Blackpool Illuminations open air switch-on event moved online for second year running

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

The event which usually takes place at the Tower Festival Headland Arena, will be held in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom

The switch-on concert will be live streamed this year
The switch-on concert will be live streamed this year (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Blackpool Illuminations switch-on event will take place indoors for the second year running with the in-person open air event cancelled due to Covid fears.

Plans for the 2021 event have been unveiled with the return of a live concert in association with MTV.

With continuing uncertainty over restrictions on large-scale events this summer, VisitBlackpool has announced that its traditional Switch-On celebration on the night of September 3 will temporarily move into the Blackpool Tower Ballroom from its usual home on the outdoor Tower Festival Headland Arena.

The new event, which marks the start of four months of illuminations, will feature live music performances in ballroom with an audience made up of winners of a free-to-enter ballot.

The concert and Switch-On moment will also be live streamed across MTV and VisitBlackpool channels.

Last year, 225,000 households tuned in to watch the lights switch on in the free online event.

Cllr Gillian Campbell, Cabinet Member for Tourism & Culture for Blackpool Council, said: “We are thrilled to be able to announce the return of a live concert as a curtain-raiser for our extended Blackpool Illuminations season.

“While we would love to be able to bring back a full-scale concert with thousands of people partying on the headland, there are still too many uncertainties over the logistics of being able to do that in a safe and controlled way.

“We are fortunate that we have a world-class ballroom which is currently undergoing a £1m renovation and which will provide a truly fitting stage for the 2021 Switch-On concert.

“The live stream in 2020 proved hugely successful and we are delighted that people will be able to enjoy the celebration no matter where they are.”

Virginia Monaghan, Vice-President Events & Experiences, for ViacomCBS, added: “We are excited to be once again partnering with VisitBlackpool to deliver the annual Illuminations Switch-On event.

“We are looking forward to staging a very special celebration in one of the most iconic venues in the UK – and equally looking forward to bringing back a traditional Switch-On arena concert in 2022.”

Kate Shane, Head of the Blackpool Cluster for the Merlin Entertainments Group, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the annual Switch-On event in The Blackpool Tower Ballroom for the first time in our history.

“The ballroom is currently undergoing a huge renovation programme that will bring the magnificent ceiling back to its former glory. We look forward to being able to unveil this to a live Switch-On audience as well as a global live stream audience.”

Full details of the acts that will perform at the event will be revealed over the coming months along with the identity of the Switch-On star. At least 1,000 tickets will initially be available to join the live audience. Further tickets could be made available if future guidance allows. Any ticket allocation will be split equally between local residents and visitors.

In the meantime, you can register to enter the ballot for free tickets (maximum of four per person) at this link. Applications will close on Friday 30 July.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *