the chance for visitors of all ages to meet and learn new skills from industry professionals. Food & drink makers will showcase a range of inventive gastronomical creations by both local and international food producers (such as the popular Asia-meets-Lancashire pies that were served up in 2017). And lastly, Makers Market will present a hand-picked selection of some of the most imaginative and dedicated makers from around the UK, whose textiles, ceramics, paintings and prints will all be on sale.

Mini makers can get busy at family workshops including making tracks, moves, stories and mixes with music industry experts. Free family entertainment also includes world-renowned street theatre shows. Don’t miss Spain’s Vaiven Circus bringing to life the ingenuity of making through dance and acrobatics as an unlikely team build a machine together from scratch.

Though it certainly plays a much smaller role in our modern, day-to-day day lives, there’s a growing trend towards a return to the practical act of making, fuelled by the mental, physical and emotional benefits such hands-on activity carries. Ultimately, this town-wide, timely festival intends to celebrate and inspire – encouraging visitors to unlock their own talents, aspirations and creative potential. But most importantly, to get involved!

The National Festival of Making 2018 at Blackburn Town Hall, Blackburn 12 — 13 May 2018 Entrance is free

Where to go near The National Festival of Making 2018

Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery
Blackburn
Gallery
Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery

Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery houses a rich and fascinating collection covering fine art, decorative art, Egyptology, coins, manuscripts, natural history, social history and South Asia.

Blackburn
Music venue
The Exchange, Blackburn

Dating back to 1865 when it opened as one of four exchange halls in the country, The Exchange is an iconic Blackburn venue

Blackburn
King George’s Hall, Blackburn

One of the North West of England’s best known and loved entertainment venues the historic King George’s Hall in Blackburn was built in the classical style from stone quarried at Butler’s Delph in Pleasington.

Haute Dolci
Blackburn
Restaurant
Haute Dolci

This is dessert heaven served in the most amazing surroundings. A beautiful destination for all manner of sweet treats and the added bonus of a click and collect service. Vanilla Milk cake, Mintberry Mojito or test yourself with a Lick Your Lips – Fudge Brownies, Belgian Milk Chocolate, with Milk Chocolate Curls and Strawberries.

Exchange Coffee
Blackburn
Café or Coffee Shop
Exchange Coffee

Serving award winning coffees and a great choice of loose teas, cold drinks and takeaway delights including toasted fruit teacakes, crumpets and toast all of which you can order online through its click and collect service.

Lancashire
Restaurant
Scholars Restaurant

This quality bistro offers fine dining at fabulous prices. One of the leading training restaurants, Scholars Restaurant is run by both industry professionals and fantastic Blackburn College students.

Remix Casuals
Blackburn
Shop
Remix Casuals

A long term favourite for skate brands and streetwear with a mini skate ramp in the basement.

Blackburn
Event venue
The Bureau Centre for the Arts

The Bureau is an artist led arts and community centre, providing a versatile and inclusive space for theatre, music, cultural events and community participation.

Thira
Blackburn
Restaurant
Thira

Blackburn is synonymous with a great curry and Thira offers exactly that. With a discount available for click and collect, you can call and pre-order from a wide menu of home dining options. Starters include Grilled King Fish , boneless diced lamb sauteed with crushed ginger and shallots or a deep dish of mussels marinated with Kerala spices and deep fried.

Blackburn
Shop
Me To A Tee

Two young Blackburners set up this shop selling vintage and sought after football casual brands, such as Iceberg, Moncler, Stone Island CP and Company.

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