Category Archives: Winter Gardens

Winter Gardens chosen for 2022 business awards ceremony

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Blackpool’s Winter Gardens has once again been chosen as the venue for a major county awards ceremony.

The iconic building will host the 2022 Red Rose Awards on June 9.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the event has been rescheduled from its usual March date to the summer slot at the Winter Gardens and will feature locally-sourced food, music and entertainment.

Lancashire businesses and organisations have until March 18 to submit their nominations and entries.

The list of finalists will be announced on April 4, and shortlisted candidates will then be given a chance to impress the judges with in-person presentations on April 27 and 28. New categories have been added.

The Micro Business Award has been introduced for the best Lancashire companies with six or fewer employees, and the Marketing Agency Award has been split into two: now the Design Award and Digital Award.

Stephen Bolton, of Lancashire Business View magazine, which organises the event, said: “Following the incredible feedback received from winners, guests and supporters of the Red Rose Awards through the years, and in particular last year, we are excited to bring the event back for 2022.

“Each ceremony builds on the last, and even though we sold more tickets than ever before last year, we have a number of new ideas we are looking forward to launching.

 

Blackpool welcomes dancers from across Europe for Champions of Tomorrow competition

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‘It is a delight to welcome dancers back to Blackpool’

 

Dancers performing at Champions of Tomorrow held at Blackpool's Winter Gardens
Dancers performing at Champions of Tomorrow held at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens (Image: Gilbert Wu photography)

Dancers from across Europe have flocked to Blackpool to compete in Champions of Tomorrow.

The event was held in The Empress Ballroom and Spanish Hall at Winter Gardens over the weekend (January 8-9).

The iconic venue has been pivotal to the development of Ballroom dancing and has hosted dance festivals for over 90 years.

The most recent event was the first of 2022 and proved very popular – despite the ongoing rise in Covid-19 cases.

Michael Williams, managing director of Winter Gardens Blackpool, said: “It is a delight to welcome dancers back to Blackpool for Champions of Tomorrow.

“It is the first of many dance events that we host annually here at the Winter Gardens Blackpool which sees dancers from across the globe travel to Blackpool to compete in the magnificent Empress Ballroom.

“To our delight and despite current circumstances, the numbers attending our first festival of 2022, meant an expansion across the venue, utilising the recently renovated Spanish Hall as well as the Empress Ballroom which received wide praise from competitors and spectators.”

Champions of Tomorrow provides opportunities for dancers of all abilities to compete in categories from under six years of age right through to seniors, featuring competitions for solos, couples, all girls and ProAm/teacher students.

Dancers performing at Champions of Tomorrow held at Blackpool's Winter Gardens
Dancers performing at Champions of Tomorrow held at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens (Image: Gilbert Wu photography)

Mr Warren Bullock who travelled to Blackpool with his dance school, Zig Zag based in Wolverhampton, said: “To see the Winter Gardens so alive again with dance was very special. It was a pleasure to see the dancers in person and live rather than on ZOOM.

“I loved everything about the weekend, the impressive stage and lighting, the energy and the fantastic music. Wow! We do have some brilliantly talented dancers!”

The next festival is set to take place this April and will welcome juniors from across the globe to compete in the Blackpool Junior Dance Festival across 29 different competitions.

To find out more visit Blackpooldancefestival.co.uk.

 

 

Chance to get involved in Strictly-style spectacular run by Fylde coast team

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A Strictly-style dance competition which culminated in a spectacular finale at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens last year is returning – and this time it’s even bigger.

 

The Strictly NHS final in the Empress Ballroom last summer

The Strictly NHS final in the Empress Ballroom last summer

A Strictly-style dance competition which culminated in a spectacular finale at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens last year is returning – and this time it’s even bigger.

Last year the Strictly NHS event saw 12 health workers take up the chance to learn routines with a pro dance partner and compete in a final at the Winter Gardens’ splendid Empress Ballroom in June.

The event proved a huge hit and also raised more than £26,000 for Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s Blue Skies charity.

Alison Slinger with pro dancer Connor Parkinson in rehearsals last year

Alison Slinger with pro dancer Connor Parkinson in rehearsals last year

Now the team behind the event are bringing it back, with a spectacular launch night being staged in the Winter Gardens’ Spanish Hall on the evening of Saturday January 22.

This year’s event is called Dance Floor Heroes and the event has now been opened up anyone, not necessarily NHS key workers.

The organisers behind the event have also set up their own mental health charity, Tia’s Crown, which is aimed at providing free dance sessions to aid people’s mental health.

Applications for Dance Floor Heroes opens this Friday.

Professional dancer and teacher Alison Slinger, creative director of the project and one of seven trustees of Tia’s Crown, said: “We wanted to open the competition up to absolutely anyone this year.

“The show will be even bigger this time around and we’re even staging regional heats not just in Blackpool but in places such as Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff.

“A key part of it this year is to raise awareness of mental health problems, which tripled across the country as a result of issues related to the Covid pandemic.

“Dance is a great way to improve mental health, raise people’s endorphin levels and make them feel happier and fitter.”

