Take a look at what’s new for Blackpool Illuminations 2016

This year’s Blackpool Illuminations display is bigger and better than ever before. On arriving in the resort, you’ll be greeted with a mixture of light and sound displays.

The new-look welcome tunnels will greet you whether on foot, car or coach and will give you a warm welcome as you begin your Illuminations journey along the world famous promenade.

Blackpool Illuminations Welcome Arches

The 2016 display welcomes a whole host of new features and some returning favourites. A special section in the Golden Mile will be home to Star Trek, who is commemorating 50 years of one of the biggest TV and movie franchises of all time.

Star Trek display new to Blackpool Illuminations

One of Blackpool’s newest and most popular bar and restaurants, the Beach House Bistro and Bar has its own section in the heart of the display.

A new road section for 2016 Chandelier Causeway will include a series of stunning LED and strobe lighting festoon, alongside chandeliers celebrating the glamour and glitz of lighting situated between Central Pier and South Pier.

Chandalier Causeway, Blackpool Illuminations

There is a brand new experience Kaleidoscopia based at the Starr Gate entrance of the display and will see over 10000 LED lights mysteriously change colour and patterns, creating a multitude of rhythmic shapes in light above you as you enter the show.

Enchanted Garden is a new installation located on the Cliffs section allowing you to enter a magical forest of illuminated trees and lights with all your favourite characters, allowing great photos to be taken, get those selfies online now using #bplilluminations

And not forgetting Blackpool’s long-established award-winning Chinese restaurant, Michael Wan’s Mandarin, who are also supporting the Blackpool Illuminations, with their display between Gynn Island and the Hilton Hotel.

Returning favourites include Bling, Alice’s Garden, Ballroom Glitz, Mirrorball Arches, Arts for Walls, McDonalds, Logo Lights and Head Lights, in the 2016 display.

Also new for 2016 and sponsored by the Best Western Carlton Hotel, is a 36-page souvenir programme and the definitive guide to all things Illuminations and LightPool.

Blackpool Illuminations Souvenir Brochure 2016

The brochure is free to anyone who donates £5 to the Illuminations fund and is available from the VisitBlackpool Tourist Information Centre, the Promenade collection huts and the LightPool village.

The LightPool programme returns for a second successive year, with three brand new 3D projection shows on to the Blackpool Tower buildings. There is also a major new exhibition ‘NEON: The Charged Line’ at the Grundy Art Gallery and a week-long festival of light taking place throughout the town centre during October half-term from October 28 – November 2.

More about LightPool here

LightPool, which proved a hugely popular addition to last year’s Illuminations display, is aimed at re-inventing the Illuminations display and providing clear links to the town centre. It has been funded from the Coastal Communities Fund; Arts Council’s National Lottery funded Grants for the Arts programme and with contributions from Blackpool Council and LeftCoast.

Blackpool Council continues to fund the Illuminations show, but increasingly it relies on donations from the general public or businesses.  This year, the new look arrival areas gives visitors the chance to make a donation and to buy some official merchandise. All donations and merchandise received is reinvested into the design and creation of new displays and experiences for future generations.


Season Launch July 2016

The Blackpool Illuminations Season Launch event is always an exciting affair, when the press and businesses gather at Lightworks to find out what the new season has in store, and the 2016 event on 7 July was no exception.

Blackpool Illuminations Creative Curator Laurence Llewelyn Bowen kicked off the 2016 Blackpool Illuminations season with another rousing speech about why this year, more than any other, you’ll see a difference in the Blackpool Illuminations. Read on to find out why, and first you might enjoy this little clip from the Season Launch event which starts with Laurence being enthusastic and takes in a little tour of Lightworks – the place where the Illuminations are made…

Have a look at photos from the day from the Friends of Blackpool Illuminations


There’s going to be loads to see and do when you visit the Blackpool Illuminations this year.

Lightpool brings you amazing new digital projection shows on the Tower, and a new ‘Village’ on the Comedy Carpet. There’s street theatre and outdoor entertainment planned, new sponsors and new illuminations, and a whole new look to the Lights for 2016. Get yourself a brew and sit back to watch clips and read all about everything that you’ll be able to enjoy and experience this year…


Thank You!

This year when you begin your Illuminations experience, you will be greeted with a mixture of light and sound. The new look welcome tunnels will be at the beginning of your journey in the car or on a coach, and you will be given a warm welcome as you begin your drive up the Promenade.

Blackpool Illuminations Collection Point 2016

While Blackpool Council still funds the Illuminations show, increasingly it relies on donations from the generous public or businesses. This year, the new look arrival areas give you the chance to make a donation and to buy some official merchandise. Unlike buying from unlicensed operators on other parts of the Promenade, all the money from donations and merchandise received is reinvested into the design and creation of new displays and experiences for future generations.


NEW DISPLAYS

NEW: Star Trek

A special section in the Golden Mile will commemorate 50 years of one of the biggest TV and movie franchises of all time, Star Trek.

It’s hard to imagine that five decades ago, when the first episode aired on television, it would lead into a multi-billion pound franchise, and yet 50 years on, it’s going as strong as ever.

This year, Blackpool is gearing itself up for a Star Trek extravaganza . A major exhibition in the heart of the Golden Mile will sit across the road from an Illuminations display showing the different captains of the Enterprise throughout the years.

NEW: Beach House Boulevard

One of Blackpool’s newest and most popular bar and restaurants, the Beach House, has its own section in the heart of the display. This will light up a section of the Illuminations from Talbot Square up to their venue, next to the wedding chapel in a spectacular way. Millions of LEDs will adorn the Promenade in blue and white – the colours of the Beach House.

NEW: Chandelier Causeway

A new road section for 2016, including a series of stunning LED and strobe lighting festoon,  alongside chandeliers celebrating the glamour and glitz of lighting.

