Blackpool Lightpool Festival 2021: Best walking route, live show dates and times, and where to park

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The stunning light festival returns with 16 days of free shows and art installations

 

Blackpool Lightpool Festival
An installation at the Blackpool Lightpool Festival (Image: Andy Torkington)

The Blackpool Lightpool festival is back and it’s bigger and better than ever for 2021.

From October 15 to 30, a whopping 16 new installations will wow visitors to the seaside town, keen to immerse themselves in artistic light installations and shows – alongside the illuminations already shining bright.

To enjoy the event at its best, most stunning potential, it is recommend to walk through the installations, where possible.

From the best route to take to where to park up before you walk the lights, we’ve put together a handy guide for people planning a visit to Blackpool in October.

What is the best route to walk?

Lumidogs at the Blackpool Lightpool Festival
Lumidogs at the Blackpool Lightpool Festival (Image: Blackpool Lightpool Festival)

We suggest you start at either Springfield Road, close to Blackpool North train station and make your way down to Bickerstaffe Square, or the same route in reverse, if you prefer.

The full route is approximately four-miles long and will take in all installations at locations including Blackpool Central Promenade, Blackpool Tower, Grundy Art Gallery, Tower Festival Headland, the Comedy Carpet, Winter Gardens and St John’s Church.

It should take around an hour and a half in total to walk to every area of the event, so allow plenty more time on top of that to enjoy each installation once you get there – just think of your step count!

Please be aware that some installations, such as one-off shows and those involving live performances will be limited to set times and dates.

Here’s a route suggestion you could take on your visit to the festival, if you are keen to seethe ART TRAIL installations, which run from Monday, October 18 to Saturday, October 30, 6pm-10pm:

Stop one: The Old Electric Springfield Road – 100 Local Lanterns created and crafted in a series of workshops will be on display in The Old Electric, forming a community exhibition.

Stop two: Abingdon Street – the Big Bird sculpture is new for this year’s light-fest.

Stop three: St John’s Church – Watch as the church is reclaimed by nature . in a large-scale projection.

Stop four: Grundy Art Gallery – check out exterior projection, the Blackpool Light of My Life.

Stop five: Winter Gardens – you’ll find a number of installations here, including And Then I Slipped, Power The Tower, 500 at

Pavilion Theatre.

Stop six: Houndshill Shopping Centre – The White Tiger roars into Blackpool.

Stop seven: Comedy Carpet -Tower Projectionsget taken in by the 3D projections as they light up the Blackpool Tower building, where you can also experience Astral Dreams project, as part of the Blackpool Illuminations programme.

Stop eight: Tower Festival Headland/Blackpool Tower – Walk through the Spiro light tunnel and you can also experience Aqualux,co-friendly light feature and there will also be an illuminated truck on selected days

Stop nine: Adelaide Street West -Stop and wonder at Lasertonic, which uses sound and colour to transform its surroundings.

Stop 10: Central Promenade – multi-sensory display House of Cards,

Stop 11: Bickerstaffe Square – stroll through the Digital Playground, complete with oversized robotic flowers as you move around.

For more information and the full Lightpool programme for 2021, click here.

Blackpool Lightpool Festival 2021
Blackpool Lightpool Festival 2021 (Image: Gregg-Wolstenholme)

What live performances are there to see?

Besides the art trail, there’s a plethora of live action shows and experiences to soak in during the festival’s 166-day programme.

Symphony of Light @ Olympia, Winter Gardens, Friday, October 22, 7pm–9:30pm

A experience with music, lasers, artwork and immersive lighting effects. Shows every 30 minutes.

World Fireworks Championship Blackpool @ Tower Festival Headland, Saturday, October 23, 8.30pm

The finale of the fireworks championships featuring a celebratory display by Titanium Fireworks.

Illuminated Tram Parade Featuring Spark! @ Central Promenade, Wednesday, October 27, 5.30pm

For one night only, the illuminated tram parade features a battleship, trawler and Great Western train travelling in convoy, joined by the high-impact drumming and superb choreography of the Spark! LED drummers, Lumidogs and a cast of illuminated giant puppets.

Global Grooves Carnival @ The Blackpool Tower Ballroom, Thursday, October 28, 6pm and 8pm

A menagerie of carnival characters will hit the Blackpool Tower Ballroom floor for an electrifying performance of music, puppetry and dance.

Silent Disco @ The Blackpool Tower Fifth Floor, Friday, October 29, 7pm-9.30pm,

Suitable for all ages, the Silent Disco will have three different music choices playing continuously throughout the night.

The Nixies of Oakpool by The Electric Sunshine Project (Springfield Road), October, 27, 28, 29, 6.30pm and 7.30pm

A spellbinding, interactive story using animation, puppetry, lights and music to retell how the Illuminations were originated.

Blackpool Lightpool Carnival of Light tunnel
Blackpool Lightpool Carnival of Light 2019

Where is best to park?

There will be limited parking along the seafront.

Visitors are urged to use the park and ride facility at Blackpool Airport, which is also open at weekends and peak times.

Find out more parking options here.

Nixies of Oakpool at the Blackpool Lightpool Festival
Nixies of Oakpool at the Blackpool Lightpool Festival (Image: Blackpool Lightpool Festival)

Are there public toilets?

There’s a number of pay-to-enter toilets.

This includes between Festival House and the Information Centre at the North Pier, Central Car Park, Bispham tram stop and on the South Shore near the Solaris Building.

Shoppers can use lavatories at Houndshill Shopping Centre food court, marks and Spencer and the Winter gardens complex