Further details can be found on the Dance Floor Heroes Facebook page.

 

 

Blackpool Symphony Orchestra all set for centenary celebrations in 2022

Home | Blackpool Gazette

It’s promising to be a vintage year for Blackpool Symphony Orchestra for a good reason –  the ensemble is celebrating its centenary.

The Blackpool Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its centenary

The Blackpool Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its centenary

The orchestra was founded by musician Percy Dayman in 1921 but a string of celebratory events in 2021 had to be postponed because of uncertainty over the Covid pandemic.

It means that most of the celebrations for the orchestra, known as the BSO, will be held in 2022 with a series of special concerts, including a major musical spectacle at the Winter Gardens in July.

During the past 100 years, the orchestra’s chief aim has been to ensure that residents on the Fylde coast can access live performances of classical music, including many of the greatest works in the repertoire.

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Despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic the orchestra, under the dynamic leadership of music director and conductor Helen Harrison, was still able to complete a number of projects and provide inspirational performances for music lovers in 2020 and 2021.

Helen said: “Now more than ever, we need music.

“As musicians, playing music is not just something we do but who we are.

“Being able to play our music to others so they can enjoy it is so important to us.

Helen Harrison, music director and conductor of Blackpool Symphony Orchestra

Helen Harrison, music director and conductor of Blackpool Symphony Orchestra

“We’re really looking forward to sharing our centenary with music-lovers on the Fylde coast.”

The BSO attracts players from across Lancashire with a core membership of 50 semi-professional musicians under Helen’s direction.

This year Helen was chosen to participate in the Women Conductors’ International Masterclass run by the Royal Opera House in July.

The previous month she was invited by the Royal Philharmonic Society to work with the Royal Northern Sinfonia as one of four emerging conductors in a project to advance gender equality on the podium.

The orchestra performed Somewhere Over the Rainbow online

The orchestra performed Somewhere Over the Rainbow online

The BSO was really put on the map when the orchestra’s dazzling performance of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, performed and recorded virtually over social media, not only raised £3,000 for Blackpool Food Bank but won the Making Music national award for Best Virtual Concert Video 2020, was highly commended by the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards 2020 and the Classical Music Digital Awards 2020.

The video can be watched here:

Once restrictions were relaxed last year, the orchestra was able to perform at a well-received Centenary Prom Concert at the Grand Theatre Blackpool in September with an audience of 500 and featuring international soprano soloist Jane Irwin.

This concert also marked the 10th anniversary of Helen Harrison becoming the Music Director of the BSO with a special presentation at the concert of a Golden Baton.

BSO enjoys a special relationship with Our Lady of the Assumption RC Primary in Blackpool as their ‘Orchestra in Residence’.

Over the past ten years the orchestra has worked on a range of projects staging concerts in the school, joint performances in professional venues and opportunities for the school band to rehearse with the BSO music director.

The orchestra rehearses on a weekly basis at the school, putting it at the heart of the community.

BSO’s centenary concert plans for 2022 include a concert at Fleetwood’s Marine Hall on Saturday March 19, in conjunction with pupils from Our Lady of the

Assumption, which is specially designed to introduce new audience members and youngsters, to the joys of live orchestral music.

Music will include highlights from Beethoven’s famous 5th Symphony , Mussorgsky’s Night on a Bare Mountain, ‘Mars’ from Holst’s The Planets and many other

classical favourites.

On Saturday July 2, there will be a concert at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, including Mendelssohn’s much-loved violin concerto and and the overture from Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic operetta, HMS Pinafore Overture.

And on Saturday September 3 the BSO will perform at a proms concert in Lancaster Castle in honour of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

For further information about the orchestra visit: https://www.blackpoolsymphony.co.uk

 

Blackpool Pigeon Show to return with 2,500 birds heading to the Winter Gardens

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Pigeons will race at the Winter Gardens in mid-January

 

Blackpool Pigeon Show will take place at the Winter Gardens in January
Blackpool Pigeon Show will take place at the Winter Gardens in January (Image: Royal Pigeon Racing Association)

Blackpool Pigeon Show is set to return for 2022 taking place in the iconic Winter Gardens with the largest gathering of pigeon fanciers in the country.

Fanciers will meet in the resort to celebrate the Royal Pigeon Racing Association Show of the Year, also known as the ‘Crufts of the pigeon world’.

The show will include stalls, charity pigeon auctions and raffles and runs across two days in January. It will have around 2,500 pigeons on display.

The British Homing World Show of the Year is hosted by the Royal Pigeon Racing Association (RPRA) and was held virtually in 2020.

As it returns to the Winter Gardens, visitors can expect to find over 100 trade stands, charity pigeon auctions, raffles for new lofts and the showing and judging of over 2,000 of the top homing pigeons in the country.

The show takes place on Saturday and Sunday, January 15 and 16.

On November 25, the H5N1 strain of avian influenza was found in birds at a premises in the Knott-End-on-Sea area. Public health authorities set up 3km and 10km temporary control zones around the infection site covering Fleetwood, Thornton, Poulton-le-Fylde, Cockerham and Cleveleys.

