We are taking steps to ensure the Festival of Quilts is as safe as possible given the ongoing situation with the pandemic. The show will be spread across four halls instead of three to ensure wide aisles and plenty of space to get around. There are already plans for longer opening hours, staggered start times to reduce crowding, enhanced cleaning processes and more.

Additional Space and Safety Measures in Response to COVID-19

Your safety is paramount. 

We are taking steps to ensure The Festival of Quilts is as safe as possible given the ongoing situation with the pandemic. 

We want you to have a great day out, enjoying your visit with confidence knowing we have the safety of our visitors, exhibitors and staff as our highest priority.

We plan to operate under the industry’s All Secure Standard – a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that our events are operating under COVID secure measures. 

The following precautions will be taken to give you peace of mind:

Government guidelines after 21st June are not yet confirmed, but the following measures are what we are currently working to. Last updated on 4th May 2021. Please note these measures are subject to change in accordance with Government guidelines so please check back regularly.

How we will keep you safe:

  • The show will be MUCH bigger, as we will be using four halls of the NEC (rather than the usual three), which allows us to spread out and ensure significantly more space to social distance.
  • We will be limiting the overall number of visitors in attendance
  • There will be staggered entry times (which visitors will select when booking tickets), although once inside the caps on numbers mean you can stay as long as you wish
  • We have increased the aisle widths to 4m (from 2m or 3m) to allow for social distancing
  • Opening times have been extended to 9.30am to 6.00pm daily (closing 5pm Sunday)
  • Quick & Easy Workshop rooms will be larger with limits on capacities and cleaning stations in each room
  • Academy workshops will have capped numbers (and some will be held in larger spaces), each with fully stocked cleaning stations for cleaning between sessions
  • Galleries have been increased in size to allow for a more spacious viewing experience
  • The Festival Theatre has also been increased in size with caps on numbers and spaced seating
  • There will be separate entry and exit points
  • There will be frequent and thorough cleaning of public areas, toilets and touch points around the venue
  • Queues will be closely managed to avoid congestion
  • Hand sanitiser and/or hand washing facilities will be provided throughout the venue
  • There will be tannoy announcements and written reminders to follow guidelines, wash hands regularly and follow any other guidelines that are in place
  • The VIP lounge will be bigger with lower caps on numbers
  • Additional toilets will be available to minimise queues
  • Exhibiting companies will be asked to undertake an enhanced risk assessment to ensure they are COVID-19 secure in line with government guidance
  • In terms of ventilation, the NEC Building Management Systems monitor air quality and following review they have recommissioned their ventilation plant. This includes maximising fresh air rates and where appropriate, upgrading their filters to NHS hospital standards.

How you can help

  • It’s vital that we all follow the guidance outlined in order to protect ourselves and those around us. We ask you to therefore follow the government advice in relation to symptoms and isolation and do not come to an event if you feel at all unwell. Do not leave home if you or someone you live with has any of the following symptoms:

    – a high temperature
    – a new, continuous cough
    – a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

  • Anyone in a high-risk category should refer to the Government guidance before deciding to travel
  • If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, we will respectfully ask you to leave
  • Wherever possible, ensure you follow public health guidelines whilst in public
  • Maintain an appropriate distance from fellow visitors, exhibitors and staff wherever possible
  • Use hand-sanitiser and/or wash hands regularly throughout your visit
  • We are awaiting confirmation about cloakroom facilities, but suggest that you avoid bringing large bags or excess oversized carry items as you may be required to keep them on your person
  • To ensure guidelines are followed, there may be increased waiting times and queuing throughout various aspects of your visit. We ask you to be as patient as possible

Register your interest

Plans are underway for The Festival of Quilts at the NEC Birmingham from 29 July – 1 August 2021.

Please help us understand your desire to attend this year’s event. By registering your interest you’ll get priority access to tickets before they go on general release.