Posted by Rachel Westall on 15 April 2021
The organisers of The Festival of Quilts, Europe’s leading patchwork and quilting event, are delighted to announce that tickets for The Festival of Quilts 2021 will go on sale in May. The live event takes place from 29th July-1st August 2021 at the NEC Birmingham and will be located across four halls of the venue, rather than the usual three, to give significantly more space for social distancing. Safety measures will include capped visitor and exhibitor numbers, extended opening times, pre-booked, staggered entry times, wider aisles, larger workshop rooms, galleries, theatre and VIP lounge with capacity limits and enhanced cleaning, separate entry and exit points, frequent and enhanced cleaning, hand sanitiser and hand washing facilities, and contactless ticket scanning and payment wherever possible. There will also be additional toilet facilities and seating. Anyone feeling unwell or with Covid symptoms will be asked not to attend.
This year's Festival of Quilts competition will be the biggest ever with more than 800 hung quilts on display, including a new category for Complete Beginners and new overlay awards. Winners will be announced at the Festival's lunchtime Awards Ceremony on Thursday 29th July. There will also be 400 workshops, Academy classes and demonstrations by artists in a live studio environment, galleries by acclaimed textile establishments, artists and groups, and nearly 300 specialist craft retailers under one roof. An extensive talks and lecture programme will take place in the Festival Theatre, featuring leading textile experts including modern machine quilter and YouTube star Angela Walters from The Midnight Quilt Show, Dr. Susan Marks and Jenni Smith. At the Festival's Innovation Station, there will be free demonstrations of the latest patchwork and quilting products.
Fans of historic quilts are in for a treat with an exhibition of 100 year-old Amish quilts from the International Quilt Museum, Nebraska. The exhibition spans the dark, classic geometric patterns of the Pennsylvania Amish to the pastels and bright colours of the Midwest. Other gallery highlights include Ebb and Flow, a new exhibition by members of SAQA, Fantasy Abstraction, an exhibition by Californian-based improvisational artist Sheila Frampton-Cooper, and FOUND, a new exhibition by Art Quilts: Made in Britain, plus many more. Shortlisted entries for the third Janome Fine Art Textiles Award, the international juried exhibition that recognises the creative talents and skills of high-calibre textile artists producing gallery-quality fine art, will be on display alongside 2020's virtual award winners.
Anna Baptiste, event director for The Festival of Quilts, said: "We simply cannot wait to see the wonderful quilting and textile art community in person this summer after we sadly had to postpone last year's event. Seeing nearly one thousand beautiful quilts spread throughout four large halls is going to be quite an experience. The safety of our visitors, exhibitors, contractors and staff is our highest priority, and visitors can have full confidence in the wide-ranging measures that we and the NEC are putting in place to make this a Covid-safe and truly fantastic Festival of Quilts."
Entries for The Festival of Quilts 2021 competition open in April with 17 different categories to enter, including a new Complete Beginner award and new overlay categories. Entries must be submitted by Friday 4th June, 2021. Entry forms, category criteria, competition rules and key information are available on the Quilt Competition page of The Festival of Quilts website (www.thefestivalofquilts.co.uk).
Tickets for The Festival of Quilts 2021 go on sale to members of the Quilters Guild on 10th May and to the general public on 17th May at https://www.thefestivalofquilts.co.uk/. Advance adult tickets are £17, concessions are £15 and there are three VIP packages. Booking fees apply to all transactions - £2.50 for etickets and £2.80 for postal tickets. Children under 18 go free if accompanied by an adult. Tickets must be purchased in advance of the Festival as there will be no box office ticket sales on site. In the event of pandemic-related cancellation, ticket holders will be offered the choice to transfer their booking to 2022 or receive a refund. Transaction fees will be retained.
All information is correct at the time of writing.