The Winter Gardens venue is outside of the current 10km control zone, meaning pigeons will also be in attendance.

Ian Evans is CEO of the Royal Pigeon Racing Association. He told Lancs Live: “While gatherings – shows, sales et cetera – of certain species of birds are currently prohibited this does not impact on gatherings of racing pigeons, unless the venue of the gathering is within 10km of an outbreak.

Show aisle at the Blackpool Pigeon Show
Show aisle at the Blackpool Pigeon Show (Image: Royal Pigeon Racing Association)

“Thankfully the Winter Gardens is outside of the current 10km zone that was put in place following the outbreak near Fleetwood.”

The British Homing World Show of the Year is the largest of its kind in Europe and will feature talks, films and young fanciers areas.

The main event is the showing and judging of the top pigeons in the UK. £10 to £10,000 can be paid for a pedigree racing pigeon or its offspring, but the pigeons on display are all fighting for the chance to be crowned best in show, with the winner going to the Supreme Champion class.

Tickets for the Pigeon show and Gala Evening are available to buy through the RPRA site. The Gala Evening costs £18 but entry to the Saturday show is £7.50 and £6.50 for the Sunday.

Ian said: “This is a huge event in our calendar and it’s always popular amongst attendees. Pigeon racing is not simply just a hobby for the fancying community. For many, the pass time helps people to stay active and social.

“Pigeon fanciers come from all different backgrounds so this is a great chance for our members to enjoy a weekend away together. It’s a delight to host such an amazing show and gather our members and their birds all in one place, providing them the opportunity of companionship and friendship.”

Blackpool Winter Gardens New Year’s Eve gig and why it’s this singers most important one yet

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‘I jumped for joy when I found out that New Year’s Eve could go ahead and have one of the biggest gigs of my time as a singer’

 

Liam Halewood
Liam Halewood (Image: Liam Halewood/Instagram)

A cabaret singer ‘jumped for joy’ when he discovered he would be able to perform at Blackpool Winter Gardens’ New Year’s Eve gig.

Liam Halewood had been waiting nervously for an update from health secretary Sajid Javid on whether he’d be able to perform after sitting at home last year.

He was delighted with the announcement that there would be no further Covid restrictions before the new year.

And after New Year’s Eve events were given the go-ahead in England, without the stricter Covid rules seen in the other three UK nations, Liam has explained why the decision is so important for him and others in the entertainment industry.

Liam, 35, has been singing since he was 18 and after his gigs dried up during the coronavirus crisis he trained as a carer working with the elderly.

Because singing is his first love Liam, who appeared on The X Factor in 2015, was thrilled to return to the stage as restrictions were lifted, MEN reports.

And he says his New Year’s Eve show at the Winter Gardens as one half of the duo Double Decades with Victoria Roberts from Bury, will be the most important of his life.

Liam Halewood and Victoria Roberts
Liam Halewood and Victoria Roberts (Image: Liam Halewood and Victoria Roberts/Facebook)

Liam, who formed Double Decades with pal Victoria a year and a half ago, explained: “January in entertainment is very quiet.

“People are skint and they don’t have the money to buy concert tickets. It’s a subdued time of year, that’s the way showbiz is. For cabaret singers New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are very important.

“It can pay your bills for the whole month. I jumped for joy when I found out that New Year’s Eve could go ahead and have one of the biggest gigs of my time as a singer.

“This is my livelihood and if the government say I don’t have to cancel it I’m not going to miss out. We’ve got to pay our bills.”

Liam Halewood and Victoria Roberts
Liam Halewood and Victoria Roberts (Image: Liam Halewood and Victoria Roberts/Facebook)

Liam, who is triple jabbed, added: “We are still unsure of what will happen on January 2. If the government had provided more help maybe we would have looked at it differently.

“But people have to earn money and if a 70-year-old grandma wants to enjoy themselves on New Year’s Eve, it’s an individual choice. If the PM can have wine and cheese why can’t people go out on New Year’s Eve?

“The hospitality industry is so happy in England.”

 

 

Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

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Michael Harrison and the Really Useful Group are delighted to announce that direct from two triumphant seasons at The London Palladium.

 

Main image for Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat article

The sensational brand-new production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat comes to the Blackpool Opera House from Monday 25th – Saturday 30th July 2022.

Linzi Hateley stars as Narrator, sharing the stage once again with Jason Donovan who will reprise his role as Pharaoh, which he performed at the London Palladium in 2019 and 2021 and Jac Yarrow as he prepares to don the famous coat in the titular role on tour.

Linzi Hateley is an Olivier Award nominee and Theatre World Award winner who has starred on Broadway, in the West End, with the RSC, and at the National Theatre. She now returns to the role of the Narrator, having first starred in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 1991 opposite Jason Donovan and Phillip Schofield at the London Palladium – for which she received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical.

Jason Donovan will return in the role of Pharaoh. He was originally in the show when he made his defining stage performance as the title character of Joseph in the 1990s, in a sold-out 18-month run which produced a No.1 single and best-selling soundtrack album. Jason raised the roof of the London Palladium during the show’s 2019 and 2021 engagements as Pharaoh, who rocks ‘Song of the King’ in the musical.

