New sponsors and new features for Blackpool Illuminations in 2015

It’s the time of year when we find out what new Illuminations for 2015 there will be, at the 2015 season launch.

Businesses gathered from all over Blackpool to find out what’s in store with the Blackpool Illuminations this year – and with a new injection of cash from the Coastal Communities Fund, the £2.4m Lightpool Project, the highlight of which is a fabulous digital lightshow on the front of the beautiful, newly restored Blackpool Tower.

Blackpool Illuminations Season Preview 2015

No season launch, or indeed Blackpool Illuminations event, is complete without creative curator Laurence Llewellyn Bowen, and in his usual flamboyant style he set the scene for 2015 – a year when one by one, more businesses are beginning to come on board and show their support for the Lights.

‘Staycations’ are increasingly popular and of course ‘Blackpool’s Back’ as they say in the summer campaign, and as Laurence said “local companies are beginning to understand that they have to support the Illuminations’.

So, what’s new for this year?

LIGHTPOOL

Large scale projection mapping technology

Large scale projection mapping technology will be the most spectacular and noticeable new part of the Illuminations display with a stunning light show transforming the frontage of The Blackpool Tower. Designed by WarPro and The Projection Studio, who have worked on world famous events like the World Cup and the Olympic Games, the show will run in cycles throughout the illuminations display and is set to be absolutely unmissable.

Here’s a couple of ideas of the type of thing which might be included – digital planes dropping virtual leaflets jut like real ones did years ago, or maybe huge sticks of rock flying through the air!

Grundy Art Gallery

As part of Lightpool, leading artists from around the world will undertake spectacular new commissions involving light both in the gallery and around the town. “Sensory Systems” brings together five leading artists from around the world – Angela Bulloch, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Ann Veronica Janssens, Anthony McCall, and Conrad Shawcross – who will each create art installations exploring how light can affect your sensory experience. Many of the artworks are participatory. One piece is voice activated while another invites visitors to walk through a giant cone of light, created by smoke and projection.

Grundy curator, Richard Parry, said: “Light has been at the heart of how artists compose artworks. Whether it’s painting, photography or drawing light is in many respects the starting point. For Sensory Systems, we’ve switched the focus to be on how artists have been fascinated by light itself – both the science and technology behind it but also its ability to affect our senses and the way we experience the world around us. At the gallery we’ve been asking ourselves how we can do something new and exciting to compliment the amazing tourism offer of the Illuminations – something that is interactive and family friendly but also allows space for the imagination and for a certain spiritual reflection if you want to.”

Awesome Ambassadors

As part of LightPool, Blackpool now has a team of new, enthusiastic resort ambassadors. The team have already started work and are getting to know everything there is to know about Blackpool’s famous illuminations display. They will help guide our guests around the exciting display, signpost people towards our exciting new features and tell the story of the new Lightpool project.

Brilliance and festooning in the town centre.

The town centre is to be adorned in digital colour changing festoon lighting which will guide visitors to key exhibits. Meanwhile, the Brilliance archways on Birley Street will host a series of exciting new live shows, soon to be announced.

THE STUNNING NEW DISPLAYS

Ballroom Glitz

Drawing on Blackpool’s reputation as the home of ballroom dancing thanks to the success of Strictly Come Dancing, our creative curator, Laurence Llewelyn Bowen, has designed Ballroom Glitz. The glamourous section will sit opposite the Sands Venue – who also generously sponsor the display – and you can bet there won’t be a sequin out of place.

Glampire Re-Vamped!

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s second 2015 work is a spooky take on the vampire but in LLB’s own glamourous style. The sleek, shiny tableau takes the concept to frightening new lengths and, we can promise you, looks incredible.

Detail from Glampire revamped

Street to Shore

From the makers of Blackpool’s successful graffiti festival, Sand, Sea and Spray, comes Street to Shore. Sticking with a guerrilla style of design, Sand, Sea and Spray boss Robin Ross – also a key member of the Friends of Blackpool Illuminations – is promising four stunning new tableaux for the Cliffs area at Bispham by artists from around Britain and beyond.

Crazy Lights

An amazing dynamic new road-section stretching from The Imperial Hotel in North Shore to Gynn Square, this spectacular display features over half a million brightly coloured synchronised ever changing LED lights creating a myriad of patterns and shapes in light!!

Diamond Island

The iconic Gynn Island is transformed into a beautiful section of glittering chandeliers and tiaras as the Illuminations wave their magic making it the key focal point prior to the stunning display at the Cliffs.

THE COMMUNITY FEATURES

BES – The power behind the lights

Back for a second year, BES Utilities are the power behind the lights, helping to power Blackpool Illuminations in an incredible display of public generosity. Their sponsorship is worth in excess of £100,000 over two years – the biggest donation to the Lights in more than a decade. This year they’ll get their own tableau as we salute their community spirit and contribution.

BES Utilities

BES Managing Director Andy Pilley said: “As one of Britain’s leading suppliers of commercial gas, electricity and telecoms we are experts at saving businesses money on their utility bills.

“The financial pressures on the private and public sector, and indeed Blackpool’s historic and world famous Illuminations, have been widely reported over the last few years, and so BES Utilities is delighted to have put together a two-year sponsorship package for this iconic and wonderful spectacle.

“In addition, to mark our second year as proud sponsors of Blackpool Illuminations, we are delighted to offer special discounted rates for new electricity, gas and telecoms customers.

“We see investing in our local communities, businesses and such wonderful attractions as the Illuminations as a crucial part of the BES Utilities ethos. We urge other businesses to get involved as together we can make a real difference.”

