Blackpool ‘manhunt’ set to launch with cash prizes for tracking down escapees

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“There’s rules to keep us as escapees safe too such as what classes as a capture – throwing us into the back of a van and driving off is not a capture that’s kidnapping!”

Follow xraymarklive! on Twitch, Twitter and YouTube for updates Blackpool Hunted
Follow xraymarklive! on Twitch, Twitter and YouTube for updates on Blackpool Hunted (Image: xraymarklive!)

Anticipation is building for a new event coming to Blackpool soon where participants hunt down and capture three escapees.

The date for Blackpool Hunted will be announced very soon, in line with coronavirus restrictions.

The idea is three members of the xraymarklive! Twitch channel will be dropped at random locations across the town and as of 8:30am on the given date, the public are invited to hunt them down.

They will then have until midnight to capture them with the winners receiving £100 for each member caught.

The team will be streaming everything live for fun and hunters will submit photos and videos to the tech centre.

Escapees will keep moving a minimum of 500 yards an hour and will check in with clues with hunters required to check in every two hours.

Clues, videos, audio, and pictures will be posted to the xraymarklive! Twitch channel, Twitter and also the Blackpool Hunted Facebook page.

The event costs nothing to join and the only requirement is that every entry must join the YouTube, Facebook or Twitch accounts.

You must also be registered on the Blackpool Hunted event’s Facebook page when it is active.

Escapee and co-organiser Mark, whom the Twitch channel is named after, said: “It’s just about staying safe, having fun and respecting each other. As the idea has developed we’ve had to come up with more rules and regulations to keep us and everyone involved safe.

“Some things may sound obvious but we need to address them in case there’s a few people that go a bit mad!

“For example there’s areas where we don’t want people to go such as the Piers or the sea! There’s rules to keep us as escapees safe too such as what classes as a capture – throwing us into the back of a van and driving off is not a capture that’s kidnapping!

“We’re building these up as we go and trying to address everything so these will all be clear by the time it’s ready to go ahead.

“So far we have 16 rules on the Facebook group”

The idea for Blackpool Hunted is incredibly new and only came about on Friday evening (May 14).

Mark, along with fellow organisers Neil and Ben, are all avid gamers and had been discussing ideas of fun things to stream for a while and created a Twitch channel last year during lockdown.

Neil and Ben both live in Blackpool, and although Mark lives in Liverpool his work building is close to Blackpool airport.

Its camera is pointed at the aircraft coming in and Mark would often notice the plane spotters that would arrive.

One night he noticed flashes in the sky which many people said was lightning or flares coming from a gas rig out at sea.

A joke was made about it being aliens and they decided to go out on to the beach at 11pm to investigate and livestream it.

They didn’t discover anything however it was a lot of fun enjoyed by lots of Twitch viewers and they decided to think about fun activities like ghost hunting.

All three had applied for the Channel 4 show ‘Hunted’ pre-pandemic however it got cancelled temporarily due to the Coronavirus.

It was on Friday night that they decided to come up with their own manhunt based in Blackpool and it grew from there.

Mark said: “Since we created the Facebook page the interest has just been overwhelming. People are already trying to search for clues and trying to work out where we’ll be.

“It’s amazing the fact that an idea we had on Friday night is already getting this big. We’ve all got really good jobs outside the Twitch channel. I’m director of a medical company, Ben works for me and Neil works in software development.

“We all love paintballing and activities like that so it’s a good opportunity for us to get outside, get some fresh air and exercise.

“We’re not really big drinkers but we’re all big gamers so it came out by us just getting together and having a laugh basically.

“Now there’s people adding me on LinkedIn such as one who’s a fish seller from Fleetwood, who is completely outside my line of work, but it’s because people are looking for clues. People have been trying to find out what car I drive and everything!

“Given the interest it’s gotten so far, if it goes well we will consider taking this to other cities and towns too.”