Jac Yarrow caused a sensation when he made his professional stage debut playing Joseph, following in the footsteps of a line of stars who have previously played the title character. His portrayal of Joseph won him unanimous acclaim and an Olivier Award nomination, with his rendition of ‘Close Every Door To Me’ regularly stopping the show with standing ovations.

Producer Michael Harrison says of today’s announcement:

“After two sensational runs at The London Palladium, I am delighted to bring this joyous show to the Blackpool Opera House next summer as JOSEPH prepares to unite audiences and spread happiness across the UK. Our ‘dream team’ casting will enchant newcomers and longstanding fans alike; Jac Yarrow has wowed audiences and critics with his spectacular debut and attendees should be prepared for the roof to be raised when Jason Donovan steps on stage. Linzi Hateley is confirmed to return to her role as Narrator when we perform in Blackpool having delivered a delightful dose of nostalgia to audiences at special performances of Joseph at the London Palladium this summerGO! GO! GO! JOSEPH!”

Audiences and critics were unanimous in their acclaim for the legendary musical – the first major collaboration by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber – when it returned to the London Palladium in 2019 and again in 2021.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is directed by Laurence Connor. Laurence’s credits include the acclaimed London production of School of Rock and the Tony-Award nominated production on Broadway, the recent London productions of Miss Saigon and Chess, the international arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar and he is also the Co-Director of the new version of Les Misérables which has enjoyed worldwide success including Broadway, UK and US tours. He is the director of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new production of Cinderella at the Gillian Lynne Theatre.

JoAnn M Hunter (who has 20 Broadway shows to her credit, including School of Rock and On A Clear Day You Can See Forever) is the show’s choreographer, set and costume design are by the award-winning Morgan Large with Ben Cracknell as Lighting Designer and Gareth Owen as Sound Designer.

Released as a concept album in 1969, the stage version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has become one of the world’s most beloved family musicals. The multi-award-winning show, which began life as a small-scale school concert, has been performed hundreds of thousands of times including multiple runs in the West End and on Broadway, international number one tours, and productions in over 80 countries as far afield as Austria and Zimbabwe and from Israel to Peru! The show features songs that have gone on to become pop and musical theatre standards, including Any Dream Will DoClose Every Door To MeJacob and Sons, There’s One More Angel In Heaven and Go Go Go Joseph.

Told entirely through song with the help of the NarratorJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat follows the story of Jacob’s favourite son Joseph and his eleven brothers. After being sold into hardship by the brothers, he ingratiates himself with Egyptian noble Potiphar, but ends up in jail after refusing the advances of Potiphar’s wife. While imprisoned, Joseph discovers his ability to interpret dreams, and he soon finds himself in front of the mighty but troubled showman, the Pharaoh. As Joseph strives to resolve Egypt’s famine, he becomes Pharaoh’s right-hand man and eventually reunites with his family.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is produced by Michael Harrison.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Opera House Blackpool, Monday 25 – Saturday 30 July 2022. Tickets available on general sale from 11am Friday 22 October 2021 at www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk.

 

 

 

SIX the Tudor musical about Henry VIII’s wives coming to Blackpool in 2022

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The award-winning show will arrive in Blackpool as part of the UK-wide tour in in August and September, 2022

 

SIX: The Musical comes to Blackpool
SIX: The Musical comes to Blackpool (Image: Johan Persson)

It will be case of divorced! beheaded! live! When SIX: The Musical arrives in Blackpool for a five-day stint next year.

The production, which tell the stories of Henry VIII’s six wives with 21st century style and sass, will show at the Opera House from Tuesday, August 30 to Saturday, September 3, 2022.

The cast of Tudor queens is yet to be confirmed but it has been revealed that co-writer Lucy Moss, who wrote SIX with Toby Marlow ahead of its original opening at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017, will direct the tour production, alongside Jamie Armitage.

SIX has gone on to take up a residency in the West End and opened in Broadway in 2021, after the pandemic delayed the original run set to begin in March 2020. It first toured the UK in 2018, including a Blackpool leg.

Tickets start at £20 and pre-sale is open to Winter Gardens Blackpool members from 11am on Thursday, December 16, 2021, with general sale open from 11am on Friday, December 17.

 

 

Blackpool Winter Gardens admits drop in ticket sales after Plan B announcement

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Blackpool’s Winter Gardens says it has seen a mixed response from visitors implementation of the government’s Covid Plan B guidelines

 

The ride is part of the festivities hosted by Blackpool’s Winter Gardens (Image: Andrew Teebay/Liverpool Echo)

One of Lancashire’s most popular event spaces has seen a mixed response from visitors, since the government’s Covid Plan B guidelines were announced last week.

Blackpool’s Winter Gardens has a packed Christmas events schedule and although it is confident it will remain open over the festive period the new guidelines have “definitely affected the business”, a spokesman for the venue told LancsLive.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the latest restrictions in a bid to stop the rapid spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant.

