Three nights of fantastic free entertainment for all the family

Blackpool’s award-winning Lightpool Festival is back for the October half-term – and it promises to be more spectacular than ever!

The festival will provide an amazing mix of live performance, light-based art installations and the return of the illuminated tram parade.

Visitors got a taste of things to come when the festival was officially launched at the Winter Gardens on October 18 with Light Odyssey – an incredible sound and light collaboration between the BBC Philharmonic and 15 animators which transformed the interior of the iconic Empress Ballroom.

That sets the stage for the festival itself which takes place over three nights from October 25-27 thanks to funding from Arts Council England.

Throughout the three days, there is a fantastic free art trail throughout the town centre and along the Promenade with 29 illuminated art installations featuring works by the likes of Yoko Ono, Luke Jerram and Bob and Roberta Smith. It’s a true celebration of Blackpool’s unique place in history as the home of illumination. Pick up your free art trail map from the Tourist Information Centre from Tuesday 23 October.

The opening night of the festival, Thursday 25 October, will see the return of the Carnival Of The Lights to Blackpool’s Central Promenade. For the second year running, it will feature a cavalcade of the resort’s unique collection of heritage and illuminated trams, led by the illuminated drummers from Worldbeaters Music, Spark!

The parade, which will be leaving Central Pier at around 6pm will head along the seafront towards The Blackpool Tower where you will be able to capture some brilliant photographs of the parade and watch a specially commissioned dance production by Skool Of Street on the outdoor Comedy Carpet.

Watch out too for our very own Lumidogs – a mass-illuminated dog walk that will form part of the carnival parade. If you want to get involved with your dog go to facebook.com/lumidogs

The following night, Friday 26 October, will see the extraordinary RUSH from 7.45pm, a dance, light and projection mapping show by Southpaw Dance in association with LeftCoast. RUSH will take place on the site of the Bonny Street Police Station and car park (just behind the SEA LIFE Centre on the Golden Mile). Inspired by the post-2008 global cultural phenomenon of protest and riot, RUSH will tell a unique story in a huge release of energy and creativity. Prepare to be wowed!

RUSH is free to attend, but advance booking is essential. Register: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rush-blackpool-tickets-48451973156  

Friday 26 October also sees, for one night only, an opportunity to dance for free in the UK’s most feted ballroom under the light of Luke Jerram’s spectacular replica moon. The giant Museum Of The Moon installation will be housed in The Blackpool Tower Ballroom and between 5pm and 7pm people will be able to dance beneath the moonlight. Over the three nights of the Lightpool Festival the moon will be open to view free of charge from the balcony area of the ballroom between 6.30pm and 10pm.

Then on the final night, Saturday 27 October, the Belgian performance troupe Pyronix invite you to experience Ignipotens, an epic, fire-themed journey to remember. With precise choreography and intense music it promises to be an explosive end to the festival. The performance is free, and starts from the Comedy Carpet at 7pm, with a procession leading up to St John’s Square in the town centre.

Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “This promises to be an extraordinary spectacle for families to enjoy over the half-term holiday.

“Once again, Blackpool is doing what it does best – producing world class entertainment at little or no cost. We hope people will take the opportunity to experience some incredible live performance and see up close some unique installations.”

For regular updates, go to: www.visitblackpool.com/lightpoolfestival