Burnley Canal Festival – Save the date!

3rd April 2018

2018 Dates – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 August

The Burnley Canal Festival returns in August, when this dynamic celebration of Burnley’s peerless canal heritage will occupy its regular slot on Bank Holiday weekend.  The free family event runs over Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 August, and if you sampled last year’s event, you’ll know this is one not to miss…

“What a great time our family had, with new and unique experiences, not your run-of-the-mill local festival…”

Launched in 2012, the Canal Festival has grown each year, steered by volunteers and supported by partners including Burnley Council and Canal & River Trust.  The Festival is now a part of the Super Slow Way arts programme and is managed by Mid Pennine Arts, the charity based in Burnley canalside, and events company Deco Publique, creators of brilliant events like Blackburn’s National Festival of Making.

More than by 12,000 people thronged the canal towpath for the 2017 event, held over three sites linked by narrowboat rides and an Explorers’ Trail for all the family.  2018 will be a bit different, as MPA Creative Director Nick Hunt explains.

“This year we will focus on Sandygate Square as the heart of the Festival.  Two other sites are not available to us in 2018, but Sandygate was designed as a public event space and we want to realise its full potential.  It is ringed with wonderful heritage buildings, and we want to showcase some more of that to Festival goers.”

All the Festival ingredients return, with lots of opportunities to have a go at arts and crafts workshops, plus music, performances, street food, stalls, canoe taster sessions, narrowboats and more.  Once again, the Towpath Explorers will devise a mystery quest, to encourage all the family to explore some of Burnley’s brilliant canalside.  Festival entry will be free and most activities will also be free.

“The best family event I have ever been to! We had the best day ever, lots of laughs, great chat, mega fun! We will be back next year! “

Burnley Canal Festival is co-produced by Mid Pennine Arts and Deco Publique in collaboration with the volunteers of the Festival Committee representing local communities.