It has had a knock-on effect hostility and entertainment venues across the county, with some experiencing mass cancellations and an uncertain, anxious festive period.

The guidelines include wearing a face covering at indoor public venues such as theatres and cinemas, working from home where possible and a covid passes showing full vaccine status will now required to attend larger events such as sports matches, gigs and nightclubs.

The multi-purpose Winter Gardens complex has a number of events spaces, including the Empress Ballroom and conference rooms, with the Winter Gardens Wonderland complete with Santa’s grotto, funfair and Bavarian-style market chalets, currently running, alongside a three-week stint of Hairspray at the Opera House.

RMCH charity patron John Thomson (Image: Simon Webb)

The venue’s biggest Christmas party event was last Saturday and was largely unaffected by the December 8 announcements however numbers for another scheduled for this coming weekend have dropped due to cancellations.

Event organisers are seeing private sector bookings being honoured, while public sector ones are pulling out, with many part of “essential services so wisely scaled back to ensure they can keep on delivering as required”.

And while ticket sales for Hairspray “slipped” last Thursday, Friday and over the weekend they have “since recovered to levels we’d expect.”

Prior to the Prime Minister’s announcement they had sold 27k tickets for the musical, starring John Thomson.

“It was very much a case of people attempting to understand and reacting to the announcement towards the end of last week,” added the spokesman.

“It has definitely affected the business but unlike many theatres and venues that have sadly closed, we’ve been able to keep operating. “As we have for the past two years, we’ll adapt and keep working to keep the team, visiting companies and the guests safe.”

European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake will be bringing his out of this world journey to Blackpool Winter Gardens

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Astronaut Tim Peake will be coming to Blackpool to discuss the wonders of space.

 

Tim Peake

Tim Peake

Astronaut Tim Peake will be coming to Blackpool to discuss the wonders of space.

The European Space Agency astronaut became the first British astronaut to visit the International Space Station in 2015 and will be coming to the Winter Gardens on March 10th with his Time Peake – My Journey to Space tour.

This will be Tim’s first tour and he will be talking about his life in space, whilst showing off some of the beautiful photography and never-before seen footage of the space station. Attendees will see what training an astronaut has to endure and what Tim has to say about the human fascination about space.

In a statement made by Tim, he said: “It’s impossible to look down on Earth from space and not be mesmerised by the fragile beauty of our planet.”

Tickets start at £26.00. If you wish to purchase tickets for Tim Peake – My Journey to Space, click here.

 

 

Blackpool gets R-Fest – an Indy and New Wave festival with the likes of Gary Numan, Peter Hook, Squeeze, Toyah, Dreadzone and The Stranglers.

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Some of the UK’s biggest New Wave bands are set to rock the Tower Headland next year as Blackpool’s famous punk music festival has added an outdoor alternative.

 

The people behind the Rebellion Festival due to take place next August, have announced R-Fest a four day feast of music by the sea.

Rebellion is already the biggest punk and alternative festival in the world, and after two years off due to the pandemic, it’s coming back with a bang in 2022.

As well as the usual indoor sonic attack at the Winter Gardens, there will also be the likes of Gary Numan, Peter Hook and the Light, Squeeze, Toyah and Dreadzone playing live on the Headland with capacity for 15,000 and space for bars and merchandise.

The Winter Gardens in Blackpool will once again play host to the Rebellion Punk Festival

The Winter Gardens in Blackpool will once again play host to the Rebellion Punk Festival

The organisers decided to expand the festival’s appeal with some more mainstream bands to complement the likes of Sham 69, Bad Religion, Circle Jerks, and Stiff Little Fingers indoors at the Winter Gardens.

Organiser Jennie Russell-Smith said: “After the long delays and world craziness we are absolutely delighted to give you the full R-FEST line up for 2022.

“We are all incredibly excited for our first ever R-FEST line up; four days of bands in the incredible headland arena with the tower and the Winter Gardens on one side and the Irish Sea on the other. It’s going to be amazing!”

She said that they aim to establish the new look festival as the North West’s premier music festival and welcome new fans.

The festival has been expanded for 2022 with an arena on the Tower Headland jfor new wave music bands

The festival has been expanded for 2022 with an arena on the Tower Headland jfor new wave music bands

She added: “We’re sure they will be welcomed by the Rebellion Family and soon realise why Blackpool is such a special place for our summer gatherings.”

Organisers said that R-FEST will be a standalone festival and day tickets are available at £50 per day.

However, Rebellion weekend or Rebellion day ticket holders tickets will get them into R-FEST free of charge.

The festival starts on Thursday, August 4, with headliners The Levellers plus Wildhearts, Misty in Roots and Dreadzone. On August 5, The Stranglers play, along with Undertones, Skids and Toyah. On the Saturday, Gary Numan headlines with Peter Hook from New Order, Pop Will Eat Itself and Spear of Destiny.

The annual music event was last held in 2019 due to coronavirus lockldowns

The annual music event was last held in 2019 due to coronavirus lockldowns

On the Sunday, August 7, Squeeze are the stars, with Tom Robinson, Buzzcocks and Altered Images.

