The dates for 2024's Festival are Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 April.
If you would like to be a Festival Activity Partner, or have creative ideas for talks, exhibitions or workshops, please click on this link to fill out a simple form.
If you are new to the Norfolk Makers Festival, the information and images on this page will give you a full overview of what it's all about. We look forward to hearing from you.
If you have any questions, please email us
Please note, you will be asked to adhere to the Norfolk Makers Festival contributors' terms & conditions.
Read on to learn more about the Festival.
The Norfolk Makers Festival is a nine-day event, presented by The Forum, which showcases the talents and skills of local people, celebrates Norfolk’s creative heritage, and inspires thousands of visitors to explore new artistic opportunities.
The exhibitions, the crafting demonstrations and the hands-on activities are all free to the public. In addition, there is a programme of ticketed talks and workshops covering a wide range of crafts, from weaving, spinning and crochet, to painting, printing and pottery.
Would you like to be a Festival Activity Partner?
The Forum offers local creatives, who are passionate about what they do, and who enjoy sharing their skills and interests with others, the opportunity to be part of the Norfolk Makers Festival's programme of free activities.
For Festival Activity Partners, there is no venue hire charge; the space, display boards, tables, electricity, and so on, are all offered free of charge by The Forum, up to a maximum of three days.
In return Festival Activity Partners are required to provide members of the public with free, high-quality, hands-on creative activities. In addition we require contributors to deliver inspiring demonstrations, friendly conversation and inspirational guidance, from 10am to 4pm, each day they are on site.
What are the benefits?
Participation means you will reach a large, engaged audience. Thousands of people come into the Forum each day of the Festival, and our surveys show a significant number are travelling from across the UK to enjoy this annual event.
You can display your work while you are on site, promote what you do and network with other creatives. You can apply to deliver ticketed workshops and you will also benefit from a lively multi-platform marketing strategy.
This is not a selling event or craft market, but if we have enough space, we may permit Festival Activity Partners a small sales area, offering low-cost items relevant to the free activities. Selling must always be secondary to the public engagement and is not guaranteed.
There are other ways you can get involved.
Deliver a talk or a ‘meet the artist’ event
The Norfolk Makers Festival offers a range of in-person and online talks covering a range of creative subjects, and related explorations of heritage, politics and wellbeing. We welcome all ideas so please do e mail us with your suggestions.
Exhibit community work
The Festival sets out to celebrate community projects, and to showcase work that has provided people with an opportunity to express themselves through collaborative, creative activities. Often finding a suitable space to display these projects can be difficult, and the Festival is always happy to consider featuring them as part of the programme.
Enter the juried textile art exhibition
Each year the Norfolk Makers Festival makes a call to textile artists in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, to submit original work responding to a theme. The selected works, created by both professionals and amateurs, are displayed throughout the Festival. The 2024 theme is Under the Surface. This is an inclusive opportunity and we always enjoy curating an eclectic and unique exhibition. Find out how to get involved.
Be on the ‘From Craft to Career’ panel
Each year The Festival partners with the Norfolk County Council’s Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC), to provide advice and guidance for makers planning to go into business.
‘From Craft to Career’ is a free event, held in The Forum’s Auditorium, involving a panel of creatives who share their experiences and who take questions from the audience.
Please don't hesitate to get in touch with ideas and suggestions.
Why does The Forum organise free Festivals?
The Forum is run by an independent, self-financing charitable trust, The Forum Trust, which has a commitment to creating educational opportunities and promoting life-long learning and personal development.
The Trust works with local partners to present several free events throughout the year, including the Norwich Science Festival, Heritage Open Days and the Norfolk Makers Festival. It also supports many community events such as Run Norwich, Norwich Pride, Lord Mayor’s Celebration and the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.
For a more in depth look at what the Norfolk Makers Festival achieves, you can view the 2023 Impact Report here.