Friends of the Illuminations section

The Friends of Blackpool illuminations do tireless work raising money for the illuminations display. So this year, a section returns to honour their work. Running from Cocker Square to Gynn Square there will be a display of thousands of coloured lights which have all been bought by members of the public through the Friends’ “Buy a Lamp” campaign which has raised more than £4,500.

Friends of the Illuminations Section

Friends Ambassador, Shirley Hunt, said:  “It’s been great to see our work produce a new section for the Illuminations. We have raised more than £4,500 in support of this and it is great to see the work producing a direct result in the show.”

LOVEmyBEACH

Blackpool’s beaches are as famous as its illuminations and we want local communities, businesses, schools and visitors to love and enjoy them.’ and include somewhere ‘ We’ve come a long way and the sea’s much cleaner but we need to do more. Visit lovemybeach.org to find out more.’
And that the winner will be announced in the Autumn.

Nancy Corbin, campaign manager for LOVEmyBEACH said: “Many people across the North West do their bit every day to help cleaner seas. Now schoolchildren have designed a message to show how simple it is to LOVEmyBEACH. From not feeding the birds at the beach to stop them pooing in the sea, to binning cooled kitchen fats at home instead of putting them down the sink. It couldn’t be easier. I’ve seen the competition entries and I don’t envy Laurence having to choose a winner! Hopefully everyone who sees the illumination will be inspired to do their bit for cleaner seas, wherever they live. Just like the children.”

Blackpool FC Illuminated tram

In 2010, Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust, via the late Fleetwood solicitor and lifelong Blackpool FC fan, Trevor Jones, acquired, tramcar 641. To celebrate his legacy, and the town’s affinity with its football club, it will this year become a feature of the illuminations display. Painted tangerine and carrying a special banner celebrating the achievements of the club thanks to assistance from Blackpool FC and football historian John Cross, the tram will be sited near the Pleasure Beach. Thanks to input from fans, it will also highlight the Gary Parkinson appeal.

John Woodman from Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust, said: “Blackpool’s Football Club is integral to the town’s heritage and community life – in much the same way as the Tower and the trams.  We found ourselves owning 641 through this gift from a Blackpool FC Supporter, now sadly passed on, and are determined to put it to best possible use.  Blackpool’s tramway and electricity departments were joined at the hip in the formative years of the town’s development. It is fitting that this close relationship can be revived by embracing Blackpool’s football team which similarly has a parallel history from 1887.”

THE RETURNING FAVOURITES

Bling – We’re delighted to welcome back Bling, our stunning, sparkling jewellery-inspired section, sponsored by Beaverbrooks. This year, Bling moves to the Pleasure Beach and will look truly spectacular.

Anna Blackburn, CEO of Beaverbrooks said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the Blackpool Illuminations for the ninth year running. The illuminations are a huge part of the community and we are proud to be a part of the magical experience.”

Alice’s Garden – Co-designed by LLB and the in-house team, this stunning tableau will be situated by Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Drawing on the story of Alice in Wonderland and, in particular, the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, the design features a magical water garden and is perfect for those who wish to explore the illuminations on foot. It’s also huge, stretching for more than 100m and features an 8ft bridge. Visit Alice’s Garden one night and take a stroll! Alice Garden is sponsored by the Houndshill centre.

Alice Tableau

Dynamo – Both dynamic and dazzling, this road-section of twenty major features, located near to south pier, includes multiple and ever changing spinning colours in a whirlwind of light. This sure fire crowd pleaser is sponsored by eviivo who support over 300 of Blackpool’s independent hotels and B&Bs.

eviivo CEO Michele Fitzpatrick said: “We are thrilled to be supporting this year’s illuminations for the second year running, giving something back to the community.   Blackpool is wonderful holiday destination which holds great appeal for both British and European visitors.  We are excited for all of Blackpool’s B&B’s and independent hotels, many of whom we work with, as they benefit from the extra trade and exposure provided by the illuminations.”

Logo Lights – Businesses are being invited to see their name up in lights during this year’s Illuminations display. Introduced last year, “Logo Lights” give businesses a chance to have their logo displayed in the Illuminations. 150 slots are available which will be displayed on the famous Cliffs section opposite the Miner’s home building, North Shore.

Head Lights – Similar to Logo Lights, the “Head Lights” feature is the interactive part of Blackpool Illuminations, allowing you, your dad or even your dog, to be up in lights. For 73 nights, the face/s you submit will keep the resort aglow.

The Blackpool Experience app – The app for the Blackpool Illuminations is back for 2015 and is now live on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. New features for this year include new games and a special Resort Map with navigation.

Mirrorball arches – Sponsored by Blackpool’s Knight Rigging Services, the arches welcome people into Blackpool at the south end of the Illuminations

Founder and managing director of KRS, Sven Knight, said: “It is wonderful to this year again support Blackpool Illuminations. KRS has built its reputation on facilitating the creative industries throughout the country with a core staff sourced from the Blackpool and Fylde area.”

Art for Walls – Sponsored by Graham and Brown, Art for Walls is the biggest gallery of original illuminated urban art in the world and is situated near The Metropole hotel

Graham and Brown Design and marketing director Mark Radford said: “It is great to be supporting the Iconic Blackpool illuminations, our long association with Laurence Llewelyn Bowen was instrumental in introducing us to the show but now we have seen what has been produced we are extremely happy with the product and feel it is highly worthwhile for Graham and Brown to be financially supporting both the illuminations and fresh creative and artistic talent like this.”

McDonalds – The iconic fast food restaurant have signed a new three year deal to renew their sponsorship of the section outside their Promenade restaurant. We are grateful for their ongoing support.

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