Visit www.rebellionfestivals.com/r-fest for details and tickets.

It regularly attracts thousands to the resort

It regularly attracts thousands to the resort

Bat Out of Hell the Musical at Blackpool Opera House for one week only: Here’s the dates, performance times and when tickets go on sale

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It was 40 years in the making and now the late composer Jim Steinman’s spectacular stage musical Bat Out of Hell is coming to Blackpool Opera House in 2022.

 

Featuring hit songs from the two legendary albums including I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad and You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth, the musical adventure is set to electrify audiences in the resort for just one week only from Tuesday July 5 to 9.

The tour is dedicated in the memory of the legendary songwriter, composer and producer Steinman, who died aged 73, on April 19, 2021.

Tickets for the Blackpool show dates are on sale now.

The roaring production wowed critics and public alike when it played limited seasons at Manchester Opera House, London Coliseum and London’s Dominion Theatre from 2017 to 2019.

Now the cast are excited to bring the show to the iconic Opera House.

Who is in the 2022 UK tour cast?

The tour sees the return of Glenn Adamson (American Idiot) as Strat, Martha Kirby (Grease, Rags the Musical) as Raven and original leading cast members Rob Fowler (Mamma Mia!, Bat Out of Hell) as Falco and Sharon Sexton (Mamma Mia!, Bat Out of Hell) as Sloane.
Bat out of Hell the Musical coming to Blackpool Opera House - Martha Kirby as Raven and Glenn Adamson as Strat

Bat out of Hell the Musical coming to Blackpool Opera House – Martha Kirby as Raven and Glenn Adamson as Strat

In addition Killian Thomas Lefevre as Tink, Joelle Moses as Zahara, James Chisholm as Jagwire, Kellie Gnauck as Valkyrie, and Danny Whelan as Ledoux.

Bat Out of Hell – the Musical

The musical won the Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical at the Evening Standard Awards and was nominated for eight WhatsOnStage Awards, including Best New Musical.

In Bat Out of Hell – The Musical, the electrifying rock songs of Mr Steinman propel an epic story of rebellious youth and passion as Strat, the immortal leader of The Lost, has fallen in love with Raven, the beautiful daughter of the tyrannical ruler Falco.

Bat out of Hell the Musical coming to Blackpool Opera House - Glenn Adamson as Strat and the Cast

Bat out of Hell the Musical coming to Blackpool Opera House – Glenn Adamson as Strat and the Cast

The UK & Ireland Tour of Bat Out of Hell – The Musical has book, music and lyrics by Jim Steinman, direction by Jay Scheib, choreography adapted by Xena Gusthart, with musical supervision and additional arrangements by Michael Reed, set and costume design by Jon Bausor, original costume designs by Meentje Nielsen, original wig designs by Linda McKnight, video design by Finn Ross, lighting design by Patrick Woodroffe, sound design by Gareth Owen, orchestration by Steve Sidwell, original casting by David Grindrod CDG and UK Tour casting by Anne Vosser.

The UK & Ireland Tour of Bat Out of Hell – The Musical is produced by David Sonenberg, Michael Cohl & Tony Smith, with executive producer Julian Stoneman.

The music

Bat Out of Hell became one of the best-selling albums in history, selling over 50 million copies worldwide. 16 years later, Steinman scored again with Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, which contained the massive hit I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That).

Glenn Adamson as Strat and the Cast

Glenn Adamson as Strat and the Cast

For the stage musical, the legendary and award-winning Jim Steinman incorporated iconic songs from the Bat Out of Hell albums, including You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth, Bat Out of Hell, I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) and Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad, as well as two previously unreleased songs, What Part of My Body Hurts the Most and Not Allowed to Love.

Where and when will tickets be available?

Tickets available now (Mon 29 Nov 2021 11am) at www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk

 

 

IN PICTURES: Christmas wonderland opens at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Find your festive spirit at the Winter Gardens this Christmas!

 

The famous Winter Gardens has been transformed into a festive wonderland, complete with fairground rides, Bavarian-style Christmas market stalls, and a Santa’s Grotto with twinkling fairy lights.

 

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Blackpool to welcome Cold Feet actor John Thomson in Hairspray musical theatre debut

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Comedy actor John Thomson has been cast as Wilbur Turnblad, and will feature when the tour hits Blackpool Winter Gardens in December

 

John Thomson
John Thomson (Image: ITV)

Cold Feet actor John Thomson has joined the cast of Hairspray.

The Salford-born actor, who has also appeared in TV favourites including The Fast Show and Coronation Street, will join the UK tour as Wilbur Turnblad.

The show will head to Blackpool Winter Gardens from a three-week stint on December 13.

This is the 52-year-old’s first musical theatre stage role and he joins TV presenter Brenda Edwards who plays Motormouth Maybelle and West End stalwart Alex Bourne as Edna Turnblad in the star-studded cast.

John, who is also a stand-up comedian and voiceover artist, most recently featured in ITV’s The Masked Singer and will take over as Wilbur from Norman Pace, who first played the role in 2017.