This classic looking display is guaranteed to be truly eye catching and is situated between Central Pier and South Pier.

NEW: Kaleidoscopia

A brand new experience at the southern Starr Gate entrance of the display will see over 1000 LED lights mysteriously change colour and patterns, creating a multitude of rhythmic shapes in light above you as you enter the show.

NEW: Magical Forest

A new opportunity on the Cliffs section of the display that allows you to enter a magical forest of illuminated trees and lights with all your favourite characters, allowing great photos to be taken…get those selfies online now using #magicalforest

NEW: Mandarin Lanterns

Blackpool’s long-established Award winning Chinese restaurant, Michael Wan’s Mandarin, is also supporting Blackpool Illuminations, having signed up for a two year light box display between Gynn Island and  the Hilton Hotel.


LIGHTPOOL PROJECTION – THREE NEW SHOWS!

This year we are delighted to announce three new films which are a combination of fairytale fantasy, and fact that will be displayed every evening on The Blackpool Tower buildings.

Set to a mixture of light and sound, state of the art video mapping technology will bring you a once in a lifetime experience which you can watch for free from the surroundings of the newly designed LightPool Village.

“Enchanted Blackpool” This is a magical fairytale journey which looks at the wonderful architecture of the Tower building and brings it to life through a series of amazing characters that have been specially created for the show.

This has been brought to you by Laurence Llewelyn Bowen, his daughter Cecille and the Blackpool Illuminations design team, including Emma Campbell who is our very own in-house animator on the project and has been expertly mentored by Dan Shorten of London’s Guildhall school of music- all of which has only been possible due to this CCF project.

“Down The Rabbit Hole” is the tale of an astronaut exploring new worlds. The inspiration for this year is commander Tim Peake, the first British astronaut to board the International Space Station.

The show explores a fantasy based loosely upon his remarkable mission of determination and ambition: a journey that will draw the audience into worlds without gravity: beautiful, fantastic, full of risk and uncertainty.

The producers of the show are The Macula, an award winning projection video mapping company from the Czech Republic who have dazzled audiences throughout Europe with their shows and closer to home they gained great acclaim with a 2011 show on the Liver Buildings in Liverpool.

Chasing Stars: Our Adventures in Space” Finally we come to the fact as we proudly present a science fact based show designed with education and entertainment in mind. Chasing Stars beautifully and imaginatively illustrates some of our more recent journeys into space, creatively utilising actual European Space Agency (ESA) 3D models and audio files for the ultimate in authenticity.

Designed and produced by last year’s fabulous Guinness World Record holding show creators, The Projection Studio, and curated in association with the ESA and renowned astronomer Dr Nick Lister, this amazing show will also include the talents of local schools engaged in the project as well as having a hard fact based outlook.

Three major exciting and all complimentary brand new works designed to thrill, educate and entertain all this season all at Lightpool.


NEW – ILLUMINATIONS AND LIGHTPOOL OFFICIAL SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

New for 2016 and sponsored by the Best Western Carlton Hotel, this 36 page souvenir programme is the definitive guide to all things Illuminations and LightPool dating back to the very origins of where it all began and features some exclusive insights and interviews.

Blackpool Illuminations Souvenir Brochure

The brochure is free to anyone who donates £5 to the Illuminations Fund and is available from the Tourist Information Centre, the Collection Huts and LightPool Village.


NEW – LIGHTPOOL VILLAGE

For 2016 we are giving you a new experience as part of Blackpool Illuminations – and it is called LightPool Village.

Lightpool Village at Blackpool Illuminations

This is an area on the Promenade around the Comedy Carpet, opposite The Blackpool Tower which will be open both day and night.  After dark you will be able to watch the LightPool projection shows in a unique atmosphere!

There will be retail outlets where you can buy some official merchandise or why not have your photo projected onto the Tower and then take home a souvenir photo? The Village will also have refreshment stalls and some entertainment to create a fun atmosphere before, during and after our LightPool projection shows.

Remember, every penny of profit is reinvested back into the Illuminations to make it a better experience for everyone for generations to come.


NEW – LIGHTPOOL FESTIVAL

This year will see the inaugural LightPool Festival, celebrating Blackpool’s unique relationship with light. Building on the successes of the LightPool shows on The Blackpool Tower, from October 28 to November 2 we will transform the town centre with a number of spectacular light art works, inspired by the buildings, history and people of the town.

To complement this we will run a programme of live performances each night, all related to light and fire, with talent coming from the UK and abroad.


LIGHTPOOL EXHIBITION

The Grundy Art Gallery will be organising the first major exhibition to date in the UK of neon artworks, including some of the world’s most significant artists who have worked with the medium since the 1960s.

The exhibition will also include outdoor and offsite neon commissions, and the exhibition will be free to enter.

It will open to coincide with the Illuminations and LightPool and will run through to Jan 2017.

Alongside the exhibition of modern and contemporary art will be a display of unique drawings from the globally important Illuminations historic archive, showing how Blackpool was one of the first places in the UK to widely display neon, and how it paved the way for the Illuminations as we now know them

Major announcements on details of the show and the exciting line up of artists will follow soon – watch this space.

Find out more about Grundy Art Gallery here


 

THE RETURNING FAVOURITES

Bling – We’re delighted to welcome back Bling, our stunning, sparkling jewellery-inspired section, sponsored by Beaverbrooks who celebrate their tenth year sponsoring the Illuminations.

Alice’s Garden – Co-designed by LLB and the in-house team, this stunning tableau will be situated by Blackpool Pleasure Beach this year.

Alice in Wonderland Tableaux at Blackpool Illuminations

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

Find out more about Logolights here

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.

Find out more about Headlights here