Festival of Thrift 2024: Workshop Open Call 

Festival of Thrift is looking for artists, creatives, makers, organisations and sustainability champions to submit workshop proposals for our 2024 festival in Billingham. 

Festival Dates: Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd September 2024 (you must be available for both dates) 

Fee/Budget: Dependent on day rate and materials costs. You will be asked to supply an estimated budget with your proposal.

We are inviting proposals for our 2024 festival workshop programme. We are looking for inventive, unusual, and imaginative ideas that will surprise, excite, challenge and inspire our visitors on sustainable living and positive climate futures.  

In 2023 we piloted our first free workshop programme, by making our workshops all free we engaged over 4,500 participants in creative activities.
We made mushroom sculptures, allotment soup, dens, kitchen cupboard laundry detergent, radical protest placards, seed libraries, promenade drawings, bespoke clothing patches, trash drumming circles, compost, medicinal teas, a huge cardboard farm, puppet shows, learnt circus skills, practiced family yoga and lots more. 

This year we are looking for workshop ideas that creatively respond to and animate our festival themed areas: 

  • Slow Fashion Alley
    A gateway to sustainable style and conscious choice. Including sewing, mending, customisation, upcycling, and celebrating sustainable design, production and preloved wardrobes.
  • Futuristic Food
    Sustainable food production, future foods, (ancient grains, fungus, legumes, insect proteins, lab grown meat), zero waste, urban farming, regenerative agriculture, making and sharing food together, fermenting, pickling and preserving.
  • Allotment Patch
    Nature, gardening, growing, foraging, ecology, plant uses and biodiversity.
  • The Imagined Meadow
    Getting creative with art & craft activities, exploring sustainable & natural materials, DIY making and taking climate action together.
  • Camp Thrift
    A playground for young and old alike! Including creative play, storytelling, imaginative making, building fantastical structures, sound, dance and movement.
  • Electric Avenue
    Innovative solutions for home, travel, architecture, energy and more! Including renewable energy, green technology, zero waste lifestyles, and sustainability hacks for household products & beauty care.
  • Retro
    Celebrating all things analogue, retro and vintage! – creating a repurposing and reusing revolution! From preloved technologies, vinyl records, toys and games.

We welcome ideas in any artforms from dance and movement, arts and crafts, puppetry & performance, creative play, print & storytelling, activism, practical hands-on demos, making & mending, music, wellbeing activities and more. 

Who are the workshops for:
We’d like to engage a range of age groups in our workshops, including activities for: multi-generational, early years, children and families, young people/teens and adults.
Workshops should be accessible to a wider audience, but we acknowledge that different sessions will suit different age groups and skill levels.

How will they work:
We’ll host a mix of drop-in workshops, bookable workshops and time-limited sessions with limited capacities. But we are keen for as many people as possible to benefit from the free workshop programme and will repeat sessions throughout the weekend. Please note you must be available for both dates of the festival.  

Any materials and processes used should be as sustainable as possible i.e. natural, reused, compostable, ethical, organic, fair trade, recycled, locally sourced etc. Please consider this when applying.  

Please include your day/hourly rate for delivery and any planning time. Please also include estimated cost of your materials and any other expenses you expect us to cover. 

As we are subsidising the cost of workshops, we expect workshops to be offered for no cost. If workshops have high running costs, we may attach a low-ticket fee to subsidise overheads.
Please note, we cannot subsidise workshops taking place as part of a trading stall.

Festival of Thrift is an outdoor event; your workshop will be located outside. The festival team will select the location for your workshop linked to thematic areas across the festival site.

We can provide an undercover area, and access to power/water if necessary.   

How to apply:

Complete our online form here

Download PDF

If you have any questions about this opportunity please get in touch with us on: info@festivalofthrift.co.uk and include ‘Workshop open call enquiry’ in the subject header. 

More about Festival of Thrift:
Festival of Thrift is the National Celebration of Sustainable Living, proudly based in the Tees Valley. Celebrating sustainability since 2012, the festival builds a creative community through sharing skills and ideas for our sustainable future.

A flagship event in the Tees Valley, attracting national audiences and awards, Festival of Thrift has a free, year-round programme, culminating in our September festival weekend with activities for all the family. Every September we take over Billingham’s town centre and park, transforming it into a packed joyful celebration of sustainable living, helping us to imagine a hopeful climate future.  

Welcoming 38,000+ people to debate, learn, try and enjoy every aspect of sustainability. From swapping, sharing, growing, cooking, making, creating, repairing and fixing with the bonus of live performances & music and a marketplace of ethical traders.

more you might find interesting...


Festival of thrift welcomes you

Login to your trader account