John Thomson(right) is not a complete Stanger to the stage, as he starred in Aladdin at Manchester Opera House with (right) with Sherrie Hewson and Ben Adams in 2016
John Thomson (right) is not a complete Stanger to the stage, as he starred in Aladdin at Manchester Opera House with (right) with Sherrie Hewson and Ben Adams in 2016 (Image: Mirrorpix)

Set in Baltimore in 1862, the musical’s story follows big-haired Tracy Turnblad, who is on a mission to follow her dreams and dance her way onto national television. It is based on the original film, which was realised in 1988 and starred Divine and Ricki Lake.

The show features show-stopping numbers such as You Can’t Stop the Beat, I Know Where I’ve Been and Big, Blonde and Beautiful.

 

 

Former Blackpool Tower and Winter Gardens owner Trevor Hemmings passes away at the age of 86

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Preston North End owner Trevor Hemmings has died at the age of 86, it was announced on Monday night.

 

Trevor Hemmings

Trevor Hemmings

Hemmings owned North End outright from the summer of 2010 but his involvement at Deepdale went back to the early 1970s when he joined the board of directors.

A statement released by PNE read: “Preston North End Football Club can sadly confirm the devastating news that its owner Trevor Hemmings CVO has passed away this evening 11th October 2021.

“A further statement will be made in the coming days but in the meantime his family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult time.”

Tributes paid to Preston North End owner Trevor Hemmings

Over the years he made regular cash injections into North End to keep the club financially stable, clearing outstanding debt to outside parties.

Since buying the club, share issues – his favoured way of investing – has totalled around £37m.

He was a major figure on the horse racing circuit, owning three Grand National winners – Hedgehunter in 2005, Ballabriggs in 2011 and Many Clouds in 2015.

Born in Woolwich, London, Hemmings moved to Lancashire as a youngster with his family and settled in the Leyland area.

Hemmings made his fortune in the building trade and twice owned holiday camp chain Pontin’s.

His business empire included housing and the hospitality sector. For a time he was owner of Blackpool Tower and the Winter Gardens.

In recent years Hemmings had been based in the Isle of Man, controlling his business interests from there.

He attended most of North End’s home games until the pandemic and over the last few months had re-started his regular visits to PNE’s training ground at Euxton.

According to the latest Sunday Times Rich List published in May this year, Hemmings was worth £1.115 billion – a gain of £90 million compared to 2020.

Hemmings was heavily involved in charitable organisations.

A project close to his heart was Rainbow House, a conductive education centre in Mawdsley, near Chorley, which supports children with disabilities.

 

 

Blackpool’s Winter Gardens Wonderland with Christmas markets and Santa’s grotto

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

There’s be a Santa’s grotto and Bavarian-style Christmas markets at the Winter Gardens

 

Winter Gardens Blackpool
Winter Gardens Blackpool (Image: Submitted)

Family event Winter Gardens Wonderland is set to sleigh ride into Blackpool for the festive season.

The wintry treat will have a Santa’s grotto and magical live entertainment, while visitors can browse the wooden chalets at the Bavarian-style Christmas markets.

The festivities will take place indoors and outdoors from November 26 to January 2.

The grotto, which will also have live reindeer, is already open for bookings, with each child requiring their own time slot.

Each visit includes a meeting Father Christmas, a gift and free photograph and frame with the man himself as part of the £15 entry fee.

To add to the winter fun in the seaside town Tower Headland will be home to a free ice skating rink, where you’ll also find simulated snowfalls, cosy log cabins, a magical forest, festive light projection shows and special Santa tram rides in the shadow of the magnificent Blackpool Tower.

“Renowned for its unique location, the Blackpool Winter Gardens is the perfect venue for a traditional Bavarian-style Christmas Market,” event organisers say.

“Complete with wooden chalets and a bustling atmosphere, Indoor & outdoor traders, prepare to be amazed as we present a fun filled event for the whole family this festive period. Featuring incredible live entertainment, amazing food and a magical Santa’s Grotto, Winter Gardens Wonderland is a MUST this festive period.”

To book a timeslot with Santa, click here.

 

 

Blackpool’s Winter Gardens Wonderland with Christmas markets and Santa’s grotto

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

There’s be a Santa’s grotto and Bavarian-style Christmas markets at the Winter Gardens

 

Winter Gardens Blackpool
Winter Gardens Blackpool (Image: Submitted)

Family event Winter Gardens Wonderland is set to sleigh ride into Blackpool for the festive season.

The wintry treat will have a Santa’s grotto and magical live entertainment, while visitors can browse the wooden chalets at the Bavarian-style Christmas markets.

The festivities will take place indoors and outdoors from November 26 to January 2.

The grotto, which will also have live reindeer, is already open for bookings, with each child requiring their own time slot.

Each visit includes a meeting Father Christmas, a gift and free photograph and frame with the man himself as part of the £15 entry fee.

To add to the winter fun in the seaside town Tower Headland will be home to a free ice skating rink, where you’ll also find simulated snowfalls, cosy log cabins, a magical forest, festive light projection shows and special Santa tram rides in the shadow of the magnificent Blackpool Tower.

“Renowned for its unique location, the Blackpool Winter Gardens is the perfect venue for a traditional Bavarian-style Christmas Market,” event organisers say.

“Complete with wooden chalets and a bustling atmosphere, Indoor & outdoor traders, prepare to be amazed as we present a fun filled event for the whole family this festive period. Featuring incredible live entertainment, amazing food and a magical Santa’s Grotto, Winter Gardens Wonderland is a MUST this festive period.”

To book a timeslot with Santa, click here.

 

New shop fronts approved at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Work to upgrade the historic front of the Grade II* listed Winter Gardens is set to proceed after being backed by heritage chiefs and council planners.

 

The scheme will see shop units in the Empress Buildings overlooking St John’s Square restored to as close as possible to their original state.

A council planning report said the investment seeks “to unify the existing ground floor frontage which at present is made up of a row of shop fronts which differ in design and appearance and do not relate well to the upper floors of the buildings.”

It is proposed to install new shopfronts using hardwood timber, with large windows and awnings “to achieve an active and open frontage”.

The Empress Buildings

The Empress Buildings

The planning application, which was approved using delegated powers, was supported by the Blackpool Civic Trust, the Theatres Trust and the council’s own built heritage manager.

A statement from the Theatres Trust said : “The plans seek to revert the shopfronts which form part of the Winter Gardens complex back to a traditional style with hardwood timber frames which would unify them, as they are currently of contrasting and insensitive styles which detracts from the significance of the complex and the wider setting.

“The proposals do not impact on the operation and function of the theatre and performance spaces within the Winter Gardens and would enhance the buildings’ appearance and contribute towards efforts to revitalise the wider area.”

Funding for the work has come from the council’s £7.84m Quality Corridors project which is funded through the Growth Deal.

That includes the £2.3m Property Improvement Scheme which has helped upgrade the external appearance of more than 20 properties on Topping Street, Church Street, Talbot Road, Cedar Square, Deansgate and Edward Street.

The Empress Buildings were constructed in 1894 as four bays set either side of a wide central bay which formerly contained an arched entrance to the Empress Ballroom.

Iconic scenes from Dirty Dancing re-enacted around Blackpool

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The cast of ‘Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage’ at the Winter Gardens Opera House have been delighting crowds with performances in the streets

 

People in Blackpool have been having “the time of their lives” this week after discovering some impromptu performances from iconic scenes in Dirty Dancing around the town.

The cast of ‘Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage’ have been in town from August 14 – August 28 for dates at the Winter Gardens’ Opera House.

Following two blockbuster West End runs and four-hit UK tours, the production has been seen by millions across the globe.

The stage show tells the classic story of Baby and Johnny, two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds, who come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives.

The production features some of its most famous hit songs including Hungry Eyes, Hey! Baby, Do You Love Me? and (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.

The Dirty Dancing "flash mob" in Blackpool

The Dirty Dancing “flash mob” in Blackpool

On Sunday (August 15) actors Kira Malou and Michael O’Reilly, who play the leading roles of Frances Baby and Johnny Castle, gave “hungry eyes” a treat in St John’s Square when they performed the iconic dance routine from the finale scene at Kellerman’s resort.

Yesterday, (August 17) Sandcastle Waterpark at South Beach was used to recreate the iconic “lift” scene in the water from when Johnny and Baby are preparing for their performance at the Sheldrake Hotel.

Cast members from 'Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage' Re-enact the iconic "lift" scene from film yesterday (August 16)

Cast members from ‘Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage’ re-enact the iconic “lift” scene (Image: Dave Nelson, Winter Gardens)

We’re excited too see what other popular locations in Blackpool will be used to re-create some of Dirty Dancing’s most well-loved scenes.

To find out more, please visit the Winter Gardens website here.

Plans revealed to restore front of Blackpool’s Winter Gardens

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Plans have been unveiled to upgrade a key part of the Winter Gardens as part of a multi million pound scheme to improve town centre streets in Blackpool.

 

If it gets the go ahead, the scheme will see the Empress Buildings restored close to their original state with the installation of new shopfronts on the ground floor.

Resort-based architect Joseph Boniface has drawn up the proposals which aim to unify the appearance of the landmark which overlooks St John’s Square.

Documents submitted with a planning application for the project say: “The application seeks to unify the existing ground level facade of the Grade II* listed building fronting onto St John’s Square.

The Empress BuildingsThe Empress Buildings

“Currently, there are a number of different styles erected during the last few decades across the frontage resulting in an untidy appearance.

“The new shopfronts will be hardwood timber framed and designed and constructed in a traditional style relevant to the period.”

The new shopfronts will feature stained glass windows and a retractable awning, and have been designed in consultation with the council and the current occupiers of each unit.

Timber work will be finished in exterior wood rosewood stain to match the recently refurbished finish of the woodwork to the adjacent Olympia Building.

The Empress Buildings were constructed in 1894 as four bays set either side of a wide central bay which formerly contained an arched entrance to the Empress Ballroom.

Funding for the work has come from the council’s £7.84m Quality Corridors project which is funded through the Growth Deal.

The plans will now be considered by the council at a future date.